City of Flagstaff: Due to the forecast intensity of this weekend’s winter storm the Flagstaff Aquaplex will close at 7p.m on Saturday and will open at Noon on Sunday. At this time, the Jay Lively Activity Center and the Flagstaff Recreation Center will remain on a regular weekend schedule.
Statement from Flagstaff Fire Chief Mike Iacona The National Weather Service is predicting another significant winter storm to impact the Flagstaff area this weekend. The most intense period of the storm will be felt during the nighttime hours beginning Saturday from approximately 9PM until early Sunday morning, approximately 6AM. This will be a rapidly moving storm that will have much colder temperatures and high winds. Snowfall totals throughout the event are expected in the 12-18 inch range. Because this is a much colder event the snow accumulations are expected to contain less moisture than last week’s storm. Snow loads for this storm is expected to be in the 5-8 lbs per square foot range. Last weeks storm produced snow loads in the 8-12 lbs range. Depending upon the amount of dissipation of the previous snowfall on your roof, the maximum snow loads would be in the 12-20 lbs per square footfor the combined storm totals.
Driving conditions are expected to be extremely hazardous during Saturday night and into Sunday morning. Travel during this period should be limited as wind gusts of up to 40MPH combined with periods of heavy blowing snow will make driving conditions extremely hazardous. Temperatures during this event will be in the mid-20 degree range with the lowest temperatures dropping to about zero early Monday morning. The storm is expected to move through the area rapidly, and it is expected there will be limited snowfall occurring during the day on Sunday.
From the Arizona Department of Transportation: With a forecast of more heavy snow falling in the state’s high country this weekend, drivers are advised to be prepared in case closures of Interstates 17 and 40 are necessary due to safety concerns.
The National Weather Service has advised ADOT that heavy snow can be expected between midday Saturday and Sunday as another winter storm system crosses Arizona.
ADOT and the Arizona Department of Public Safety anticipate closures of I-17 and I-40 will occur if heavy snow creates conditions that are deemed hazardous. Snow also is forecast at lower elevations, which could affect other highways in areas such as the Verde Valley, Prescott and Gila County – including Globe.
Last weekend’s storm forced closures of northbound Interstate 17 between the State Route 179 interchange, or Sedona turnoff, and Flagstaff after several incidents, including vehicles sliding off the highway.
A stretch of eastbound Interstate 40 also was closed between Kingman and Ash Fork during the storm due to a fatal crash involving two commercial trucks. In addition, SR 89A between Flagstaff and Sedona and US 180 about 15 miles northwest of Flagstaff were closed due to heavy and drifting snow.
ADOT has more than 160 snowplows that operate within its northern and eastern Arizona districts. Snowplow operators in the Flagstaff region will again be prepared to work 12-hour shifts while clearing snow and ice from state highways.
As with all winter storms, ADOT’s first priority is to keep Interstates 17 and 40 open to traffic. However, if blowing and drifting snow become severe and conditions are deemed too slippery, those busier routes can be closed.
Drivers who travel in winter conditions are urged to reduce their speeds and give themselves extra distance when following other vehicles.
ADOT recommends drivers stay up to date on both weather and highway conditions before heading into the high country once this weekend’s storm arrives. Drivers can log on to ADOT’s Travel Information site at www.az511.gov or call 5-1-1 for highway condition information. You also can track major highway conditions atwww.twitter.com/ArizonaDOT.
Drivers can find safe driving tips and a list of items to have in your vehicle when heading into winter conditions on ADOT’s “Know Snow” website at www.azdot.gov/KnowSnow.