{{featured_button_text}}

1 a.m. Update: The National Weather Service reported a total of 35.9 inches of snow fell at the Flagstaff Airport on Thursday to set the single-day record for the city. The more than 100-year record was previously set in 1915 with 31.0 inches.

Including Wednesday night's snowfall, the current storm has dropped nearly 38 inches as of midnight. A report from Kachina Village measured 41 inches of snow at 12:03 a.m. Friday morning.

Another 4 to 8 inches were expected overnight, with another 3 to 5 inches expected on Friday before tapering off in the late afternoon.

11:00 p.m. Update: The following roadways remain closed due to the winter storm:

  • I-17 northbound at State Route 179, milepost 298
  • Both directions of State Route 87 between Payson and Winslow
  • Both directions State Route 260 between Star Valley and Heber-Overgaard, mileposts 256-302, and eastbound State Route 260 east of milepost 228 near Interstate 17
  • Both directions of SR 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff, mileposts 375-398
  • US 60 between Superior and Miami and between State Route 73 and Globe
  • State Route 77 between Globe and Winkelman
  • State Route 177 between Superior and Hayden

7:45 p.m. Update: Joining the city of Flagstaff and Coconino County, all Mountain Line transit and Mountain Lift paratransit services will be canceled Friday, Feb. 22. Administrative offices will also be closed.

During the closure, Mountain Line staff will continue to clear bus stops to make them accessible when service resumes. The Mountain Line Facebook and Twitter (@FLGMountainLine) will be updated on Saturday morning with service plans for the day.

5:55 p.m. Update: As of 5 p.m. snowfall at the Flagstaff Airport totaled 31.6 inches, surpassing the previous all-time daily record of 31 inches set in 1915, the National Weather Service in Flagstaff reported. The record will continue to increase with additional snowfall before midnight.

Total storm count for Wednesday and Thursday is at just over 33 inches.

A report from Kachina Village included a total of 36 inches of snow in the past 24 hours. For continuing reports, visit: weather.gov/source/crh/snowmap.html?sid=fgz

4:53 p.m. Update: NAU has canceled all Friday classes for its Flagstaff, Navajo, Yavapai and Mohave campuses. Coconino Community College has also cancelled is Friday classes.

4:30 p.m. Update: The Coconino County Board of Supervisors are expected to affirm a State of Emergency Declaration on Tuesday, Feb. 26. Chairman of the Board Art Babbott initially signed the declaration on behalf of the Board Thursday afternoon.

The declaration allows the county manager additional flexibility to deploy resources throughout the county. For example, the county can deliver services such as road maintenance operations on non-county roads to allow emergency service personnel access to perform life and safety checks for county residents.

County offices closed late Thursday, remaining closed through the weekend, and will reopen Monday, Feb. 25. Court services, including the County Attorney’s Office and the Clerk of the Court, will operate with minimal staffing on Friday.

Most of the ADOT Motor Vehicle Division offices affected by the storm will remain closed Friday due to continued poor driving conditions in the region.

The closures remain in effect for MVD offices in Flagstaff, Holbrook, Kingman, Payson, Prescott, Show Low, Tuba City, Window Rock and Winslow.

Locations in Chinle, Cottonwood, Globe and Page are scheduled to open at 9 a.m. Friday, but road tests will not be offered. Customers may check periodically at azdot.gov/mvd for more updates.

Additionally, the following highway closures remain in effect:

  • I-17 northbound at State Route 179, milepost 298
  • I-40 eastbound at State Route 95, with traffic detouring south on SR 95
  • Both directions of State Route 87 between State Route 188 and Payson, mileposts 238-250, and between Payson and Winslow, mileposts 254-337
  • Both directions State Route 260 between Star Valley and Heber-Overgaard, mileposts 256-302, and eastbound State Route 260 east of milepost 228 near Interstate 17
  • Both directions of SR 89A between Sedona and Flagstaff, mileposts 375-398

3:30 p.m. Update: Coconino Community College will remain closed Friday, Feb. 22, as a result of the expected record-breaking snowfall. Based on the expected overnight snow according to the National Weather Service, administrative staff at CCC decided to keep all college locations closed.

Flagstaff Unified School District, Northland Prep Academy, Flagstaff Arts and Leadership Academy, Basis Flagstaff and Page Unified School District all previously canceled Friday as well.

3:00 p.m. Update: The National Weather Service in Flagstaff reports heavy snowfall rates of around 3 inches per hour is expected to continue along the Mogollon Rim from Flagstaff to Show Low for the next several hours. Totals up to a foot of new snow during the next four hours will not be uncommon.

According to NWS snow reports, 31 inches had fallen in Kachina Village as of 2:17 p.m. For updated reports, visit: weather.gov/source/crh/snowmap.html?sid=fgz.

