PHOENIX — The last day of 2014 was plenty snowy in northern Arizona, and closer to Phoenix, the town of Wickenburg had the makings for many snowmen.
Parts of the Flagstaff area had between 5 and 12 inches of snow as of Wednesday
afternoon, according to the National Weather Service. But the Flagstaff airport
reported 12.7 inches.
Other areas also had a visit from the snow fairy.
— AZWeatherChick (@AZweatherchick) December 31, 2014
Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Raul Garcia said officers
started the day responding to dozens of incidents involving vehicles colliding
or sliding along freeways. No fatalities have been reported, he said. Most
of the incidents occurred near the city of Kingman along Interstate 40 and other
The eastbound lanes of Interstate 40, which connects Kingman to Flagstaff, was
shut down where it connects with U.S. 93. It has since reopened.
A winter storm warning was in effect until midday Thursday for northern and
eastern parts of the state, along with the mountains in the southeastern
Sedona, known for its red rocks, got 7 inches of snow on the west side. Cities
in Yavapai county also got 2 or more inches of snow. The community of Ash Fork
received a foot.
People planning to head from the Phoenix area north to Las Vegas for New Year’s
Eve were out of luck Wednesday morning. The Arizona Department of Transportation
closed northbound traffic lanes on U.S. 93, the highway connecting the two cities,
in Wikieup because of poor driving conditions, but it reopened by mid-afternoon.
In suburban Phoenix, some residents got a rare sight of snow by Wednesday
afternoon. National Weather Service meteorologist Mark O’Malley said said north
Scottsdale and Cave Creek, just north of Phoenix, received a light dusting.
“It wasn’t a substantial amount,” O’Malley said. “Some of those locations
could still get more snow for the remainder of the day. It just looks kind of
weird to see snow on a bunch of cactus.”
The majority of people in Phoenix should expect light rain and chilly
temperatures, according to the Weather Service. An overnight freeze warning has
been issued for the city.
“Cover the plants, make sure you get your pets inside, take any precautions
you normally would,” O’Malley said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.