Tuesday’s Tucson Forecast: Rain’s on the way. Just how much?

Much needed rainfall is in the forecast.

A storm system spinning over the California coast cranks up gusty winds this afternoon. Expect southerly gusts up to 20 MPH. Highs reach the low 70s today under partly cloudy skies.

Subtropical moisture surges into the Sonoran Desert starting tomorrow. Tucson stands a 40% chance of afternoon showers Wednesday, increasing to 100% Wednesday night through the first half of Thursday. Highs struggle to reach the low to mid 60s for the middle of the work week.

While confidence is high in rain chances, just how much rain may fall is the big question.

Models are at odds over where the cutoff line for 1″+ rain will end up. At the moment, Tucson could pick up 0.30-0.75″ rain between Wednesday and Thursday. Greatest rainfall totals appear to be east of Tucson, while lighter amounts could fall west of the metro.

Thanks to the warm subtropical nature of this storm system, snowfall levels likely stay high. Accumulating snow should be confined to areas above 8,000 feet, with Mount Lemmon possibly picking up 2-5″. 

Rain chances decrease to 30% on Friday, then 10% for the upcoming weekend. Highs approach the upper 60s to low 70s.

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