Tropical Storm Odile is trucking through the Gulf of California this afternoon after striking the Baja Peninsula as a major hurricane on Sunday night. The storm's remnants will move into the southwestern U.S. over the next few days, potentially creating a repeat of last week's major flash flooding.
The agency's latest rainfall forecast map shows the potential for more than nine inches of rain near Tucson. To put that in perspective, the city normally sees between eleven and twelve inches of rain every year, so the Tucson area could see 75% of its yearly rainfall in just a couple of days.
Odile's atmospheric setup is widely being compared to what happened with the remnants of Hurricane Norbert last week, when atmospheric moisture reached record levels for this time of the year and resulted in major flash flooding across the region. The event produced the most rainfall ever recorded in Phoenix in one 24-hour period.
Judging by the current forecasts, Odile's rains could match or even exceed those seen with the remnants of Norbert. Folks who live in areas prone to flooding should review their plans in case a storm sets up overhead and produces copious amounts of rainfall in a short period of time. It's also a great reminder not to drive through a flooded roadway. It doesn't take much swiftly-moving water to create a lethal situation to both pedestrians and drivers, and no matter how well you know the road on which you're driving, it's almost impossible to tell how deep the water is until you're in it and it's too late.
Flash flood watches and warnings are issued by local National Weather Service offices. Here's a handy link list of NWS offices in the areas expected to see heavy rainfall: