Rare tornado hits Willcox, Arizona
Remnants of Hurricane "Lorena" brought floods, strong winds, and a very rare tornado to Arizona on September 23, 2019.
The tornado hit the city of Willcox late September 23, injuring 2 people, NWS confirmed. The agency rated it as EF-1 with speeds of 145 to 160 km/h (90 to 100 mph), a path length of 2.8 km (1.75 miles) and width of 530 m (0.33 miles).
According to Ken Drozd with National Weather Service (NWS) in Tucson, Arizona receives an average of four tornadoes per year and typically these are dust devils that have been sucked into a thunderstorm which also do not leave much destruction.
The tornado approached the Cave Creek and New River areas near Phoenix on the afternoon of September 23. According to the NWS, they issued a tornado warning for the first time in five years.
NEW footage of today’s brief #tornado forming in New River, Arizona! (Just north downtown of Phoenix)
Timelapse sent in by: Mindee A.#weather #wx #azwx #stormhour pic.twitter.com/8Ix8WPaA6j
— Nash from Nashville (@NashWX) September 23, 2019
VIDEO: Tornado touches down in New River during Monday storms: https://t.co/aiS4BcUtHu #abc15 pic.twitter.com/ARkxaw90al
— ABC15 Arizona (@abc15) September 23, 2019
"Now, in this case, we had a descending tornado that you would more typically see in the central Plains," Drozd added.
"It's coming right at us, honey."
A weak tornado touched down in Arizona on Monday as major storms moved through the Phoenix area. On average, the state sees about 4 to 5 twisters per year. https://t.co/rJetg5ngDU pic.twitter.com/b314AQCULd
— ABC News (@ABC) September 24, 2019
Over 1 800 customers lost electricity, while one resident reported that around 40 trees were uprooted in his area.
The remnants of Lorena not only produced tornadoes but also floods and strong winds. On the same day, a school bus with 120 children onboard was trapped in floods in the Phoenix area.
#Breaking SFMD crews have just rescued a mother and her small child from a flooded wash in the area of McKellips & Main Dr. This is the fifth water rescue call this morning in Apache Junction. pic.twitter.com/nvgPICnK1D
— SFMD (@sfmd_az_gov) September 23, 2019
According to Battalion Chief Kevin Spirlong of the Surprise, Arizona Fire Department, all children have been rescued safely. Following this, schools in Apache Junction were suspended early at 11:45 LT.
Emergency personnel reportedly conducted at least five water rescues in Apache Junction, which is about 58 km (36 miles) east of Phoenix.
LIVE STREAM – Arizona,
Water rescues in progress as 1-3" in less than 6 hours has caused widespread flash flooding east of Phoenix #azwx https://t.co/zdr4JRTpr1 pic.twitter.com/LqEmB6OfKd
— Weather Webcam (@ActiveWxCams) September 23, 2019
"Moisture from the remnants of former eastern Pacific Hurricane Lorena has pushed into southern Arizona where it's interacting with a strong jet stream disturbance," Weather.com Meteorologist Chris Dolce stated.
Wow. This is a look at flooding in Apache Junction. @abc15 pic.twitter.com/Y3lVYDgqcl
— Nick Ciletti (@NickCiletti) September 23, 2019
MAJOR flooding in Apache Junction! Avoid the area. Some cars caught up in flood waters. #azwx #azfamily pic.twitter.com/8yuJaneeWU
— Ian Schwartz (@SchwartzTV) September 23, 2019
"That setup is triggering the development of numerous showers and thunderstorms in southern and central Arizona, which could cause more flash flooding through early Tuesday. Severe thunderstorms with damaging winds and large hail are also a potential threat."
Storms are expected to continue through Thursday, September 26.
Lorena formed on September 17 and intensified into a hurricane on September 18 near Colima, Mexico. This was the 14th storm of the 2019 Pacific hurricane season.
Pressure from flood waters brought down this brick wall behind a home at Golden Days Mobile Home Park after heavy rains in Apache Junction. @abc15 pic.twitter.com/quLAYG8mHC
— Claudia Rupcich (@ClaudiaRupcich) September 23, 2019
WOW. This gas station awning COLLAPSED at Signal Butte & Apache Trail in #ApacheJunction @abc15 pic.twitter.com/KVHRY5gtdg
— John Genovese (@JEGenovese) September 23, 2019
WHOA! Check out that shelf.
This was the scene from #Arizona on Monday. Parts of #Phoenix saw flooding and even a #tornado! pic.twitter.com/cTt5eXKNya
— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) September 24, 2019
Featured image credit: National Weather Service
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Your support makes a difference
Dear valued reader,
We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.
The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.
If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.
Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.
Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.
Commenting rules and guidelines
We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:
We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.
This was so crazy..wind just picked up hail started hitting the windows then I got a message on my phone that said Tornado warning in your area..ran to my closet and prayed to Jesus then it stopped. Praise Jesus no one was killed.
Hoping everyone there is doing well and recovering quickly. Being a person raised in Bowie and have had lived in Willcox, it kind of shocked me to know there was another tornado in the Willcox area. The first one, that I remember, was in 2003/4 when it tore the roof off a bar. Weather is changing.