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Late winter storm creates flurries of woe, and snow, in Arizona

March 19, 2012|By Michael Muskal

Parts of Arizona remained under a winter storm warning on Monday after a snowstorm snarled traffic and forced the closure of many schools.

According to the National Weather Service, heavy snow, particularly around Flagstaff and Prescott, hit much of central and eastern Arizona over the weekend and was expected to continue through Monday. The inclement weather is expected to leave the state by Tuesday -- the day of the vernal equinox, which heralds the official beginning of spring.

Flagstaff, which closed its schools Monday, reported 10 to 14 inches of snow; Prescott received up to a foot.

Road closures were reported throughout the region, most notably the shutdown of about 180 miles of Interstate 40 in northern Arizona. The highway was fully reopened Monday morning, a spokeswoman for the Arizona Highway Patrol said by telephone.

According to the weather service, snow showers are expected to continue in the Flagstaff area through Monday with temperatures just under the freezing point of 32 degrees. Winds were expected to gust to as much as 28 mph.

Monday's snow accumulation was expected to be between one and three inches.

By Tuesday, temperatures are expected to hit a balmier 41 degrees with mostly sunny conditions.


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