TUCSON, Ariz. – Heavy monsoon rains are hitting the Southwest for the second day in a row, triggering concerns about flooding.
On Friday, a school bus got stuck in floodwaters near Marana, Arizona, and the students on board had to be rescued. Luckily, everyone was OK.
This comes after impressive rain totals over the past 24 hours in the Tucson area.
In Pima County, Anvil Ranch saw a little over 3 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service. Huachuca City in Cochise County saw 2.77 inches of rain.
There was also significant monsoonal activity to the northwest in the Valley of the Sun. In the Phoenix area, power lines were knocked out in Peoria and thousands were left without electricity.
This year’s monsoon has packed quite the punch. For those unfamiliar, this weather event kicks up in the Southwest every summer and usually lasts from mid-June until the end of September.
It’s marked by powerful storms that roll in on moist winds from northern Mexico.
This year , the Southwest has seen fierce rains, flash flooding, lots of lightning and massive dust storms that rolled across the desert.
Some areas in northern Arizona where there have been wildfires earlier in the summer have seen destructive debris flows because there isn’t any more vegetation to hold the soil in place.
Though in other areas, the heavy rain has been welcome.
Arizona, like much of the West, is in the midst of a drought, and the rain has helped with those dry conditions.
More rain and thunderstorms are expected throughout Saturday. Flood Watches have been issued by the National Weather Service through Sunday for more than 8 million people because of the threat of additional heavy rains.
On Saturday, the most significant risk of flooding will most likely be focused on southern Arizona, New Mexico and extreme west Texas. This includes Tucson, Arizona; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and El Paso, Texas.
Rainfall totals of 1 and 2 inches are expected from southern Arizona into southern New Mexico through late Saturday, with localized communities picking up 5 inches.
Forecast models show a significant decrease in precipitation to start the workweek, which will help communities recently inundated with rain.