Spring snow, record-breaking cold expected for northern Arizona

Spring snow, record-breaking cold expected for northern Arizona

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May Showers

Snow accumulates across the grounds of the Riordan Mansion State Park during Monday afternoon’s snowstorm.

The National Weather Service has predicted a record-breaking cold front and snowstorm will move across northern Arizona late Wednesday into early Thursday, bringing unusually cold weather and snow along with it.

The Arizona Department of Transportation officials are advising travelers and commuters using roads and highways to be prepared for potentially hazardous driving conditions through Thursday morning due to a late-season snowstorm. The department advises drivers to slow down and to consider delaying travel until plows have cleared highways.

The weather system is expected to break daily records set on May 22 across the region. The weather service predicted Flagstaff's high temperature for Wednesday to be 46 degrees. The coldest recorded high for the day was 50 degrees, set in 2008.

The weather service also expects snow to fall late Wednesday into early Thursday. In Flagstaff, the weather service predicts different areas will experience two to four inches of snow and rain.

They added that the snowfall will be heavier above 6,500 feet.

In other regions like Page, Payson, Prescott, Seligman and Grand Canyon Village, the weather system is expected to break daily records. Seligman had the oldest record for lowest high for May 22, set in 1975 at 63 degrees. Seligman is expected to have a high of 52 degrees.

Additionally, the cold weather of northern Arizona has benefited people living down in the Valley.

According to a media release from the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the hot weather that is normally expected in May has not been able to form due to the weather systems in northern Arizona.

Hot weather in the Valley normally worsens air quality due to the presence of ozone pollution. According to the department, Phoenix was predicted to have an ozone of 51 parts per billion Wednesday, which was the second lowest ozone value recorded in the Valley on May 22.

"So far this year, ozone has only exceeded the federal health standard in Phoenix two times," the department wrote. "By this same time last year, Phoenix had exceeded it 11 times."


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