Thunderstorms usher in triple-digit temps - East Valley Tribune: News

Thunderstorms usher in triple-digit temps

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Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2008 9:00 pm | Updated: 11:05 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The thunderstorms that brought blowing dust and sprinkles of rain to the Valley on Thursday were unseasonable. But triple-digit temperatures, not unusual for this time of year, are just a few days away.

Dark clouds bearing strong winds typically are seen during the summer monsoon. But there in the mid-May afternoon, rolling down from the desert foothills to the northeast, were a cluster of storms.

A gust of 44 mph was recorded at Chandler Municipal Airport; Phoenix's official weather station recorded sustained winds of 22 mph with a gust of 38 mph.

Salt River Project reported that storm-related winds caused a brief power outage for about 750 customers in east Mesa.

Pushed ahead by those winds was a wall of dust. In a span of a little more than an hour, near-zero visibility was reported in east Mesa, Florence, Casa Grande and Arizona City. The Arizona Department of Public Safety reported no incidents or vehicle crashes because of the weather.

During the storm's peak, a five-vehicle crash occurred at Germann and Sossaman roads. There were no serious injuries, a Mesa emergency dispatcher said.

But these storms carried little to no rain. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport received a trace amount of precipitation, the first recording of any rain there since Feb 24.

Gauges in three Valley locations - east Mesa, central Scottsdale and central Phoenix - posted rain measurements of 0.04 inches.

With the exit of this storm system, the National Weather Service is forecasting a strong ridge of high pressure to shift over Arizona.

Saturday's official high is expected to reach 95 degrees, with the Valley's first 100-degree reading Sunday or Monday.

Thursday's high was 92, which was reached minutes before the storm's arrival in central Phoenix.

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