Winter weather creates hazardous driving conditions in northern Arizona

Feb 8, 2024, 10:43 AM | Updated: 8:36 pm

PHOENIX – Multiple highways were closed in northern Arizona on Thursday as winter weather created hazardous driving conditions for a second consecutive day.

With significant snowfall expected throughout the day, the following weather-related road closures were in effect as of 8:30 p.m., according to the Arizona Department of Transportation:

  • Eastbound Interstate 40 at US 93 (milepost 72).
  • Eastbound I-40 at Ash Fork (milepost 146).
  • Westbound I-40 in Williams (milepost 161).
  • Westbound I-40 in Winslow (milepost 252).
  • State Route 87 southbound in Winslow (milepost 338).
  • SR 87 northbound in Payson (milepost 255).
  • State Route 89A in both directions between Flagstaff and Sedona (mileposts 375-398).
  • State Route 260 in both directions between Camp Verde and State Route 87 (mileposts 219-252 and 257-304).
  • SR 64 east of Grand Canyon National Park (mileposts 242-276).

The National Weather Serviced discouraged travel along I-40 between Ash Fork and Flagstaff and I-17 between Flagstaff and Stoneman Lake.

SR 64 has been closed since Tuesday night. By late Wednesday morning, ADOT had implemented 10 freeway and highway closures. All of those closures, except for SR 64, were lifted by Wednesday afternoon.

Flagstaff is experiencing an active snow season

The snow continues to pile up in Flagstaff — which already has received about 60 inches this season, about 7 inches above normal — and across the northern part of the state.

Another 10-16 inches was expected to fall in northern Arizona’s largest city Thursday.

Northern Arizona University canceled in-person classes after 10 a.m. and closed the Flagstaff campus for the rest of the day.

A winter storm warning and winter weather advisory were in effect for much of the high country through Thursday night, with significant accumulations anticipated in altitudes above 6,000 feet and snow levels dropping to around 4,500 feet.

The heaviest activity was expected Thursday afternoon, followed by an evening break and then more snowfall Friday afternoon into Saturday.

Here’s what to do when driving through a winter storm

ADOT said anyone who needs to travel during the winter storm should do a few things before hitting the roads: Plan the travel route, fill the fuel tank to at least three-quarters full, let someone know where you’ll be and pack a winter travel emergency kit.

Items to include in the kit are a road map, healthy snacks, safety flares, a small folding shovel, an ice scraper and a first-aid kit.

Other tips include never attempting to pass a snowplow and always maintaining a distance of at least four car lengths behind it.

Get the latest KTAR News 92.3 FM traffic alerts sent straight to your phone by texting “TRAFFIC” to 411923.

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Winter weather creates hazardous driving conditions in northern Arizona