The National Weather Service (NWS) office in Flagstaff has issued a Winter Storm Warning for much of Coconino County beginning Tuesday night through Thursday morning due to the possibility of heavy snowfall Wednesday. As with our recent storms, hazardous travel conditions, road closures, and power outages remain a concern.
By Thursday morning, communities above 3500’ elevation could see snow accumulations of 2 – 6 inches, with up to 12 inches possible above 4500’, and 12 – 24 inches expected at elevations above 6500’.
Snow Load Information
With the significant snowfall predicted in this storm added to what hasn’t melted yet, County staff would like to remind residents to be aware of the amount of snow accumulating on the roofs of homes and businesses and to take appropriate action to mitigate possible damage.
NWS calculates the snow load density as five pounds of pressure per square inch for every inch of actual precipitation that falls. With communities in the Flagstaff, Williams, Munds Park, Forest Lakes and surrounding expected to receive over 1 inch of real precipitation from this storm, Coconino's Community Development staff recommends inspecting homes and businesses for the following warning signs of impending overload:
- Sagging ceiling tiles or boards, ceiling boards falling out of the ceiling grid, and/or sagging sprinkler lines and sprinkler heads
- Popping, cracking, and creaking noises
- Sagging roof members, including metal decking or plywood sheathing
- Cracked or split wood members, or cracks in walls or masonry
- Severe roof leaks or excessive accumulation of water at non-drainage locations on low slope roofs
More information about snowloads can be found in on the FEMA website at https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/2020-07/fema_snow_load_2014.pdf.
Supplies for Power Outages
Coconino County Emergency Management (CCEM) again requests the public prepare immediately for possible power outages due to high winds and snow accumulation.
- Stock up on non-perishable foods, baby formula, pet supplies, and medications.
- Be sure to have a battery-operated radio, flashlights, extra batteries, and a back-up phone charger.
- Do not use propane stoves or grills indoors for heat or cooking; this is an extreme danger for carbon dioxide poisoning.
Check the APS outage map for current conditions or to report a power interruption.
Roads and Interstates
Travel is expected to be especially dangerous on Wednesday and Thursday due to snow, high winds, and sub-zero temperatures that make ice persist on the roadway. There will likely be road and interstate closures, travel to and from Coconino County for recreation is not recommended.
Currently, Stoneman Lake Road east of Interstate 17 and Lake Mary Road between the north and south entrances to Mormon Lake remain closed until further notice.
For information regarding County maintained roads, please call Public Works at 928-679- 8300 during business hours (7:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.).
Coconino County Emergency Management, in partnership with the American Red Cross, is again preparing emergency warming stations should communities lose power for extended periods of time. Locations will be determined and announced when/if the stations are needed.
Coconino County Storm Information
County residents and visitors are encouraged to bookmark or follow the following web pages and social media accounts for the most up-to-date storm information:
Snow Removal Information: www.coconino.az.gov/snow
Official Twitter: @CoconinoCounty
Emergency Management Official Twitter: @coconinoem
Official Facebook: facebook.com/CoconinoCounty
Sign up for Coconino County Emergency Alerts at www.coconino.az.gov/ready.
Arizona Department of Transportation
Interstate and Highway closures: www.az511.com
National Weather Service
Local Forecast and Alerts: www.weather.gov/fgz