Monsoon rain hits hard

WILLIAMS – The monsoon rain today hit hard flooding the streets and sending tourists scurrying for cover. The rain started about 2:15 and by 2:30 p.m. the streets were flowing. Many drivers seemed to forget about turning their lights on. The rain lightened up a bit in about 20 minutes, but continued to fall by 3:10 p.m. Lightning continued through the period and there is no telling when it will let up. This is the hardest rain this monsoon season so far. Residents and visitors should take care to watch out for flash flooding.
The chance for thunderstorms remains at 50% through Tuesday during the day, mainly after 11 p.m. It drops to 30% overnight. Lightning and flash floods are, of course, the main hazards during this period.

Summer to start off with hottest day of the year

WILLIAMS – The first day of summer may turn out to be the hottest day of the year with the temperature expected to be 96-degrees. You may be able to cool off by going to Flagstaff which expects a temperature of 95-degrees. The Weather Service has issued a heat advisory through Thursday evening when temperatures will start to drop off. Light winds are expected through Thursday.

With temperatures on the rise, we caution people about keeping animals in cars even with windows slightly open. Police are allowed to break windows if they feel that dogs are in danger.

Mosquitoes have started to make their presence known, as well. Make sure you stock up on your favorite mosquito repellent. Make sure you empty outdoor water sources, such as tires, birdbaths etc., to reduce areas where mosquitoes lay eggs.

Winds to die down over next two days

WILLIAMS – It appears that Red Flag days are finally gone. At least through this next week. We remind campers that Coconino County has enacted Stage 1 fire restrictions below the Mogollon Rim. This means that only camp stoves are allowed in areas clear of combustible vegetation.

Temperatures are expected to be below freezing tonight with 5 to 11-mph winds. Winds are expected to stay roughly in that range through Wednesday night with night temperatures in the 40s raising to 74 on Tuesday and 81 on Wednesday.

On Thursay the high is expected to reach the mid-80s during the day raising to the 90s by Monday. The lows will be around the mid-50s during that period.

Red Flag Warning in effect today

WILLIAMS – The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for today until 7 p.m. that covers the Williams and Tusayan ranger districts of the Kaibab National Forest due to strong winds and low relative humidity.

Visitors to the Williams and Tusayan ranger districts of the Kaibab National Forest are advised to refrain from having a campfire when Red Flag Warning conditions exist. This advisory covers all campfires across the affected area, including in developed campgrounds, for the hours during which the Red Flag Warning has been issued.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring or are imminent. A combination of strong winds and low relative humidities can contribute to extreme fire behavior. The campfire advisory remains in effect until the Red Flag Warning ends.

While the North Kaibab Ranger District is not under a Red Flag Warning, a Wind Advisory has been issued for that area today.

The Kaibab National Forest is committed to educating visitors about their role in helping prevent unwanted, human-caused fires. Avoiding having campfires on windy days is one way they can do that.

For detailed weather information including warnings issued by the National Weather Service, visit www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/. For homeowners interested in reducing wildfire risks at their residences, visit www.firewise.org.

Red Flag Warning from noon to 7 tonight

WILLIAMS – The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for today from noon to 7 p.m. that covers the entire Kaibab National Forest due to strong winds and low relative humidity.

Visitors to the Kaibab National Forest are advised to refrain from having a campfire when Red Flag Warning conditions exist. This advisory covers all campfires across the affected area, including in developed campgrounds.

A Red Flag Warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring or are imminent. A combination of strong winds and low relative humidity can contribute to extreme fire behavior. The campfire advisory remains in effect until the Red Flag Warning ends.

The Kaibab National Forest is committed to educating visitors about their role in helping prevent unwanted, human-caused fires. Avoiding having campfires on windy days is one way they can do that.

Sheriff’s office to continue display flag on Red Flag days

FLAGSTAFF – The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office announce it will continue its practice of displaying a red flag at the entrance to the parking lot of the Law Enforcement Administrative Facility–911 E Sawmill Rd, Flagstaff—whenever Red Flag Warnings are in effect for the area. The flying of this red flag is an adoption of the nationwide Red Flag Warnings that are issued by the National Weather Service and meant to inform the public about the fire conditions.

Red Flag Warnings are issued by the National Weather Service to indicate the imminent danger of Critical Fire Weather conditions – very low relative humidity, strong winds, and dry fuels. You can view a map of current Red Flag Warnings and other National Weather Service Hazards in Arizona by going to http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/map/?wfo=psr. The bright pink legend indicates areas with Red Flag Warnings.

