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Parker, AZ

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Founded: 1908 Population: 3,083 Time Zone: -7
Latitude: 34.15 Longitude: 114.29 W Altitude: 423 ft
Average High: 88 Average Low: 58 Annual Precipitation: 5.17


Parker, AZ, is located in La Paz County, Arizona and is the county seat. The town was named after Ely Parker, the first Native American commissioner for the U.S. government. The town was surveyed and laid out by Earl. H. Parker in 1909. It is located on the Colorado River in Parker Valley near Arizona's boarder with California. The town has a total area of 22.0 square miles and its population in July 2009 was 3,120.[Ref]

  2010 U.S. Census Demographic Profile about Parker, AZ.


    Page Index
 ◊  History of Parker, AZ
 ◊  History of AZ
 ◊  Weather data for Parker, AZ
 ◊  Historic Weather Events for AZ

History [a]

  • 1871, January 6; A post office is established on the Colorado River Indian reservation to serve the Indian agency.
  • 1905; A railroad reaches the area of the Parker Post Office. The Post office is moved upstream four miles to the railroad.
  • 1908; The town of Parker is founded and named for Ely S. Parker, the first Native American commissioner for the U.S. government.
  • 1909; Railroad location engineer, Earl H. Parker, surveys and lays out the town of Parker. The town is laid out for the purpose of providing a railroad stopover, watering and shipping station.
  • 1928; Parker Dam is completed.
  • 1937; A highway bridge was completed across the Colorado River connecting Arizona to California.
  • 1948; Parker is officially incorporated as a town.
  • 1982, May; voters petition to form La Paz County from the northern portion of Yuma County.
  • 1983, January 1; Parker became the county seat for La Paz County.
  • 2000; Population 3,140.
  • 2009; Population 3,120.
  • 2010; Population 3,083.

For more information about the History of Parker, Arizona, visit the following sites:


  1. Parker, AZ, History   [Online]
      •Wikipedia - Parker, Arizona   [Online],_Arizona

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State History

Ancient times[2]


1500 - 1699



1700 - 1899



1900 - 1999



2000 - 2010


For more information about the of Arizona, visit the following sites:

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Parker, AZ Weather Information

Monthly average highs and low temperatures and the average amount of precipitation for Parker, AZ.
Data from Parker Weather station, 0.47 miles from Parker.



Month Jan. Feb. March April May June July Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Annual
Avg. High 67.4 ° 72.8 °

78.8 °

87.1 °

95.3 °

104.6 °

108.4 °

106.7 °

101.2 °

90 °

76 °

67.3 °

88 °

Avg. Low 40.7 °

44.6 °

48.7 °

54.2 °

62.7 °

70.7 °

77.9 °

77.8 °

71.2 °

59.2 °

47.2 °

40.5 °

58 °

Mean 54.1 °

58.7 °

63.8 °

70.7 °

79 °

87.7 °

93.2 °

92.3 °

86.2 °

74.6 °

61.6 °

53.9 °

73 °

Avg. Prec. 0.87 in

0.7 in

0.65 in

0.17 in

0.09 in

0.02 in

0.27 in

0.61 in

0.57 in

0.32 in

0.33 in

0.57 in

5.17 in


The climate in Parker, AZ, is very hot and dry. During the summer temperatures tend to be in the 100's and cool during winter when temperatures tend to be in the 40's. The yearly mean is 73.0°Fahrenheit.

The warmest month of the year is July with an average maximum temperature of 108.4° Fahrenheit, while the coldest month of the year is December with an average minimum temperature of 40.50°Fahrenheit.

Temperature variations between night and day tend to be relatively large during summer with a difference that can reach 30° Fahrenheit, and moderate during winter with an average difference of 27°Fahrenheit.

Rainfall is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year. The wettest month of the year is January with an average rainfall of 0.87 inches. The annual average precipitation at Parker is 5.17 inches.[1]

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Historical Weather data

I am still doing research on this weather history of the city.

AZ Notable Severe Weather Events

" Arizona lies in a transitional region of general atmospheric circulation. The circumpolar Jetstream and associated frontal systems embedded within the general westerly air flow affect the climate in winter. In summer, large subtropical high-pressure cells over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans move northward and are affected by strong surface heating over the desert. Shifts in these major atmospheric circulation features caused moisture sources to shift from the Pacific Ocean in winter to mostly the Gulf of Mexico in summer. The moisture supply generally is small because Arizona is close to the semi-permanent subtropical high-pressure zone."

" In addition to the oceans, important moisture sources include local and upwind land surfaces, as well as lakes and reservoirs, from which moisture evaporates into the atmosphere. Typically, as a moisture-laden ocean air mass. "

" In a typical year, one-half of Arizona receives less than 10 inches of precipitation in about equal quantities during summer and winter. Atypical years, however, are not rare in semiarid regions like Arizona; some years are exceedingly wet, and others are very dry. Annual precipitation in Arizona increases with altitude. Most of the Central Highlands and some mountain tops in the Basin and Range Lowlands receive more than 25 inches of annual precipitation. "

" Beginning in July, surges of moisture move into Arizona from the south and southeast. Local convective cells develop over the hot desert floor and produce intense thunderstorms. In addition, orographic storms develop as moist air rises to cross mountain ranges in the Central Highlands and the Basin and Range Lowlands. Rainfall increases sharply in the eastern one-half of Arizona from July to September, and in some years the seasonal total can exceed 15 inches. "

" During a typical winter, large-scale pressure ridges along the west coast of the United States initially produce clear and relatively calm weather in Arizona. As the circumpolar vortex of the northern latitudes expands southward from January to March, Arizona's weather can be affected by frontal systems that move along the Pacific Coast from extreme northern locations or by those that move directly eastward across the State from the Pacific Ocean. The most southerly of these storms can draw large quantities of moist tropical air into Arizona; precipitation patterns during such storms commonly show strong orographic effects. Precipitation from winter storms occurs primarily in the Central Highlands and the western one-half of the State. Snowfall is an important component of precipitation at altitudes above 4,000 feet. "

