…Top Arizona Hurricane/Tropical Storm Events…
years, there have been numerous times that the remnants of hurricanes and
tropical storms have affected Arizona. Although there has never
been a case when one of these storms actually entered Arizona as a
hurricane, there have been several occasions when these storms entered Arizona while still classified as a tropical storm. Here is a list of some of the more notable
storms that have affected Arizona.
25-30…A tropical storm crossed the Baja peninsula southwest of Yuma and moved up
the Colorado River Valley. Several stations
along the Colorado River reported in excess of three inches of rain, including
3.65 inches at Yuma. Other amounts included 1.50 at Flagstaff, 1.24 at Prescott, 0.68 at Tucson, and 0.56 at
20-25…A tropical storm moved into the Gulf of California and came ashore on the western coast of Mexico. Over five inches of
rain fell in extreme southeast Arizona in the
vicinity of Douglas.
7-12…A hurricane moved into the Gulf of
California and came ashore on the
western coast of Mexico. One to two inches
of rain was reported over much of Arizona.
4-6…A hurricane came ashore on the Baja peninsula southwest of Yuma. In excess of 5.00 inches of rain falls in
northwest Arizona. Other amounts
included 2.55 at Prescott, 1.41 at Tucson, 1.37 at Flagstaff, and 1.09 at Phoenix.
A hurricane came ashore on the Baja peninsula southwest of Yuma. In excess of 5.00 inches of rain falls in
southwest Arizona. Other amounts
included 4.00 at Flagstaff, 3.95 at Prescott, 3.24 at Phoenix, and 1.55 at Nogales.
flooding is reported, and Gila Bend is cut off from motor travel as bridges and
roads are washed out. Damage in 1951
dollars exceeds $750,000.
through 27 1962...The remains of Tropical Storm Claudia causes severe flash
flooding in and around Tucson. Up to seven inches
of rain falls in the desert just west of Tucson near the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. Flood waters
inundate Marana and Sells.
29-September 2…Hurricane Katrina comes up the Gulf of California and comes ashore south of Yuma. Over 2.00 inches of rain fall in southwest Arizona with lesser amounts elsewhere.
known as “The Labor Day storm of 1970”, the remains of tropical Storm Norma
cause severe flooding in central portions of Arizona, and becomes Arizona’s most deadly storm. There are 23 deaths in central
Arizona...including 14 from flash flooding on Tonto Creek in the vicinity of
Kohl’s Ranch. Total rainfall at Workman
Creek...about 30 miles north of Globe in the Sierra Ancha mountains...is 11.92
inches...with 11.40 inches falling in 24 hours.
Other rainfall amounts include 9.09 at Upper Parker Creek...8.74 at Mount Lemmon...8.44 at Sunflower...8.08 at Kitt Peak...7.12 at the Tonto Creek Fish
Hatchery...and 7.01 inches at Crown King.
through 7 1972...Tropical Storm Joanne (earlier a hurricane) moves across the
Baja peninsula and comes ashore in western Mexico south of Ajo. The storm brings heavy rain and flooding to
much of the state. It is the first
“documented” time that a tropical storm reaches Arizona with its cyclonic circulation intact. Heavy rains fall over much of the state with
severe flooding in the Clifton...Duncan...and Safford areas.
Over 5.00 inches of rain is reported on the Mogollon
rim southeast of Flagstaff. Rainfall amounts
included 4.44 at Flagstaff, 3.80 at Prescott, 2.21 at Yuma, 1.95 at Phoenix, 1.63 at Nogales, and 1.63 at Tucson.
10 and 11 the remains of Hurricane Kathleen move across Baja and into southern California near El Centro. With its circulation still intact...tropical storm force
winds produce considerable damage in Yuma. Sustained winds
exceed 50 mph, and gust as high as 76 mph in Yuma. One man is killed
as a 75 foot palm tree crashes onto his mobile home. Severe flooding occurs in
Residual moisture brings more severe thunderstorms to the state on
September 24 and 25. The Tucson area is particularly hard hit with flash flooding and hail
as large as golf balls. Hail covers the ground to a depth of 5 inches on Mount Lemmon.
Hurricane Doreen paralleled the west coast of Baja before dissipating west of San Diego. Severe flooding
occurs in Yuma County, and around Bullhead City. Rainfall in Yuma totals 2.96 inches.
Severe flooding also occurred in California’s Imperial Valley.
through 7 1977...the remains of Hurricane Heather produces heavy rain and major
flooding over extreme southern Arizona. 8.30 inches of rain
falls at Nogales...with as much as 14 inches in the surrounding mountains.
through October 7 1983...Tropical
storm remains...including those from Hurricane Octave... cause heavy rain over Arizona during a 10 day period.
Southeast Arizona...and Yavapai and Mohave counties are particularly hard
hit. Severe flooding occurs in Tucson...Clifton...and Safford. Fourteen deaths and 975 injuries are
attributed to the flooding. At least
10000 Arizonans are left temporarily homeless. Damage in today’s dollars is
estimated at 370 million. Rainfall
amounts include 9.83 at Nogales, 6.67 at Safford, 6.40 at Tucson, 3.93 at Flagstaff, 2.65 at Phoenix, and 2.62 at
and 26 1997...the remains of hurricane Nora moves up the Colorado river. The center of the
storm passes directly over Yuma...where
winds gust as high as 54 mph.
Significant flooding occurs across western Arizona. 11.97 inches of rain falls in 24 hours on top of Harquahala Mountain...breaking the 24 hour record set at Workman Creek in the
1970 Labor Day Storm. 3.59 inches of
rain falls at the Yuma Airport. The average
“annual” rainfall in Yuma is 3.17 inches.