There is a winter storm warning posted for Flagstaff. It is below. But, what if it didn’t come together as promised. Is that even possible? The National Weather Service has the following forecast for downtown Flagstaff:
If you add up the snowfall amounts from Wednesday to Thursday, the totals come to 7-14 inches. This is in the 1 inch of water range. I think this could happen and that it is important for the National Weather Service to project it. They are responsible for helping us prepare for bad weather. Hats off to them for being very active in the social media about this storm.
The problem is that this storm is heavily dependent on timing. The low pressure system needs to develop over Arizona at the same time that a burst of moisture makes its way up to Arizona from the tropics. After watching the computer models over the last few days, I am very tempted to side with AccuWeather‘s slightly lower forecast of 5-12 inches or even Wunderground‘s lower forecast of 5-8 inches. Most of the models are heading in the 3/4’s of an inch of water range which fits the lower predictions. Still, I am concerned that everything will come together, but over Eastern Arizona, not Central Arizona.
I recommend taking this storm seriously. It could be our biggest one for the season.
URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FLAGSTAFF AZ 523 AM MST TUE DEC 30 2014 AZZ004>009-015-016-018-037-038-302230- /O.NEW.KFGZ.WS.W.0001.141231T1200Z-150102T0000Z/ KAIBAB PLATEAU-MARBLE AND GLEN CANYONS-GRAND CANYON COUNTRY- COCONINO PLATEAU-YAVAPAI COUNTY MOUNTAINS- NORTHEAST PLATEAUS AND MESAS HWY 264 NORTHWARD- WESTERN MOGOLLON RIM-EASTERN MOGOLLON RIM-NORTHERN GILA COUNTY- YAVAPAI COUNTY VALLEYS AND BASINS-OAK CREEK AND SYCAMORE CANYONS- INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...FREDONIA...PAGE... GRAND CANYON VILLAGE...SUPAI...PRESCOTT...FLAGSTAFF...PAYSON... SEDONA 523 AM MST TUE DEC 30 2014 ...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 5 AM WEDNESDAY TO 5 PM MST THURSDAY FOR NORTHWEST ARIZONA ABOVE 3500 FEET ELEVATION... THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN FLAGSTAFF HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 5 AM WEDNESDAY TO 5 PM MST THURSDAY. * TIMING...WIDESPREAD SNOW WILL INCREASE FROM WEST TO EAST ON WEDNESDAY. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED TO FALL FROM MID MORNING WEDNESDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY NIGHT...TAPERING OFF TO SHOWERS ON THURSDAY. * GENERAL EVENT TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS...6-14 INCHES ARE EXPECTED AT ELEVATIONS ABOVE 5000 FEET IN THE WARNED AREA...WITH 2-6 INCHES BELOW 5000 FEET. * SNOWFALL FORECAST FROM 5 AM MST WEDNESDAY UNTIL 5 PM MST THURSDAY... CHINO VALLEY 4 TO 6 INCHES COTTONWOOD 1 TO 3 INCHES DONEY PARK 7 TO 11 INCHES FLAGSTAFF 9 TO 13 INCHES FOREST LAKES 13 TO 19 INCHES FREDONIA 4 TO 8 INCHES GRAND CANYON 9 TO 13 INCHES HEBER-OVERGAARD 6 TO 10 INCHES JACOB LAKE 9 TO 15 INCHES PAGE 4 TO 6 INCHES PAULDEN 4 TO 6 INCHES PAYSON 5 TO 9 INCHES PINE-STRAWBERRY 8 TO 12 INCHES PRESCOTT VALLEY 4 TO 8 INCHES PRESCOTT 4 TO 8 INCHES SEDONA 3 TO 6 INCHES SELIGMAN 5 TO 9 INCHES VALLE 6 TO 10 INCHES WILLIAMS 9 TO 15 INCHES * OTHER IMPACTS...THIS IS A COLD SYSTEM...AND SNOW WILL FALL TO THE VALLEY FLOORS BY THURSDAY MORNING. BE PREPARED FOR HAZARDOUS WINTER DRIVING CONDITIONS ON ALL ROADS IN NORTHERN ARIZONA DURING THIS EVENT. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING...DUE TO SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW AND STRONG WINDS PRODUCING LIMITED VISIBILITIES. DRIVING WILL BE EXTREMELY DANGEROUS DURING THIS STORM. FOR THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS AND CLOSURES...CALL THE ADOT FREEWAY MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AT 1 888 411 7623 OR VISIT THEIR WEB SITE AT WWW.AZ511.COM. ADDITIONAL WEATHER INFORMATION IS ON THE WEB AT WWW.WEATHER.GOV/FLAGSTAFF.