" From April to June and October to December, the weather is normally clear and calm, and there is little precipitation. Infrequently, however, record-setting precipitation quantities and intensities occur during the fall. Tropical cyclones can transport large quantities of moisture and produce intense precipitation in the southern and central parts of the State, generally from August through October (Smith. 1986). A large quantity of precipitation also may result when a low pressure system becomes separated from the general atmospheric circulation and remains over Arizona for several days. " [Ref] pp 181-182

For more information about the climate:


"Arizona streams technically are under drought conditions 60 to 80 percent of the time, and individual droughts commonly last as long as 5 years. Drought is defined as an extended period of less than average streamflow. The streams in Arizona have short periods of large discharge and long periods of small discharge, which make “average streamflow” larger than the rates that water users ordinarily have available. Stream channels in the deserts of the Basin and Range Lowlands are ordinarily dry and contain no useful water. Arizona's Central Highlands receive more precipitation than the lowlands and maintain perennial streamflow in large basins (Brown and others, 1981). Reservoirs have been constructed on most major perennial streams in Arizona to hold and distribute floodwater or spring snowmelt for use in the desert. These reservoirs decrease the effects of short-term droughts, but because of the extensive development of agriculture, industry, and cities in the desert, a prolonged drought can affect a large population."[Ref] pp 183, 185-186


Drought Severity Classification





Possible Impacts

Palmer Drought Index

CPC Soil
Moisture Model

USGS Weekly Streamflow

Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI)

Objective Short and Long-term Drought Indicator Blends (Percentiles)



Going into drought: short-term dryness slowing planting, growth of crops or pastures. Coming out of drought: some lingering water deficits;  pastures or crops not fully recovered

-1.0 to -1.9



-0.5 to -0.7



Moderate Drought

Some damage to crops, pastures; streams, reservoirs, or wells low, some water shortages developing or imminent; voluntary water-use restrictions requested

-2.0 to -2.9



-0.8 to -1.2




Crop or pasture losses likely;  water shortages common; water restrictions imposed

-3.0 to -3.9



-1.3 to -1.5



Extreme Drought

Major crop/pasture losses;  widespread water shortages or restrictions

-4.0 to -4.9



-1.6 to -1.9



Exceptional Drought

Exceptional and widespread crop/pasture losses; shortages of water in reservoirs, streams, and wells creating water emergencies

-5.0 or less



-2.0 or less



  • 1900 - 1904; The north-east section of Arizona experienced a period of sever to extreme drought. In June of 1904, the entire state and much of New Mexico experiences an extreme draught.
  • NOAA Drought June 1904
    NOAA Drought June 1904

  • 1931 - 1941; The American Midwest and the Canadian prairie are in the gripes of the Dust Bowl, or the Dirty Thirties. This period of severe dust storms, causes major ecological and agricultural damage. The Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres and is centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. Many Americans migrated west looking for work and were often known as "Okies", since so many came from Oklahoma. Some residents of the Plains, especially in Kansas and Oklahoma fall ill and die of dust pneumonia or malnutrition. In most of the New Mexico the drought was severe and had a recurrence interval greater than 25 years. Nevertheless, no annual precipitation minimums were recorded at any weather station in the vicinity of the gaging stations during the 1931^41 drought.[src][src - p 411]

  • NOAA Drought October 1934
    NOAA Drought October 1934

  • 1942-1964; This was the second most severe drought in 350 years, based on tree-growth records. The draught was statewide and had a recurrence interval greater than 100 years. The drought was interrupted temporarily at some gaging stations in 1949 and 1952. Reservoirs supplying the Phoenix area were replenished by high flows in 1952. At Rillito Creek near Tucson the drought of 1942-64 decreased recharge to ground water rather than decreasing usable surface water. In southeastern Arizona, the drought ended in the middle to late 1950's, but a new drought began in the early 1960's.
  • NOAA Drought July 1947
    NOAA Drought July 1947
    NOAA Drought December 1956
    NOAA Drought December 1956

  • 1973-1977; The draught of 1973-1977 was statewide with a recurrence interval that ranged from about 15 to 35 years, depending on location. The most severe was in eastern Arizona. On the San Pcdro River at Charleston the 1973-77 period was the end of a longer drought that began in 1960.

Primary Source: NATIONAL WATER SUMMARY 1988-89 / Hydrologic Events and Floods and Droughts [PDF] pp 183, 185-186


For more information:


Enhanced Fujita Scale


The following statistics where compiled from "The Tornado Project" for the time period of 1952-11-14 - 2014-09-27.

Intensity Number Fatalities
F0 124 0
F1 63 1
F2 16 2
F3 3 0
F4 0 0
F5 0 0


Between 1952-11-14 - 2014-09-27 Arizona has had 237 tornadoes killing 3 people and injuring 147 people. The greatest loss of live occurred on Aug 27, 1964, when an EF2 touched down in Tucson at 12:16 pm killing 2 and injuring 9. [Ref]

