Record-breaking snowfall blankets northern Arizona
More than 2 feet of snow fell over two days across parts of northern Arizona, becoming the 25th largest snow event in Flagstaff history and breaking the record for single-day snow accumulation on Sunday.
The Flagstaff Airport measured 14.8 inches on Sunday, smashing the previous record of 8.9 inches that held for 45 years. As snow continued to fall, accumulation eventually reached 30 inches at the airport by Tuesday morning.
The last time Flagstaff saw a storm of this magnitude was in late January 2021 when officials measured a 33.2-inch snowfall.
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The areas impacted by the storm were expansive, said meteorologist Benjamin Peterson, including most areas at elevation above 5,500 feet, stretching from the northern rim of the Grand Canyon east to the White Mountains.
But the heaviest snow hit the Williams, Parks and Flagstaff area before tapering off to the east and south, Peterson said.
"We were definitely in the center of this one," he said.
Snow plows worked nonstop to clear roadways since the snow first started to fall on Saturday evening, but driving conditions are still hazardous, especially on side streets.
In addition to some road closures, the intense snowfall also prompted closures throughout the city. Northern Arizona University canceled classes Monday through Wednesday due to the inclement weather, delaying the start of the school's spring semester.
Flagstaff Unified School District also closed schools on Tuesday as snow continued to fall and road conditions remained questionable.
Further, the Flagstaff City Council meeting scheduled for Jan. 17 was conducted virtually after the city closed all administrative offices and non-essential facilities with the intention to reopen Wednesday.
Another storm is in the forecast later this week and could bring an extra 4 to 5 inches of snow to Flagstaff with potential snowfall stretching down toward the Valley by Friday morning, Peterson said.
Contact northern Arizona reporter Lacey Latch at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media @laceylatch. Coverage of northern Arizona on azcentral.com and in The Arizona Republic is funded by the nonprofit Report for America and a grant from the Vitalyst Health Foundation in association with The Arizona Republic.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Record-breaking snowfall blankets northern Arizona