CASA GRANDE — Tornado warnings and downed trees were the result of a severe thunderstorm that moved through Casa Grande and Pinal County Friday morning.
The National Weather Service in Tucson issued a tornado warning for south central Pinal as the storm hit early Friday morning. The warning was canceled at 6:49 a.m. and there were no sightings of a tornado.
At 6:36 a.m, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Avra Valley in Pima County, 7 miles west of Marana, moving east at 15 mph. Two tornado warnings were also issued from the NWS office in Phoenix Friday about 4 a.m. for the Scottsdale area and again shortly before 5 a.m. for the Apache Junction area.
Derek Hodges, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix, said Casa Grande experienced about an inch of rain while a little more than 1.6 inches fell in the Maricopa area.
Florence received 1.02 inches of rain and Queen Creek was at 1.06.
The peak wind gust in Casa Grande recorded by the National Weather Service Friday was 45 mph, though a gust of 50 was recorded just east of the city.
In Casa Grande, 11 trees were downed by high winds at the Cottonwood Crossing Apartments Friday morning, according to Manager Tracy Ramirez.
She said it will take a couple of days to get the damaged trees removed and crews had been working on the situation all day.
George Mosson, who owns Casa Grande Tree Master, said he removed three trees that had fallen on houses in the early morning storm.
The NWS said none of the tornado warnings Friday had yet been confirmed as an actual tornado.
“We did have strong evidence that a tornado was at least possible due to rotation on the radar. There is damage in some of the areas where the tornado warnings went out. We don't know yet if that was from an actual tornado or from strong winds that were also occurring with thunderstorms in the area,” Hodges said.
Hodges said tornado warnings are uncommon in Arizona any time of the year.
“It's pretty rare to get those (in the Valley). We did have one back in September in the Cave Creek area. Quite often, we can go for several years without having one of those issued,” Hodges said.
There is an average of just four tornado warnings each year in Arizona.
He said flash flood warnings were issued overnight Thursday and Friday morning across the county and the region.
“We've seen a lot of reports of flooding across the area. When the front came through, we had a period of very intense rainfall that went across the whole area. There are a lot of flood-prone roads that are closed,” he said, adding there were many reports of trees being downed on social media Friday morning.
The northern part of the state experienced blowing snow and ice, including in Flagstaff, Prescott, Show Low and the White Mountains.
Many power outages were also reported in the Phoenix Valley and northern parts of the state.
The NWS in Flagstaff reported 3 inches of snow on the ground at the airport at 6 a.m. Friday.
Moisture was expected to stop Friday afternoon and into next week with highs in the mid to upper 60s and lows around 50 expected through the coming week.
“I think we are looking at a quiet stretch after this for a few days,” Hodges said. “We might get another system in here around Dec. 5 or 6. That is a ways out, but we might get a little more rain then.”