TUCSON, Ariz. — We seem to have found ourselves on the storm track. A major storm brought wind, colder temperatures, valley rain and mountain snow to southeastern Arizona last week. This week, another major winter storm is heading into the Southwest.
Winter Storm Watches have already been posted for the mountains of southeastern Arizona for areas above 7,000 feet. The watches go into effect Thursday evening and will continue through Friday evening. This will be a significant winter storm for the high country. Wind gusts of up to 45 mph will create drifting snow, low visibility and hazardous driving conditions for drivers.
In the lower elevations, we could see 1 to 2 inches of rainfall from Wednesday morning through Friday night. Lots of ponding water can be expected on roads and highways throughout the Southwest, so make sure you allow plenty of time for your holiday travel. The heaviest rain is expected late Thursday into Friday afternoon. Now would be a good time to check your tires for proper tread and inflation. Also, make sure you have good windshield wipers and that all of your vehicle lights are properly functioning.
It’s not too often that we see stormy weather for Thanksgiving. In Tucson, the average high generally climbs to around 70° with lows dropping into the lower 40s. We rarely see rain on Thanksgiving. In fact, in 125 years, Tucson has only recorded rainfall on 16 Thanksgiving Days! I think we’ll be adding to that total this year.
Tucson’s Thanksgiving forecast calls for scattered showers and a high of 65 degrees. Looks like Thanksgiving on the patio will have to be canceled. We won’t see much sun on Thursday and the wind will be gusty, so highs in the mid-60s will likely not feel that warm. If you plan on being out for Black Friday sales, be prepared for the weather. Thursday night into Friday morning, a strong cold front will sweep across the area and bring wind, rain and much colder air into southeastern Arizona. The front will pass through Tucson around 6 in the morning and keep our temperatures in the 50s for all of Friday.
Now is the time to prepare for cold, wet weather. Travel will be impacted by this storm, so make sure to allow plenty of time and be patient with delays. If flying, or expecting someone on an inbound flight, be sure to track flight information to make sure flights are on schedule. Looks like this will be a good Thanksgiving to stay inside, enjoy each other’s company, eat some delicious food and watch football.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!