It has been 40 days since Payson saw a drop of rain much less a flutter of snow.
But a series of weather systems this weekend could finally bring relief.
Normally, Payson gets 2.5 inches in January: This year, not a trace so far.
The National Weather Service says the region will have three chances for rain this weekend. The first storm was to arrive late Thursday night, but forecasters say the Sierra Mountains would rob much of the storm’s moisture before it reached northern Arizona. Still, that leaves a 50 percent chance for rain Friday.
That storm will exit Arizona Friday night, but another system is trailing right behind, bringing another chance of more shower activity and cooler temperatures.
Finally, a third storm system may arrive late Sunday and last into Monday, keeping temperatures in the upper 40s.
Flagstaff will set a new record if it can stave off rain until Friday.
The town will then have gone 40 days without precipitation, the longest dry spell in the winter season in recorded history, according to the Arizona Daily Sun.
Ahead of the storm, the Weather Service issued a wind advisory for northern Arizona Thursday evening, with some areas seeing 50 mph wind gusts.
In the meantime, Roosevelt Lake has dwindled to just 48 percent of its capacity at a time of year it normally starts to fill up.
On Thursday, the Salt River where it flows into Roosevelt was flowing at just 78 percent of normal — about 280 cubic feet per second.
Tonto Creek had just 22 percent of normal, about 10 cubic feet per second.
However, the Verde River at Tangle was flowing at 81 percent of normal, or about 252 cubic feet per second.
Overall, northern Arizona got about half its normal rainfall in January. Still, that’s better than California — which has received about 20 percent of normal.