A storm system is forecast to slam into the state of Arizona on Tuesday night, sending a hurricane-force winds of at least 200 kilometres per hour, with temperatures likely to rise as high as 100 degrees Celsius.
More than 80 per cent of Arizona’s metropolitan area is forecasted to be under the storm’s influence.
More: “We are expecting to see a very severe thunderstorm, with maximum winds of 120 kilometres per day (75mph) in some areas,” said Mark Barden, an official with the National Weather Service.
“We’re seeing some severe damage to our homes, our businesses, and a lot of damage to infrastructure and infrastructure around the state.”
“It’s going to be a huge amount of damage,” he said.
The system will move at a speed of about 50 kilometres per second (30 mph) and will be headed west towards the southern tip of the US state of New Mexico, which is one of Arizonaís most densely populated areas.
“It’ll hit the coast, and there will be a lot more damage,” Barden said.
“But the question is, what’s going on in the interior of the state and how much of that damage is going to affect the rest of the country?”
He added that the storm will be “very violent”, with up to 20 centimetres of rain falling in the most populated areas, and some of the storm surge could be as high up as 20 metres (66 feet).
“This storm is a monster, but it is not an apocalyptic storm,” he added.
“The best thing we can do is be ready for it, but we don’t have to be in a hurry.”
The US weather bureau, which issued a warning to the US public in February about the possibility of a damaging storm, warned that “severe thunderstorms and storm surges” were possible and that the weather system was likely to move in “a very dangerous direction” across parts of the south and southwest.
Barden said the storms would be “severe” because of the strength of the rain that is expected.
“This is the strongest we’ve seen in Arizona in some time,” he told Al Jazeera.
“The storm system will be moving at a fast pace.
It’s going east and west.
There are storms moving up from the west.
Temperatures in Arizona could soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) with gusts of up to 100 kilometres per minute (62 mph).”
There will be some very, very large storms coming up.”
Temperatures in Arizona could soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius) with gusts of up to 100 kilometres per minute (62 mph).
More: “There is going of a lot higher wind speeds than we’ve had in the past,” Breen said.
“This storm has already been quite severe.”
Arizona was hit by a series of devastating tornadoes in the early 1900s, but Barden says the current weather system is a different beast.
“Tornadoes are not a big problem anymore,” he explained.
“In the past, tornadoes were very large, but this storm is about the size of a football field and it’s not going to come through Arizona in one piece.”
The National Weather Center, which provides warnings to the public, issued a red alert on Tuesday warning people of the possibility that “extreme thunderstorms” could develop in Arizona.
“A significant storm is expected to impact Arizona, and we do not expect it to be severe,” it said.
A National Weather Services storm chaser, who has worked on several tornadoes, told the Arizona Republic newspaper that “the strongest winds and strongest thunderstorms have been recorded so far.”
“This system is extremely dangerous,” he stressed.
“It’s a tornado, it’s a monster and it is going down the track we’ve been looking at for months.”