Cooler with rain possible before warmup next week - East Valley Tribune: Chandler

Cooler with rain possible before warmup next week

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Posted: Friday, April 18, 2014 4:33 pm

We've already seen some passing sprinkles this afternoon and our clouds are lowering as moisture continues to increase ahead of an approaching low pressure system. This disturbance will move into our state tonight through Saturday.

Rain chances will continue to increase across the state tonight and again tomorrow. Especially across northern and eastern Arizona.

In the Valley we'll get sprinkles with just a slight chance for a stray shower. You'll mostly notice areas of "virga" or rain that evaporates before it hits the ground. That can cause some stronger, cooler wind gusts underneath the clouds at the surface.

Rain chances will be better in the higher elevations to our north and east and across northern Arizona. We could see some scattered showers, and even a stray thunderstorm over the next couple of hours. As we lose daytime heating, storm chances will go down in those locations.

Breezes have also kick up state-wide this afternoon, with peak gusts in the Valley approaching 20 to 25 mph and gusts up north nearing 30 mph.

Highs today were nearly 10 degrees cooler in the Valley thanks to the clouds and that approaching disturbance. We've only seen the lower 80s at Sky Harbor today.

As that low pressure rolls across the state Saturday, our rain and thunderstorm chances improve slightly. We could see two rounds of showers in the Valley tomorrow. The first will chance will be in the morning. Then once our atmosphere heats up in the afternoon we could see a second round of showers and even a few thunderstorms. While our chances for rain are better Saturday, it's still only about a 20-percent chance so not everyone may see the rain.

You'll want to watch out for areas of blowing dust caused by any outflow winds from showers and thunderstorms both this evening and again Saturday.

We'll then dry back out and warm back up on Easter with Phoenix back in the low 90s that afternoon with mostly sunny skies.

Temperatures will stay in the low to mid 90s as we head into next week too, but we already have our eyes on next Wednesday. Forecast models are showing another shot of wind and cooler air around our state. This one will bring a 10 degree drop to our forecast, putting Valley highs back in the mid 80s by the middle of next week.

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