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May is looking like March in Flagstaff -- and the National Weather Service in Bellemont is right in the middle of it.

The most recent storm to roll through the Flagstaff stalled over the Weather Service office early Friday, dumping more than 8 inches of snow into its gauge through 5 p.m. 

"It's always good to see rain and snow this late in the season," said Brian Klimowski of the National Weather Service. "Every storm we get like this helps push back the onset of our fire season."

Meanwhile, just to the east, Flagstaff's Pulliam Airport recorded just 0.3 inches of snow along with a half-inch of rain.

The snow was coming down so fast early Friday morning that snowplows were dispatched to the I-40 and I-17 corridors.

By Friday evening, the storm was still lingering over the western Mogollon Rim, causing the Weather Service to extend its winter weather advisory to 8 a.m. Saturday. Up to 2 additional inches of snow was forecast overnight, with 5 more inches in the White Mountains.

The Flagstaff airport has seen more than 3 inches of snow on May 15 or later only a handful of times.

Flagstaff and Bellemont have similar climatology, but a cold trough settled over Bellemont overnight and left just traces of snow in Flagstaff on Friday.

By this time last year, many northern Arizona cities and forests had fire restrictions in place.

Flagstaff averages about 1.5 inches of snow in May, but Klimowski said "to see heavy snow in late May is rather uncommon." He said Flagstaff could end up with about 4 inches of snow by the time the storm is done.

The latest snowfall on record for the Flagstaff airport is June 8 more than 100 years ago.

The mountain city is still well below the average 102 inches of snowfall for the season at 62 inches.

Friday's snowfall didn't cause any major problems. A travel center in Bellemont was without power for about three hours after a transformer blew, but Arizona Public Service Co. said it couldn't say definitively whether it was caused by the weather.

Sunday will be sunny with a high near 60 degrees, but two more weak fronts are expected to move through Flagstaff early and later next week.

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