At 2:40pm Central time two severe thunderstorms were in the Phoenix Metro area with hail and very strong winds. The Terminal Doppler Weather Radar shows a downburst occurring with winds in excess of 50 mph in some spots (below). The burnt orange colors are strong winds blowing toward the north and northeast and the greens along I-10 are moderate winds blowing toward the south.
The National Weather Service has had timely warnings for these storms. In the pre-Doppler era, that likely would not have been the case.
UPDATE: 2:50PM CENTRAL, hail to at least 1″ in diameter has been reported in north Phoenix. A “ground stop” has been put into effect at Sky Harbor Airport. There are now some flights that will be delayed by more than one hour. There are also reports of trees uprooted and people trapped in cars due to trees falling on them.
A flash flood warning has been issued for the Phoenix area until 5pm MST (7pm Central).
UPDATE: 6:50PM CENTRAL. Two reports of 2″ hailstones in south Phoenix. The pink color near downtown is the area of large hail at update time. Also, reports of more than two inches of rain in the southeast part of the Phoenix Metro area. Flash flooding is being reported.