A (Very) Incomplete History of Arizona's Storms
As a state notorious for its extreme weather, Arizona has a plethora of crazy and unique incidents of storms. Whether it be from rain, snow, wind, or absurd temperatures, our desert state and its occupants have endured quite a bit. Below are eight of Arizona’s most notable storms of the 20th century:
December 12-20, 1967: Flagstaff, AZ received 86.0 inches of snow! Although most Arizonians have experienced only enough snowstorms to count on one hand, 1967 ended with a display to remember.
January 7, 1971: Winter of 1971 gave us the state record low when Hawley Lake’s temperatures dropped to 40 degrees below zero.
October 4, 1972: Hurricane Joanne became the first documented tropical storm to reach Arizona with its cyclonic circulation intact.
December 1978: Following on the heels of significant flooding in the spring of 1978, heavy rainfall caused some of the costliest and widespread flooding in the state’s history. 10 people died, thousands were left homeless, 10 Arizona counties were declared federal disaster areas, and damage was in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
June 29, 1994: Arizona achieved record high temperatures after Lake Havasu City climbed to 128 degrees Fahrenheit!
August 14, 1996: A severe thunderstorm and record wind speeds hit the northwest portion of the Phoenix Metro area, causing $160 million in damage.
August 12, 1997: Only a year after one of Phoenix’s most destructive thunderstorms to date, a distant thunderstorm produced a flash flood in a slot canyon near Lake Powell; pushing 50 to 80-foot walls of water through the canyon and killing 11 hikers.
September 25 and 26, 1997: The remains of Hurricane Nora caused extreme wind gusts to pass through Yuma, and significant flooding to affect western Arizona. A record 11.97 inches of rain fell over Harquahala Mountain in 24 hours, and 3.59 inches fell at the Yuma airport; topping the averaged 3.17 inches of rainfall annually.
For all that 2020 has thrown at us, Arizonians are lucky to have avoided some of the serious storms that often accompany monsoon season. However, our state’s history makes it clear that Arizona is not unfamiliar with serious and destructive storms. Should you experience damage to your property due to a storm, contact SERVPRO of Gilbert, Chandler South, Ahwatukee and South Tempe at (480) 558-7620 for any mitigation and reconstruction needs.