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Thundersnow And Strong Winds In Arizona Forecasts

Flagstaff residents woke up to more than five inches of snow this morning. As more storm cells make their way across northern Arizona, Robert Bohlin with the National Weather Service in Flagstaff said there could be four more inches by midnight Monday. 

He also said the storms moving though could also bring along a sound not normally associated with a snowstorm. 

“Thundersnow happens occasionally. It’s unusual for us, but it does happen on occasion when we have stronger storms move through,” he said. 

Thundersnow is another type of thunderstorm, said Bohlin. However, it occurs when a strong upward motion of cold air creates instability in the air resulting in lighting and coinciding claps of thunder.

Strong winds are causing problems in multiple parts of the state.  

At Mount Lemmon north of Tucson, there was a recorded wind gust of 110 mph on Sunday night. Carl Cerniglia with the National Weather Service said strong winds in the mountain areas are not uncommon. 

However, he said the 51-mph gusts recorded early Monday morning in the Tucson metro area were unusual. 

“This is only the second time that we’ve had winds this strong and on this scale in the last four years. So, it’s about once every three or four years or so that we get one of these type of events in the winter time,” Cerniglia said. 

In Phoenix, wind gust peaked at 44 miles per hour at Sky Harbor on Sunday night. But the Weather Service said winds will continue to die down.


News Science
Katherine Fritcke Producer, Morning Edition Katherine Fritcke is the Morning Edition Producer for KJZZ. Fritcke was born and raised in Scottsdale. After deciding to leave the Arizona heat, she graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, IA with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. She is a self-proclaimed public media junkie who can't get enough of programs like "Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me" and "Ask Me Another."