While the city of Flagstaff reported that plows are unlikely to make it into neighborhoods until Friday, Flagstaff's Mountain Line said it will be on a similar schedule for clearing its stops as it prioritizes its connection centers clear.

The Arizona Department of Transportation reports the I-17 northbound is closed at SR 179, north of Camp Verde, due to the storm.

Northbound traffic will be diverted onto SR 179. SR 89A is also closed in Oak Creak Canyon, motorists cannot access Flagstaff via SR 89A.

1:20 p.m. Update: Flagstaff Unified School District announced it will close for the second straight day due to the snow. For further updates, visit: fusd1.org/snow

Due to the increased snowfall, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is warning backcountry mountain travelers to be alert for potential avalanche hazards on the San Francisco Peaks. The existing snowpack, wind and a large amount of new snow could produce hazardous conditions in the backcountry. This includes the side-country bordering the Arizona Snowbowl Ski Area.

Avalanche mitigation and patrolling is conducted within the Arizona Snowbowl, but there is no avalanche control or routine patrolling in the forest outside of the Snowbowl. Anyone traveling into the backcountry should be prepared for the current conditions. Avalanches most commonly occur during a storm or within 24 hours of the storm ending, though unstable conditions may continue beyond the initial time frame.

Backcountry users can obtain Snowpack Summary which outlines possible snowpack hazards from the Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center at www.kachinapeaks.org

Additionally, there are current highway restrictions around Arizona:

  • I-40 eastbound was closed at SR 95 in northwestern Arizona, with traffic detoured south on State Route 95.
  • State Route 89A just outside of Flagstaff was closed between mileposts 375-398.
  • US 93 was closed northbound at SR 71 near Wickenburg.
  • State Route 260 was closed in both directions between Star Valley and Heber-Overgaard. SR 260 eastbound was closed at milepost 228 east of I-17.
  • State Route 87 southbound was closed just south of Payson at milepost 250.
  • State Route 87 was closed from Payson to Winslow, mileposts 254-337.

To stay updated on all highway closures, restrictions and conditions, check ADOT’s Twitter account (@ArizonaDOT) or calling 511.

12 p.m. update:

As the snow continues to come down Thursday afternoon, meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Belmont are predicting the storm could surpass the record snowfall during a single calendar day in Flagstaff.

The record was set in December 1915 when the city received 31 inches of snow in a single day, said NWS meteorologist Jonathan Suk.

As of 11:49 a.m. the Flagstaff area had received 23.8 inches of snow with an additional 10 inches expected before midnight. The projected total would make for about 32 inches of snow fall in a single calendar day, surpassing that  all-time the record set over 100 years ago, Suk said.

The current 23.8-inch total also far surpasses the record snowfall for the calendar day of Feb. 21 by over 12 inches. The record snowfall for Feb. 21 was logged at 10 inches in the year 1944.

And Flagstaff is not alone Suk added. Prescott may also see record breaking snowfall for a single calendar day. That record was set in December 1967 when Prescott received 17 inches of snow. Suk said this storm is nearing that amount.

With the new expected total, Suk said the storm is bringing somewhat more snow than first predicted. Suk said this is partially because the storm is moving slower than NWS first believed, allowing more time for snow to fall over northern Arizona.

“This storm has been a real active changer,” Suk said, adding that this makes it more difficult to predict.

This also means the storm may start approaching the record amount of snow fall for Flagstaff in a two-day period, Suk said.

That record is 51 inches and Suk said they are expecting about 48.7 inches of snow by the end of the storm. Despite all the snow, Suk said residents shouldn't be too worried about the kind of flooding some parts on northern Arizona saw last week.

Thanks to the cold temperatures, Suk said, the snow will be able to settle and will begin to melt slowly. Flooding will only be a worry, Suk said, if the area experiences another warmer storm that brings rain.

“But we aren't seeing that one two punch,” Suk said.

CLOSURES

  • Flagstaff City Hall will close at 1 p.m. today.
  • All City trash and recycling collection is cancelled for the remainder of the day. Collection will likely not resume until Saturday.
  • Mountain Line is operating on a weekend schedule. Service is hourly on all regular routes and every 20 minutes on Route 10. Delays are possible.
  • Both Flagstaff Athletic Club locations will close at 2 p.m. today.
  • Flagstaff Pulliam Airport closed its runway at approximately 10:30 a.m., cancelling all incoming and outgoing flights. There is no indication of when the airport will reopen.
  • Page Unified School District

HIGHWAYS AND ROADS

  • 11 miles of southbound 89A switchbacks are closed between milepost 387-398 due to winter weather.
  • SR 87 is closed from Payson to Winslow due to snow and ice. This is from mileposts 254-337.

Subscribe to Daily Headlines

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.
6
1
9
0
1

Load comments