August 6, 2008

Storms Bring Rain, Wind to E.V., Delay Flights

By Eddi Trevizo, The Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.

Aug. 6--The southeast Valley was under a severe thunderstorm warning late Tuesday night as mild thunderstorms showered the Valley.

Gusts of wind reached 41 mph at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and 51 mph at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, where several flights were grounded and flights were delayed by as much as 90 minutes.

"The weather impact lasted for about an hour. There wasn't a federally imposed land stop, it was up to the pilots. Right now we are just playing catch-up," said Deborah Ostreicher, deputy aviation director.

The severe thunderstorm and flood advisories were made around 9:30 p.m. and canceled at 10 p.m. According to meteorologists with the Phoenix National Weather Service, widespread showers could be expected to last until the early morning hours today.

According to the Weather Service, Mesa, Tempe and Chandler experienced the greatest amount of rainfall. However, authorities reported no weather-related crashes, flooded streets or power outages.

Tempe got the most rain at Broadway and Dobson roads, with .55 inches. A rain gauge at ASU in Tempe received .51 inches, while Mesa's highest precipitation level was .12 at the Salt River near Priest Drive, as well as .08 inches near Broadway and Lindsay roads.

The storms were triggered by gusty winds called outflow boundaries, which push warm air from other storm systems upward, said meteorologist Jessica Nolte of the Phoenix National Weather Service. According to Nolte, small storm systems that could bring more rainfall are likely to continue throughout the rest of the week.


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