Tropical Storm Rosa heads for Arizona

October 2, 2018

Tropical Storm Rosa soaked northwestern Mexico with heavy rains as it neared the Baja California Peninsula on Monday. The storm system is expected to move quickly northwestward into Arizona by this afternoon.

Forecasters say Southern Mohave County may get the brunt of the rainfall, with scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms predicted for Tuesday night. Lake Havasu City had a 52 percent chance of rain today, according to the National Weather Service, but nearby areas, including Wikieup to the east, are likely to receive heavy rain. Flash flood warnings are in effect for the region. Estimates for the amount of rain Havasu will receive have decreased to about .68 inches through Wednesday. Earlier forecasts predicted Havasu could get an inch or more of rainfall from the three-day storm system.

So far, the storm, which was a hurricane until late Sunday, has reportedly claimed at least one victim when a woman in Mexico was swept away by floodwaters. Rosa is expected to move quickly northwestward as it weakens, bringing 2 to 4 inches of rain to central and southern Arizona and 1 to 2 inches to the rest of the desert Southwest, Central Rockies and Great Basin.

Rosa’s maximum sustained winds had decreased to 40 mph as of Monday afternoon, and the storm’s center was about 50 miles west-northwest of Punta Eugenia in Mexico. It was heading north-northeast at 10 mph .

The National Weather Service earlier announced flash flood watches through Wednesday for areas including southern Nevada, southeastern California, southwestern and central Utah and the western two-thirds of Arizona.

Forecasts call for heavy rainfall in the watch areas, which include Las Vegas, Phoenix and Salt Lake City, with possible flooding in slot canyons and normally dry washes and a potential for landslides and debris flows from recent wildfire burn scars.

National Weather Service meteorologists in Phoenix said central and northern Arizona stood to get hit with the heaviest amounts of precipitation.

Several cities posted on social media that they were distributing sandbags.

Update hourly