Heavy rainfall expected in Northern Utah, flash flood watch issued

Tropical Storm Rosa fills washes in Tucson area

Swells associated with the tropical storm are already impacting coastal Mexico and Southern California, and are likely to continue creating unsafe surf and boating conditions here through Tuesday or Wednesday.

Phoenix firefighters rescued at least six people including a small child from vehicles trapped in a flooded intersection caused by rain from the remnants of a tropical storm.

It was packing maximum sustained winds 35 miles per hour (55 kmh) but was expected to weaken and become a remnant on Tuesday, the center said. Parts of Colorado and northwestern New Mexico could also be affected.

Flash Flood Watch is in effect thru 5 am Wednesday.

There could be periods of sunshine, but he doesn't expect the area to dry out.

Flash flood watches were in effect in parts of Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah.

Meteorologist Jaret Rogers says Phoenix received more than 2 inches (5 centimeters) of rain, making it the city's second wettest October day on record.

Private homes are more protected now from flood risk than they were earlier this summer because homeowners have cleared ravines and put in berms and other defensive elements around structures, he said. "Those planning to be outdoors next week should keep an eye on the weather forecast and make contingency plans", the NWS said. But some areas could see between 2 to 3 inches.

Several schools also were closed because of rains and related power outages.

The weather service said a record 2.35 inches (5.97 centimeters) of rain had fallen at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport as of Tuesday night.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency Tuesday evening in advance of potential flooding from the remnants of Rosa.

The Maricopa County Flood Control District reported no immediate reports Tuesday morning of flash flooding in the county that includes most of metro Phoenix.

Though Hurricane Rosa diminished to a tropical storm over the weekend, forecasters said Monday it will bring flooding rains to Mexico and the U.S. Southwest. The National Weather Service's office in Flagstaff warned residents to avoid the state's famous slot canyons and any campsite near creeks. Yuma, Arizona, the USA's driest city with only about 3.6 inches of rainfall a year, could see almost that much in the next couple of days.

Given Arizona's terrain, heavy rainfall poses an unusual set of problems.

"Rosa brought more rain in just the past two days (Monday and Tuesday) then what we saw for the monsoon season this year", said Andrew Deemer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix. Isolated areas might see even more precipitation.

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