  • 1957, August 04; An F3 tornado in Maricopa County caused $2,500 in damages. [Ref]
  • 1959, August 17; An F2 tornado in Yuma County injured 1 and caused $250,000 in damages.[Ref]
  • 1964, August 27; An F2 tornado in Tucson caused 2 deaths injured 9 and caused $25,000 in damages.[Ref]
  • 1968, July 04; An F2 tornado in Phoenix injured 2 and caused $25,000 in damages.[Ref]
  • 1968, October 03; An F2 tornado in Phoenix injured 3 and caused $25,000 in damages.[Ref]
  • 1971, September 14; An F2 tornado in Phoenix caused $25,000 in damages.[Ref]
  • 1972, June 21; An F2 tornado in Maricopa County damaged several buildings in Akchin. The tornado moved northwards where it overturned several house trailers injuring 5. Damage estimates totaled $25 Million.[Ref]
  • 1972, August 10; An F3 tornado in Yavapai County, north of Prescott, caused $300 in damages. [Ref]
  • 1974, June 23; An F1 tornado damaged a trailer park about 9 miles from downtown Tucson. One man was killed and 40 were injured. Damages were estimated to be $250,000. [Ref]
  • 1992, October 24; An F2 tornado in Coconino County near Flagstaff caused $25,000 in damages. [Ref]
  • 1993, January 17; An F2 tornado in Maricopa County near the Scottsdale Airport caused 5 million in damages. Eighteen homes sustained damage, 4 with major damage. The tornado moved east from 59th and Clinton to 72nd and Cholla. [Ref]
  • 2010, October 5-6; The October 2010 Arizona tornado outbreak produced 8 tornadoes in Arizona on October 6, making it the largest single-day tornado-event in Arizona's history. The storm was caused by a strong low pressure center over California that pushed abundant moisture over Arizona producing widespread thunderstorms with numerous severe storms. Strong vertical wind shear, with helicity in the 400-450 range, provided an environment for supper cell development. The storms were accompanied by strong winds and large hail.[Ref] There were 8 confirmed tornadoes, 2 EF0, 1 EF1, 4 EF2 and 1 EF3. These storms injured 9 and caused an estimated $2.812 Billion in damages.[Ref]
  • 2011, September 1; An EF2 tornado in Coconino County near Flagstaff caused significant damage in the forest along the Humpherys Trail near the Snowbowl Ski Area around 10,000 feet elevation.[Ref]

For more information:

Hurricanes / Tropical cyclone


Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale
Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 Category 5
Related classifications
Tropical storm: Tropical depression
Rollover for details




  • 1921, August 20; The remnants of an unnamed tropical cyclone tracked northward into western Arizona from central Baja California generating rainfall of up to 2 inches in the deserts and southern mountains of southern California on the 20th and 21st. This occurred during the La Niña of 1920-21.[Ref]
  • 1921, September 25-30; An unnamed tropical storm crossed the Baja California peninsula southwest of Yuma and moved up the Colorado River Valley. Several stations along the Colorado River reported in excess of three inches of rain, including 3.65 inches at Yuma. Other amounts included 1.50 at Flagstaff, 1.24 at Prescott, 0.68 at Tucson, and 0.56 at Phoenix.
  • 1926, September 20-25; An unnamed tropical storm moved into the Gulf of California and came ashore on the western coast of Mexico. Over five inches of rain fell in extreme southeast Arizona in the vicinity of Douglas.
  • 1927, September 7-12; An unnamed hurricane moved into the Gulf of California and came ashore on the western coast of Mexico. One to two inches of rain was reported over much of Arizona.
  • 1929, June; The Atlantic hurricane reanalysis project discovered that a rare Atlantic hurricane reached the eastern part of Arizona as a tropical depression. Damage from this storm, if any, is unknown.
  • 1932, September 27-29; A tropical cyclone which began south of Tehuantepec on September 25, caused destructive rains in the Tehachapi mountains of southern California. This cyclone remained 60 to 120 miles (100 to 200 km) offshore until it reached the head of the Sea of Cortez on the 29th and dissipated in the southwestern desert. 0n the last three days of September, Truxton, Arizona, had 2.27 inches of rain, Fort Mojave 2.32, and Payson 1.50 inches. In California, Tehachapi had 4.38 inches in 19 hours, but Los Angeles had only 0.14 and Santa Barbara 0.11 inches. [Ref p14]
  • 1935, August 22; An unnamed tropical storm caused above normal rainfall in practically all sections of the state resulting from a moist flow of air from out of the south augmented by a tropical storm that hit the coast of southern California. In Santa Marguerita, 4.10 inches occurred in about an hour and a half on the 22nd and a total of 9.09 inches fell during the month. The heavy rains resulted in numerous flash floods in ordinarily dry washes which caused considerable loss of life and property. On the 31st, flood waters overwhelmed sections of the Rillito Valley and significant damage occurred at other localities between Tucson and Nogales. This storm produced flood peaks of 13,400 ft3/s and 10,300 ft3/s on Rillito Creek and the Santa Cruz River at Tucson, respectively. August 1935 was the wettest August recorded at the Tucson NWSO station in history (5.610 inches). [Ref p10]
  • 1939, September 4-6; An unnamed hurricane came ashore on the Baja California peninsula southwest of Yuma. In excess of 5.00 inches of rain fell in northwest Arizona. Other amounts included 2.55 at Prescott, 1.41 at Tucson, 1.37 at Flagstaff, and 1.09 at Phoenix.




  • 1951, August 24-28; An unnamed hurricane came ashore on the Baja California peninsula southwest of Yuma. In excess of 5.00 inches of rain fell in southwest Arizona. Other amounts included 4.00 at Flagstaff, 3.95 at Prescott, 3.24 at Phoenix, and 1.55 at Nogales, Arizona,. Severe flooding is reported, and Gila Bend is cut off from motor travel as bridges and roads are washed out. Damage in 1951 dollars exceeds $750,000.
  • 1958, October 5-6; An unnamed hurricane originating off the west coast of Mexico passed over Tucson area.[Ref]




