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National Weather Service Forecast Office
Tucson, Arizona
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Cyclone: Hurricane Heather
Date it affected AZ: October 6-9, 1977
Affected Arizona as...: Remnants (dissipated near Punta Eugenía, Baja Sur, Mexico)
Four days of torrential rains from this dissipating tropical system led to the worst flooding ever experienced on the Santa Cruz River up to that point (this flood would be eclipsed just six years later with Tropical Storm Octave). Although 8.30 inches was the heaviest recorded rainfall from Heather in Nogales, AZ, an estimated 10 to 14 inches of rain fell in the mountains near Nogales and in extreme northern Sonora, with widespread rains of 3 to 6 inches over Santa Cruz, eastern Pima, and southern Cochise Counties. This sent virtually all rivers and washes in the area above their 100-year flood levels. Record flows were recorded on the Santa Cruz River with considerable bank erosion along the San Pedro River and several rivers in eastern Pima, Santa Cruz and Cochise Counties. Over 400 people were evacuated from their homes, with total damage of at least $15 million.
Image of Hurricane Heather track. Image of rainfall produced by Hurricance Heather across the southwest United States
  Image courtesy of Hydrometeorological Prediction Center (http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov)