Hurricane Rosa hurls toward Flagstaff

Hurricane Rosa looms in the distance. Consequently, heavy rains are expected to start tomorrow and last through the week as a surge of moisture is expected to accumulate in Flagstaff. Anywhere between 1-3 three inches of rainfall are expected, but this amount is subject to change depending on the track of the hurricane’s remnant.

Justin Johndrow, a forecaster from the National Weather Service in Flagstaff, provides more details regarding the coming storms.

“We do have a flash flood watch starting on Monday at noon and goes through 5 a.m. Wednesday. This includes Flagstaff, Yavapi county, Page and the Grand Canyon,” said Johndrow.

Initially there may be thunderstorms as early as tomorrow afternoon through Monday. According to Johndrow, the remnants of the storm are going to move through Arizona on Tuesday, with the heaviest rainfall occurring between Sunday night and Tuesday evening. Daytime temperatures are anticipated to drop as well. By Tuesday, highs will linger around 60 degrees through the end of the week due to the abundance of clouds and moisture.

According to CBS news, Hurricane Rosa is a category 3 storm. As of 11 a.m on Saturday, Hurricane Rosa was about 1,000 miles southwest of Flagstaff. The maximum sustained wind is 105 mph, with force winds away from the center of the storm extending about 30 miles. Johndrow says tropical storm force winds typically extend about 100 miles, adding that the hurricane is expected to weaken rapidly starting by Sunday morning. By then it will be down to 80 mph sustained, slowing down to 50 mph Monday morning.

“It’s not a giant storm. It looks impressive on the satellite but as far as wind force it’s not overly huge. It’s going to dissipate rapidly because it will be moving into cooler ocean waters, weakening completely by the time it comes across so we’re not expecting much wind,” Johndrow said.

Despite Flagstaff being far away from any coast, it is not out of the ordinary that hurricanes and tropical storms impact northern Arizona. Usually Flagstaff is hit with completely dissipated remnant moisture or circulation, which is expected with Hurricane Rosa.

“Just about once every fall we get an enhancement from a tropical system. Some of our heaviest rainfall totals over a 1-3 day period have been with tropical systems moving through,” Johndrow said.

Locals should brace for heavy rain and plan accordingly.