Snow in Flagstaff coming down hard during major winter storm

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - The snow is coming down in Flagstaff on Tuesday, and some areas are already seeing 2.5+ inches of snow.

There are a few updates you need to know about if you are in Flagstaff or are headed that way.

Snowfall started Tuesday morning, and by 11 a.m., there was already an inch of snow in the Flagstaff area.

Snow plows have been clearing the roads throughout the day.

Since the snow got a lot stronger as the day went on, Flagstaff Unified School District (FUSD) canceled all after-school activities and late buses. Parents should check their email for more updates from the school district.

As for Feb. 7, FUSD announced all schools will be closed. That food service and before and after school activities.

Road Conditions

  • Call 511 anywhere in Arizona or 1-888-411-ROAD (7623)

  • az511.com

So far, road closures include a seven-mile stretch of Lake Mary Road, also known as Forest Highway 3. The closure will be from the north entrance and the south entrance of Mormon Lake.

That's about 35 miles southeast of Flagstaff.

Perkinsville Road at White Horse Road is also closed.

"I love it. This is the first time I have ever seen snow like this. I was telling the squad this morning I have never experienced anything like this. Born and raised in SoCal, so this is so foreign, but it's so fun to me too," a visitor named Paul Garcia said.

"I'm going to hide inside," Liv Orischak said. She's also visiting northern Arizona.

"We have to walk around though, which is a bummer. I'm from the snow. I don't want to be in the snow. I thought I came here to be warm," he said.

If you are headed to Flagstaff, drive slowly and carefully. A few crashes have already been reported along I-17.

Leave prepared before heading north

As snow falls in the high country, the Arizona Department of Transportation is reminding drivers who are heading north to never park along highways to play in the snow.

Use the highway shoulders for emergencies only. Parking on them to play in the snow is hazardous in the following ways:

  • Other drivers may be distracted by your vehicle.

  • Other drivers may pull over as well to play in the snow, compounding the problem.

  • Your vehicle may interfere with first responders who need to use the shoulder.

  • Plows can throw snow and ice far off highways.

  • It’s much safer to re-enter highways from on-ramps and other designated entrances

"Also, it’s not uncommon for lots of desert dwellers to take the opportunity to head north to play in the snow. So, remember to pack your patience and expect to spend extended time in your vehicle getting to and from snow play areas."

ADOT's suggestions for items to take along:

  • Warm clothing and blankets

  • A fully charged mobile phone and charger

  • Flashlight with extra batteries

  • Drinking water

  • Healthy snacks

  • First-aid kit and necessary medications

  • Ice scraper

  • Small bag of sand or kitty litter for wheel traction

  • Small folding shovel for snow removal

  • Travel tool kit and battery cables

  • Safety flares

  • Plastic bags or containers for sanitation

  • Road map(s)

ADOT says you and your vehicle must be prepared for driving in wintry conditions, including snow, ice and freezing temperatures.

  • Get plenty of rest

  • Plan your route in advance and notify someone about your route, destination and arrival time

  • Take frequent breaks from driving

  • Make sure your fuel tank is at least half to three-quarters full at all times

  • Use snow tires, chains or studded tires as recommended or required. Studded tires are permitted on Arizona highways from Oct. 1 to May 1.

  • Ensure your wipers, window defroster, headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals work

  • Change your motor oil to a winter grade

  • For electric or hybrid vehicles, be sure the battery has sufficient voltage and the connection cables are tight

Get more safety tips at https://azdot.gov/KnowSnow

For Flagstaff area snow-play locations, see FlagstaffArizona.org's Winter Recreation Map or call 844-256-SNOW.