A monsoon storm passes over Phoenix on July 22, 2019.
Thomas Hawthorne, The Republic | azcentral.com
The National Weather Service issued a “significant weather advisory” just before 8 p.m. for parts of Maricopa and Pinal Counties, including Phoenix and the east Valley.
The advisory predicts strong thunderstorms and gusts of wind at up to 50 mph until 9 p.m.
The advisory comes after storm warnings were issued Monday for a large swath of Arizona, including a severe thunderstorm watch until 11 p.m. Forecasters predicted lightning, wind, dust storms and localized hail.
A dust storm advisory was issued around 7 p.m. for areas south of Phoenix, including Casa Grande and Florence, until 8 p.m. Drivers were recommended to “pull aside, stay alive.”
More than 5.7 million people could potentially be affected by coming storms, including the entire Phoenix metro area, the Weather Service said on Twitter.
Storm clouds approach the Valley as seen from south of Chandler, Arizona on July 22, 2019.
Michael Chow and Thomas Hawthorne, The Arizona Republic
According to the Weather Service’s “Monsoon Threat Index,” the Interstate-10 area through south-central Arizona is especially vulnerable to “major, numerous” dust storms.
“We’re already seeing some blowing dust south of us near Picacho Peak,” said Isaac Smith, a meteorologist with the Phoenix Weather Service office.
Lightning strikes are expected, along with a chance of marble-sized hail, according to the notice. Heavy rain is also possible, but wind gusts will be the primary threat. Smith said some isolated winds could reach 75 mph.
If you’re in an area affected by heavy storms, Smith recommended remaining indoors and staying away from windows.
The Weather Service continued to post updates on Twitter, including flash flood warnings for parts of Gila County, including Globe, Miami and Claypool.
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