  • 1962, September 25-27; The remnants of Tropical Storm Claudia caused severe flash flooding in and around Tucson. Up to seven inches of rain fell in the desert just west of Tucson near the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. Flood waters inundated Marana and Sells, Arizona. Tucson, Arizona.[Ref]
  • 1964, September 9: Tropical Storm Tillie, the storm remained at sea, but its residual moisture advanced over southern Arizona, allowing a passing cold front to trigger widespread showers and thunderstorms on the evening of September 9. Tucson received 3.05 inches (77 mm) of rainfall in a 24-hour period between September 9-10, and two locations-one in the Catalina Mountain foothills and one near Sahuarita recorded 6.75 inches (171 mm) of precipitation. Coupled with rain during the previous week, the Santa Cruz River produced heavy runoff, with peak flows of 15,900 ft3/s (450 m3/s) recorded near Cortaro.
  • 1965, September 30; The remnants of Hurricane Emily crossed into Arizona from Baja California. Any damage from the storm is not known.
  • 1966, September 29, The remnants of Tropical Storm Kirsten produced only spotty heavy rain in southeast Arizona. Nogales, Arizona, received 1.26 inches of rain.[Ref]
  • 1967, August 29-September 2; Hurricane Katrina came up the Gulf of California and came ashore south of Yuma. Over 2.00 inches of rain fall in southwest Arizona with lesser amounts elsewhere.
  • 1968, August 20; Tropical Storm Hyacinth reached the southeastern corner of the state as a tropical depression, and produced showers and thunderstorms over the eastern portion of the state.
  • 1968, October 3; Hurricane Pauline, added high amounts of moisture ahead of a cold front in early October. The added instability in the atmosphere allowed the cold front to produce severe thunderstorms, including an F2 tornado that wrecked several homes and caused $250,000 (1968 USD) in damage when it touched down in Glendale, AZ.




  • 1970, August 31 - September 5; Tropical Storm Norma, with 23 associated deaths in Arizona, was the deadliest storm in Arizona's history. More commonly known as The Labor Day storm of 1970, the remnants of Tropical Storm Norma caused severe flooding in central portions of Arizona. There are 23 deaths in central Arizona, including 14 from flash flood on Tonto Creek in the vicinity of Kohl's Ranch. Total rainfall at Workman Creek, about 30 miles north of Globe in the Sierra Ancha mountains, is 11.92 inches, with 11.40 inches falling in 24 hours. Other rainfall amounts include 9.09 at Upper Parker Creek, 8.74 at Mount Lemmon, 8.44 at Sunflower, 8.08 at Kitt Peak, 7.12 at the Tonto Creek Fish Hatchery and 7.01 inches at Crown King.[Ref]
  • 1971, October 1; The remnants of Hurricane Olivia produced over 2 inches (51 mm) of rainfall across Arizona, triggering flash flood warnings throughout the region. Pinal Ranch reported 5.33 inches (135 mm) of precipitation, while Mount Lemmon measured 3.81 inches (97 mm). Olivia's remnants also caused three major power outages near Yuma and produced flooding that resulted in the closure of a portion of U.S. Route 95. In Navajo and Pinal counties, the rainfall damaged roads, bridges, sewers, and homes, which amounted to about $250,000 in repair work for the state of Arizona.[Ref]
  • 1972, October 4 through 7 1972; Tropical Storm Joanne (earlier a Category 2 hurricane) moves across the Baja California peninsula and came ashore in western Mexico south of Ajo, Arizona. The storm brings heavy rain and flooding to much of the state. It is the first documented time that a tropical storm reaches Arizona with its cyclonic circulation intact. Heavy rains fall over much of the state with severe flooding in the Clifton, Duncan and Safford areas. Over 5.00 inches of rain is reported on the Mogollon rim southeast of Flagstaff. Rainfall amounts included 4.44 at Flagstaff, 3.80 at Prescott, 2.21 at Yuma, 1.95 at Phoenix, 1.63 at Nogales, Arizona,, and 1.63 at Tucson.
  • 1976, September 10 and 11; The remnants of Hurricane Kathleen move across Baja and into southern California near El Centro. With its circulation still intact, tropical storm force winds produce considerable damage in Yuma. Sustained winds exceed 50 mph, and gusts as high as 76 mph in Yuma. One man is killed as a 75 foot palm tree crashes onto his mobile home. Severe flooding occurs in Mohave County. Residual moisture brings more severe thunderstorms to the state on September 24 and 25. The Tucson area is particularly hard hit with flash flooding and hail as large as golf balls. Hail covers the ground to a depth of 5 inches on Mount Lemmon.
  • 1976, October 2; The remnants of Hurricane Liza (earlier a Category 4 hurricane) brought light rain to the state, with the state maximum being 1.48 inches (38 mm) on Willow Beach, AZ.
  • 1977, August 13-18; Hurricane Doreen paralleled the west coast of Baja before dissipating west of San Diego. Severe flooding occurs in Yuma County, and around Bullhead City. Rainfall in Yuma totals 2.96 inches. Severe flooding also occurred in California's Imperial Valley.
  • 1977, October 4 through 7 1977; The remnants of Hurricane Heather produces heavy rain and major flooding over extreme southern Arizona. 8.30 inches of rain fell at Nogales, Arizona, with as much as 14 inches in the surrounding mountains.




  • 1983, September 28 - October 7; Tropical storm remains, including those from Tropical Storm Octave, caused heavy rain over Arizona during a 10 day period. In southeast Arizona, Yavapai and Mohave counties are particularly hard hit. Severe flooding occurs in Tucson, Clifton and Safford. Fourteen deaths and 975 injuries are attributed to the flooding. At least 10,000 Arizonans are left temporarily homeless. Damage in today's dollars is estimated at $370 million. Rainfall amounts include 9.83 at Nogales, Arizona,, 6.67 at Safford, 6.40 at Tucson, 3.93 at Flagstaff, 2.65 at Phoenix, and 2.62 at Prescott.
  • 1984, September 25; The remnants of Hurricane Norbert (earlier a Category 4 hurricane) entered Arizona as a weakening tropical depression. Sustained winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour (30 to 50 km/h) were recorded in the Tucson area. Modest rainfall occurred throughout south-central to northeast Arizona, with most locations reporting between 1 to 2 inches (25 to 51 mm) of rain. However, Kitt Peak reported a 30-hour storm rainfall total of 4.15 inches (105 mm).
  • 1984, October 3; The remnants of Hurricane Polo caused about 1 inch (25 mm) of rain over southern and eastern Arizona, with Nogales reporting 1.93 inches (49 mm) of precipitation.
  • 1987, October 13; Nurricane Ramon peaked as a Category 4 storm on October 9 of the coast of Mexico. After peaking, Ramon turned to the northwest and rapidly weakened over cooler waters, Ramon weakened into a tropical storm on October 11 and a depression on October 12. The remnants of Hurricane Ramon produced heavy rainfall that caused flooding in California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, southwestern Colorado and as far inland as Utah.[Ref ]
  • 1989, Sept. 25-Oct. 5; Hurricane Raymond was a Category 4 hurricane with highest sustained winds of 145 mph (230 km/h). There was one fatality and $1.75 million (1989 USD) in property damage. Raymond affected Baja California Peninsula, northeastern Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. Raymond made landfall on the Baja California Peninsula as a tropical storm late on October 4 and a second landfall in Sonora, Mexico. Tucson, Arizona recorded 4.5 in (110 mm) of rain that caused flash flooding and landslides. [Ref]




  • 1990, June 11; The moisture from Hurricane Boris produced 3.28 inches (83 mm) of rainfall on the Santa Rita Mountains.
  • 1990, August 4-9; The remnants of Hurricane Diana entered Arizona and quickly dissipated. Moisture from the storm dumped nearly 3.5 inches (99.9 mm) of rain in Maricopa County and created one of the coolest August days in the history of Phoenix. Desert Hill received 3.42 inches (86.9 mm) in less than 2 hours.[Ref] About two-thirds of Sacaton, Arizona, was inundated with at least 3 feet (0.91 m) of water.[Ref]
  • 1990, October 1; In an area already experiencing above-normal rainfall, the remnants of Tropical Storm Rachel produced additional precipitation in New Mexico, Arizona, and western Texas.[Ref]
  • 1992, August 22-24; Hurricane Lester, reached the state as a tropical storm, and caused over 5 inches (130 mm) of precipitation near Phoenix and Tucson. The center of circulation of Lester passed near Tucson on August 24, producing sustained winds of 31 mph (50 km/h) at Tucson International Airport; the airport also reported gusts of up to 45 mph (72 km/h), and a drop in central barometric pressure to 999 mbar (29.52 inHg). Irving, AZ, received 5.27 inches of rain. Much of the rest of Arizona reported over 1 inch (25 mm) of rain as a result of Lester, with a peak precipitation measurement of 5.5 inches (140 mm) at Cascabel. Lester entered New Mexico as a tropical depression. Lindrith, NM, received 2.17 inches of rain. [Ref ]
  • 1993, August 27; The remnants of Hurricane Hilary caused flash flooding in Pima County after 3.75 inches (95 mm) of rain fell on Green Valley, and 3.50 inches (89 mm) of precipitation was recorded at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
  • 1995 August 11; The remnants of Hurricane Flossie dumped over 3 inches (76 mm) of rain over Tucson; one woman died as she tried to cross a flooded stream, and 11 other motorists were stranded in the city. Damage from the storm in Arizona totaled $5 million (1995 USD).
  • 1995, Sept. 12-16; Hurricane Ismael was a Category 1 hurricane with highest sustained winds measured at 80 mph (130 km/h). There were 116 fatalities and $26 million (1995 USD) in property damage. Ismael made landfall near Topolobampo, Sinaloa, Mexico. Ismael moved northeast bringing heavy rainfall to the New Mexico/Texas border. Hobbs, New Mexico recorded 8.53 inches (217 mm) of rain, while in Lubbock, Texas, the rainfall led to flash flooding, closing many intersections and roads. In southwestern Oklahoma and northern Arkansas, the remnants of the storm produced over 3 inches (76 mm) of rain. [Ref]
  • 1997, September 25 and 26; The remnants of Hurricane Nora (earlier a Category 4 hurricane) moves up the Colorado River. The center of the storm passes directly over Yuma where wind guests as high as 54 mph are recorded. Significant flooding occurs across western Arizona. A total of 11.97 inches of rain fell in 24 hours on top of Harquahala Mountain, breaking the 24 hour record at Workman Creek set during the 1970 Labor Day Storm. A total of 3.59 inches of rain fell at the Yuma Airport. The average annual rainfall in Yuma is 3.17 inches. Nora also caused 12,000 people to lose electric power in Yuma. Nora is believed to be the strongest tropical storm to strike Arizona, as it produced sustained winds of 50 to 60 mph (80 to 97 km/h) over Yuma. Nora caused $150-200 million (1997 USD) in agricultural losses in Arizona. [Ref ]
  • 1998, August 9; The remnants of Tropical Storm Frank produced up to 2 inches (51 mm) of rainfall in parts of the state.
  • 1998, September 5; The remnants of Hurricane Isis dropped more than 2 inches (51 mm) of rainfall across southern Arizona, resulting in some flash flood warnings and flooding on roadways. Isis produced up to 3 inches (76 mm) across the Santa Catalina and Rincon Mountains that surround Tucson. However, there was no flooding reported in the area, and Tucson International Airport reported only 1.1 inches (28 mm) as a result of the storm.




  • 2000, October 11; The remnants of Tropical Storm Olivia produced heavy flash floods in spite of the storm having lost tropical characteristics while located 600 miles (965 km) west-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur. The remnant low was captured by an extratropical cyclone, producing widespread heavy rains, with 1.5 to 4 inches (38 to 102 mm) of rain falling over most of southeastern Arizona; Hereford saw 8.64 inches (219 mm) of rain.
  • 2001, October 3; Hurricane Juliette (earlier a Category 4 hurricane) dissipated in the Gulf of California, and brought only trace amounts of rainfall to the southern half of the state; the largest amount recorded occurred near Patagonia, where 0.90 inches (23 mm) fell. [Ref]
  • 2003, August 25; The remnants of Hurricane Ignacio produced rainfall over southern Arizona. About 40 residences in Catalina were evacuated due to the risk of flash flooding after 2 inches (51 mm) of rain fell over the Aspen Fire burn area.
  • 2003, September 22; The remnants of Hurricane Marty brought locally heavy rains to extreme southwestern Arizona; there were no reports of flooding from the storm. The highest rain total was 2.83 inches (72 mm) at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Rainfall extended eastward into New Mexico and Texas. Glenwood, New Mexico, received 1.06 inches (27 mm) and 3.09 inches (78 mm) of rain occurred in Tankersly, Texas.[Ref 1] [Ref 2]
  • 2004, September 20; The remnants of Hurricane Javier (earlier a Category 4 hurricane) produced heavy rain throughout the state, helping to alleviate a prolonged drought in the Southwestern United States. The heaviest rainfall occurred at Walnut Creek, which saw a total of 7.00 inches (178 mm) of precipitation during the storm.[Ref ] The Tucson International Airport saw rainfall of 0.37 inches (9.4 mm), while the University of Arizona reported 0.89 inches (23 mm) of rain. The rain from Javier flooded several roads in the city and, combined with frequent lightning, forced the university to delay one of its football games.
  • 2006, July 25; The remnants of Tropical Storm Emilia produced an influx of tropical moisture over Arizona, triggering a week-long period of disturbed weather. On July 25, a slow-moving severe thunderstorm dropped several inches of rainfall in a few hours, causing the closure of Interstate 19 when a wash flooded the roadway with running water 8 inches (200 mm) deep. The same storm also produced hail with a diameter of 1.75 inches (44 mm) north of Rio Rico, and 1 inch (25 mm) in Patagonia, and the size of a nickel in the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation. The next day, another thunderstorm near Elfrida also produced 1-inch (25 mm) hail. After one week of widespread rainfall over southeastern Arizona, extensive flooding began to occur. Mount Lemmon saw a 7-day rainfall total of 11.10 inches (282 mm); Rillito Creek near the Catalina Mountains recorded a record flow of 30,000 cu ft/s (850 m3/s). Other streams in the area also saw record flooding, and the Santa Cruz River exceeded flood stage in Marana. The floods caused $4 million (2006 USD) in damage.
  • 2006, September 5; The remnants of Hurricane John (earlier a Category 4 hurricane) produced about 1 inch (25 mm) of rain over Cochise County.
  • 2007 September 6, The remnants of Hurricane Henriette produced flooding over Cochise County. One woman died after trying to cross a flooded wash near Sierra Vista.
  • 2008, July 23; Hurricane Dolly was a category 2 hurricane that made landfall as a tropical storm on the Yucatán Peninsula near Cancún, Mexico, early on July 21, 2008. The storm moved into the Gulf of Mexico and strengthened to become a Category 2 hurricane before weakening and making landfall as a Category 1 storm on July 23, 2008, in South Padre Island, Texas. There were no deaths as a result of Hurricane Dolly in Texas. Damage is estimated at $1.05 billion. The remnant low of Dolly caused Flash flooding in El Paso, Texas, and river flooding on the Rio Ruidoso in the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico. Sunspot, NM, Received 8.53 inches of rin. Dolly also caused rainfall in the eastern portion of Arizona, with 1.49 inches (38 mm) falling southwest of Portal, AZ.[Ref] The remnants of the storm caused two deaths in New Mexico. [Ref]
  • 2008, August 25; Moisture from Tropical Storm Julio developed thunderstorms across Arizona, including one near Chandler which produced winds of 75 mph (120 km/h); the storm damaged ten small planes at Chandler Municipal Airport, as well as a hangar. The damages at the airport were estimated at $1 million (2008 USD). The storms also dropped heavy rainfall, reaching over 1 inch (25 mm) in Gilbert, Arizona.
  • 2009, September 5; The remnants of Hurricane Jimena (earlier a Category 4 hurricane) moved over Arizona. Near Walapai, water, rock, and other debris covered many roads. In Riviera, southwest of Bullhead City, seven mobile home trailers were blown away with many others receiving some damage due to 80 mph (130 km/h) wind gusts. In the same area, four people were hurt and total damage was $500,000. North of Mohave Valley, mudslides caused two homes to be destroyed, with 9 others receiving moderate damage, and 16 others receiving minimal damage. Total damage was estimated to be at $600,000. In Laveen, 0.9 inches (23 mm) of precipitation fell in a 90-minute period. In Quartzsite, washes overflowed their banks, causing street flooding, and $30,000 in damage. In Tanca, 1 inch (25 mm) of precipitation fell within a 30-minute period, thus causing minor flooding with one road being washed out. Damage from that flood totaled $30,000. Yuma also reported 1.62 inches (41 mm) of rain from the cyclone. On the afternoon of September 5, a haystack caught fire due to lighting, and was eventually responsible for an additional $20,000 in damage.




