An oddly timed dust storm is moving into the Valley right now. A Dust Storm Warning remains in effect until 5 p.m. for Maricopa and Pinal County as the massive wall of dust moves north along Interstate 10, and into parts of the southeast Valley.
We’re all used to dust storms in the summer — but rarely do they come in March.
Our dry winter, along with heavy winds in southern Arizona today, are likely the culprits of today’s dust storm.
Along with the dust, it’s been a warm day. It doesn’t look like we’ll top the 90 degree mark, but we’ll come very close to it with a high of 88 in Phoenix. On average, our first 90 degree day is March 31, so we’re getting really close to 90s being a reality for us.
We continue to track an area of low pressure that is passing across southern Arizona today. There’s also a chance for a few scattered showers along the eastern half of the Mogollon Rim and the White Mountains this afternoon and evening.
We aren’t expecting any rain in the Valley but you might notice some light showers in the mountains north and east of the Valley.
Even bigger changes come Wednesday as another, stronger low pressure system moves in from the northwest.
Gusty winds will pick up on Wednesday as it approaches. Peak gusts will reach 30 to 35 mph across the central and southern deserts. These gusty winds will bring the threat of blowing dust along I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson, so watch out for areas of reduced visibility. We could have a repeat of today in the Valley too.
Up north, gusts will hit 45 mph with sustained winds up to 35 mph. So, it’s going to be a very windy day in the high country.
We will also see chances for showers and thunderstorms in the high country with a slight chance that some isolated activity could move down into the Valley, too.
Since we’ll still be so dry in the Phoenix metro, most if not all of what we’ll see will evaporate before it hits the ground, but we can’t rule out a few light showers making it down to us.
Up north, the highest peaks could see a brief change over to snow early Thursday as temperatures dip below freezing.
Temperatures will drop quite a bit, too. Valley highs will reach the mid 70s on Thursday, putting us a couple of degrees below normal.
Of course, the cooler air won’t last long. Valley highs will gradually warm back up, nearing 90 degrees by Sunday.