Meteorologists are forecasting heavy rains for the entire state today through early Wednesday. A flash flood watch has been issued for several counties, including Gila.
"What we are looking at is several troughs moving through the area and some moisture coming up from the south. We are expecting fast-moving thunderstorms in a sheet of clouds and a lot of rain in some locations," Meteorologist Robert Bohlin of the Flagstaff office of the National Weather Service said.
"The moisture is coming out of the Gulf of California, but then there are also a series of upper level troughs moving from the west to the east, and that combination is highly favorable for precipitation, if everything goes according to plan," Bohlin said.
Bohlin said where exactly the rains will hit is still unknown, but said the Rim country looks like a promising target.
"It will be hit or miss, depending on where these thunderstorms develop so it's hard for us to pin down exactly the trouble spots, but our models are looking at anywhere from one to three inches," Bohlin said. "Depending on where the convection actually hits will be where the heavy rain occurs."
While some storms have the potential to be severe, flooding is the concern.
"We are expecting some areas to get hail, but for the most part we are looking for a rain event," Bohlin said. "People should be prepared for a lot of rain."
Roosevelt gets pummeled
Early reports from the Department of Public Safety indicate that rainfall totals of up to 6 inches fell in the Roosevelt Lake area early this morning.
"I talked to one of my officers who said that the area around Roosevelt Estates by the Spring Creek Store is flooded," DPS Sgt. John Whetten said. "He heard the golf course was destroyed, homes have been flooded, and that portions of Highway 188 are washed out."
Whetten said that Highway 288 to Young is closed.
Mike Foss, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Flagstaff said that Doppler radar is indicating heavy rain over the Roosevelt area.
"The radar was estimating four to six inches over a wide area there," Foss said. "It looks like rain will continue for most of the day."