  • 2013, September 3; Moisture from the remnants of Tropical Storm Juliette fueled the monsoon across the southwestern United States, producing scattered showers and thunderstorms.
  • 2014, September 8; The remnants of Hurricane Norbert produced record-breaking rainfall throughout the central portion of the state. Chandler received 6.09 inches (155 mm) of precipitation, while Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport recorded 3.30 inches (84 mm) of rainfall over a seven-hour period, breaking the 75 year old daily rainfall record. Two women died; one in Pinal County and one in Tucson; both were swept away by floodwaters in their vehicles. Waters in Tucson reached as deep as 15 feet (4.6 m). Total damage in Maricopa and La Paz Counties amounted to $17.4 million.
  • 2014, September 18; The remnants of Hurricane Odile (earlier a Category 4 hurricane) brought heavy rainfall to southeastern Arizona.
  • 2015. June 5; The remnants of Hurricane Andres brought thunderstorms to Arizona, with Phoenix having measurable precipitation on that date for the first time since records began in 1896.
  • 2015, June 9; The remnants of Hurricane Blanca brought record-breaking rainfall to many Arizona cities, including Tucson and Yuma.
  • 2015, July 18; Some of Hurricane Dolores's moisture and remnants were directed into Arizona, bringing showers and thunderstorms. Up to 1 inch of rain was recorded in some places. The heavy rain triggered some flash floods and mudslides near Phoenix.
  • 2016, September 7; The remnants of Hurricane Newton combined with an upper trough moving over the Rockies brought very heavy rains to the southwestern United States. [Ref] Heavy rainfall peaked at 5.67 in (144 mm) at Miller Carr Canyon in southeastern Arizona. A swift water rescue occurred on South Burro Drive south of Ramsey Road in Hereford, Arizona. Two people and their dog were rescued when their vehicle was washed down a low water crossing. [Ref] Rainfall in New Mexico peaked at 3.43 in (87 mm) near Texico, the highest in that state. [Ref ]


  1. Wikipedia: List of Arizona hurricanes
  2. NOAA Top Arizona Hurricane/Tropical Storm Events


For more information:


USGC - Flood Mark
  • 1862, January 19-23; The flood of January 19-23, 1862, affected the Gila and Colorado Rivers and were severe at Yuma. The Verde and Bright Angel basins experienced a wet year, but the upper Salt River basin did not experience a wet year.
  • 1891, February 18-26; The Salt River at Phoenix had a peak discharge of 300,000 ft3/s. This was the largest recorded flood in Arizona history and was preceded by high streamflow in 1890. The river became 2-3 miles wide and extended 2 miles north of the channel in central Phoenix. The flood resulted from a series of frontal systems from the Pacific Ocean that caused extensive concurrent flooding in southern California. Although probably widespread in the Central Highlands of Arizona, the extent of flooding is mapped only along major rivers because too few people lived in other areas to provide consistent reports of flooding.
  • 1905, November 27-30; The area from the San Francisco to Verde Rivers were affected by several moderate to severe floods, particularly at Phoenix and along the lower Gila River.
  • 1916, January 19-22; The Central Highlands region was affected. Intense rain fell on melting snow producing large flows in central Arizona. There were 4 deaths associated with the storm and $300,000 in damages.
  • 1921, August 21; Phoenix (Cave Creek), six inches of rain in 2 days flooded 4,000 acres and the State capitol building. Damage from this storm was $240,000.
  • 1926, September 27-29; Flooding along the San Pedro River was caused by a Mexico Tropical storm. Peak flow 2-3 times larger than any other in 70 years. Damage from this storm was $450,000.
  • 1941, March 14-15; One of several storms that caused general runoff and filled reservoirs in Central Arizona.
  • 1962, September 26-28; Flooding occurred along the Brawley and Santa Rosa Washes. There was 1 death associated with the storm and $3 million in damages, mostly to agriculture near Casa Grande.
  • 1965, December 22 to Jan. 2 1966; Flooding occurred along the Verde, Salt, and Gila Rivers and Rillito Creek. This was the first large flow through Phoenix since reservoirs were built on Verde River (1939). Damage from this storm was $10 million.
  • 1966, December 5-7; Storms across the area from the Grand Canyon to southwestern Utah caused mudflows and channel erosion damaging to Indian ruins that had been undisturbed for 800 years.
  • 1970, September 5-7; On Labor Day weekend, floods occurred in recreation areas of Tonto Creek to Hassayampa River. Even though reservoirs stored most of the runoff, there were 23 deaths associated with the storm and $8 million is damages.
  • 1972, October 17-21; Foods along the Upper Gila River were caused by a Tropical storm. There were 8 deaths associated with the storm and $10 million is damages.
  • 1974, July 17; The flood in Holyoke Wash near Safford was the largest recorded rainfall in Arizona occuring in an area of less than 1 square mile. The thunderstorm produced a flow of 1,740 cubic feet per second from 0.85 square mile.
  • 1977, October to February 1980; There were seven regional floods that affected nearly all the people of Arizona. Five of the floods had recurrence intervals of at least 25 years in some part of the State. Many areas were affected by several of the floods, and Phoenix received Federal flood disaster assistance funds three times within 24 months. By March 1979, floods on the upper Salt and Verde Rivers had caused $230 million in damage and filled reservoirs upstream from Phoenix (Aldridge and Eychaner, 1984; Aldridge and Hales, 1984).
  • 1980, February 13-25; These floods impacted more residents in Arizona than the 1977 floods. Six storms during 9 days moved from the Pacific Ocean into southern California and Arizona. Daily rainfall quantities in Arizona were not extraordinary, but the total volume of runoff far exceeded available reservoir capacity. The peak discharge of the Salt River at Phoenix was 170,000 ft3/s, which was greater than any previous flow since 1905. The flood caused $80 million in damage (Chin and others, 1990).
  • 1981, July 26; Sunday about 100 people were playing in the water at Tanque Verde Falls, a series of waterfalls in a small canyon about 15 miles east of Tucson (The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson: August 9, 1981). A small thunderstorm that could not be seen from the canyon caused the water level to rise 4 feet and the discharge to increase from 50 to about 1,500 ft3/s in about 1 minute (Hjalmarson, 1984). Eight people were killed. A gaging station 1.5 miles downstream recorded a peak discharge of 836 ft3/s, and the flow was unnoticed near Tucson, where the stream spreads into a wide sand channel. Peak discharges was larger than that of July 26, 1981, at the gaging station in 18 of the previous 25 years. Even more striking was the fact that the discharge rose to 5,000 ft3/s on the Saturday morning before the tragedy and 6,700 ft3/s on Thursday night afterward. These larger peaks were not noticed by the public and caused no damage because no one had been at risk on the canyon streambed when the peaks occurred.
  • 1983, June 20 to Aug. 17; Flooding from the Santa Cruz to San Francisco Rivers. Record floods on 18 streams; there were two peak discharges that doubled 65-year-old records. There were 8 deaths, and $226 million is damages.
  • 1983, October 1-3; The regional flood of October 1-3, 1983 caused $226 million in damage in southeastern Arizona (Roeske and others, 1989). Moisture from Tropical Storm Octave, which dissipated off the west coast of Mexico, moved northeastward across Arizona for several days. Rainfall was most intense in a narrow band from south of Tucson to Clifton. Peak discharges on the Santa Cruz River at Tucson and on Aravaipa Creek were more than twice those observed in the previous 65 years. Recently installed soil-cement streambank reinforcement helped to limit damage in Tucson; nonetheless, several buildings were lost to erosion. Large areas northwest of Tucson were inundated as flood waters from the Santa Cruz and Gila Rivers spread across flat fields. The flood was the largest on record at San Francisco River at Clifton but was only 1 of 12 floods that have inundated the town since it was established in 1870 in a canyon on a narrow flood plain (Hjalmarson, 1990). Flood-protection structures protect Clifton from small and medium floods, but almost the entire town can be damaged by any flood that overtops the floodwalls.

Source: NATIONAL WATER SUMMARY 1988-89 / Hydrologic Events and Floods and Droughts [PDF] pp 182-185

Note: See Hurricanes for other flood events caused by Tropical Storms.


For more information:

Winter Storms


Regional snowfall index (RSI)[Ref-1] [Ref-2]

Category RSI Value Description
1 1—2.999 Notable
2 3—5.99 Significant
3 6—9.99 Major
4 10—17.99 Crippling
5 18.0+ Extreme


  • 2009, December 7-8; Blizzard conditions occurred at the highest elevations in Northern Greenlee County with very strong winds and limited visibility. Over 20 inches of snow fell.
  • 2010, January 21-22; An exceptionally strong Pacific storm system impacted southeast Arizona. Widespread heavy valley rain and higher elevation snow affected all of southeast Arizona. The storm produced a significant wind event, with strong and damaging winds reported at many locations, along with areas of blowing dust. Heavy rainfall and melting snowpack produced some flooding of area streams and washes, and the combination of heavy snow and strong winds produced blizzard conditions on the highest elevations at times. Also, several severe thunderstorms produced wind damage during the evening of the 21st. Blizzard conditions existed in Northern Greenlee County that received 12 to 20 inches of snow with low visibility and strong winds. The telescopes on Mt. Lemmon at 9100 feet had at least 12 inches of snow. Up to 36 inches of snow occurred at the top of Mt. Graham with wind gusts of 60 to 80 mph, which led to near zero visibilities in blowing snow. Blizzard conditions occurred on the mountains above 7000 feet in Santa Cruz County, and on Chiricahua Mountains in Cochise County. Mormon Lake received a total of 14 inches, Flagstaff Airport 12 inches, Munds Park and Bellemont 11 inches of snow.[Ref]
  • 2010, Feb 1-6 - The February 5-6, 2010 North American blizzard formed on February 1, 2010 and moved ashore on the West Coast near Baja California Sur, Mexico, and moved north east. The storm moved off the east coast on Feb 6, 2010. The storm brought a mixture of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and flooding, in Mexico the heavy rains resulting in at least 15 fatalities. The storm affected Arizona and New Mexico from February 1 to 4 with up to 1 foot of snow in the mountains east of Albuquerque, New Mexico. On February 4, Oklahoma and northern Texas saw rain and snow, with severe thunderstorms further south. Feb. 4 brought widespread rainfall totals of 1 inch to 4 inches of rain in portions of Central and Southern Mississippi. Jackson, MS, broke a daily rainfall record with 2.51 inches (6.4 cm) of rainfall. On Friday Feb, 5., power outages affecting about 40,000 customers, were reported in the North Carolinas mountain counties as the winter storm brought a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain to much of the state. A drenching rain fell early Friday in the Charlotte, NC, and in Atlanta, GA, which transitioned to a few inches of snow later in the day. Several inches of snow accumulated farther north. To the north, Howard, MD, received 38.3 inches of snow, while Washington Dulles International Airport measured 32.9 inches. Fatalities occurred in Mexico, New Mexico, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland. The storm was classed as a Category 3 ("major") nor'easter and severe weather event. [Ref]

For more information:
  • NOAA - Know Your Winter Weather Terms
  • Wikipedia: winter storm
  • Wikipedia: Ice storm
  • Wikipedia: Northeast Snowfall Impact Scale
  • Wikipedia: List of NESIS storms
  • Wikipedia: Regional Snowfall Index
  • Wikipedia: List of Regional Snowfall Index Category 5 winter storms
  • The 10 Worst Blizzards in US History
  • Major Winter Storms
  • 10 Biggest Snowstorms of All Time
  • The Top 10 Biggest Snowstorms Ever Recorded
  • The Nation's 10 Worst Ice Storms
  • 8 Inches of Ice? Record Freezing Rain Accumulation
  • Feb. 1899: The Worst Cold Snap in North American History

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