Heavy rainfall in Phoenix, snow in Flagstaff break daily records for Christmas Eve

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Saturday, December 25, 2021 - 4:25pm
Updated: Sunday, December 26, 2021 - 7:24pm

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snowy roads in Flagstaff
Arizona Department of Transportation

Metro Phoenix saw heavy showers on Christmas Eve, enough to break a daily rainfall record for Dec. 24.

According to the National Weather Service, Friday was the wettest December day on record for Phoenix, and the ninth-wettest day of all time calculated back to 1990.

The rain gauge at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport measured a full 1 inch of rain Friday, just the 11th time ever Phoenix has had an inch or more of rain in December.

The total of 1.38 inches of rain in Phoenix this month is the most in December since 2004.

The 1.67 inches of rain that fell at the airport in Flagstaff on Friday shattered the old record of 0.87 inches set in 2019. The inch that was recorded in Phoenix on Friday broke the old record of 0.93 of an inch in 1944.

It also was the wettest day for the city since Feb. 22, 2020, when just over an inch fell.

Northern Arizona residents should expect more snowfall in the coming days, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist James Sawtelle.

"Looks like their heaviest snow will probably come up Tuesday, with a low of 20 and a high of 28, and on Tuesday, they’ll have a 90% chance of snow showers," Sawtelle said.

Sawtelle says the chances of rain in the Valley and in Tucson ramp up near the middle of the week, and stay through the weekend.

He says the rain in the Valley won’t be too heavy on any given day, but will build up over the course of the week. Phoenix has a chance to increase that total in the coming week, with three days with a 30% chance or more of rain.

Associated Press contributed to this report.