The Sheriff’s Office started this practice in June 2014. “By displaying red flags throughout our community in concurrence with the weather service Red Flag Warnings, we can help bring higher visibility to the threat of wild land fires,” said Sheriff Jim Driscoll. “We hope people will see our red flag and other red flags in the community and be reminded to take appropriate actions to avoid catastrophic wild land fires.” Sheriff Driscoll issues a challenge to other Northern Arizona government agencies and local businesses to increase community awareness of the threat of wild fires by posting a red flag on their property when an official Red Flag Warning has been issued.

The Sheriff’s Office encourages everyone who lives in or comes to visit Northern Arizona to know about current fire hazards and restrictions and comply with any fire restrictions that may be in place. This may include restrictions on campfires or other open flames, smoking cigarettes, operating combustible engines, or other activities. Information about fire restrictions in Coconino County can be found at https://firerestrictions.us/az/az-coconino-county/

The Sheriff’s Office also encourages people to participate in the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office / Flagstaff Police Department Woods Watch Program. For more information about Woods Watch, contact Jon Paxton at (928) 226-5089.

NOAA issues RED FLAG warning

Wind speed are expected to increase becoming breezy tonight and high tomorrow across northern Arizona. The critical fire condition could continue Friday.

NOAA has issued a Red Flag warning for Thursday beginning at 11 a.m. running through 8 p.m. in northern Arizona. Today winds will be from the south 16 to 21-mph decreasing to 9 to 14-mph after midnight. Sustained west winds in excess of 30-mph with gusts over 45 are expected late morning through the evening hours Thursday.

Increased wind may combine with low humidity to produce areas of critical fire weather conditions across north central and eastern Arizona Thursday afternoon. The high winds will make travel of high profile vehicles difficult. It is recommended that you slow down and drive with care if you are traveling. Some areas of blowing dust may reduce visibility.

With the increased danger of forest fire, camp fires are not recommended. Use gas stoves if you intend to camp around Williams or Flagstaff.

Run For The Wall dodges a snow

WILLIAMS – Run For The Wall left Williams this morning missing the experience of 2011. In 2011 they arrived in the snow. This year the snow did not start until about 7:30 p.m. after the Vietnam Veterans were long gone.

Snow started about 7:30 with a few flakes falling. It built up to a full-blown snow by 8 p.m. in Williams. It ran until 10. Reports of an inch of snow by 8 were reported outside Williams. An amateur radio operator reported zero visibility on Highway 64.

Tomorrow the sun is expected to shine and temperatures are expected to rise. Tomorrow the high is expected to be 59 rising to the 70s through next Thursday. The lows at night are predicted to be around 40-degrees.

High winds tomorrow; possible snow next week

Sunset tonight.

WILLIAMS – Winds picked up today and are expected to increase tomorrow. Winds are expected to be 10 to 15-mph tomorrow with gusts of 33. They are expected to increase tomorrow night, 17 to 22-mph, with gusts in the 30s. Temperatures will remain in the 60s, dropping to 59 starting Sunday.

The high winds are a cause for concern for campfires and barbecues. We remind people to be careful with fire.

Tuesday a slight chance of showers start up again with a chance of rain and snow beginning Wednesday night through Thursday. A chance of thunder is possible.

It should clear up again on Friday with temperatures rising back to the 60s.

Hiker rescued from Mt. Elden in winter conditions

FLAGSTAFF – On May 9th at 9:00 am, The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Unit responded to a report of a hypothermic adult male hiker on top of Mt. Elden. The weather at the time was moderate to heavy snow with approximately 3-5 inches of snow on the ground.

The US Forest Service was contacted by the Sheriff’s Office to determine if the Elden Lookout Tower was staffed. It was determined that a lookout was at the tower and he was asked to look for the hiker near the base of the tower. The lookout located the hiker and assisted him to shelter while waiting for search and rescue to arrive.

Upon search and rescue arrival the hiker was warming up at the lookout tower and his condition was improving. Ultimately the hiker received a ride home from friends who had also responded to assist.

The hiker, a 30-year-old male resident of Flagstaff had gone for a day hike. He had planned to hike to the top of Mt. Elden and arrive there by a certain time to qualify for a free pizza sponsored by a local business. The hiker was either unaware of the weather forecast or disregarded the forecast and set off ill prepared wearing shorts and light clothing.

The Search and Rescue Unit would like to remind hikers that spring weather in Northern Arizona can change rapidly. Hikers should familiarize themselves with the weather forecast prior to setting out for a hike. Hikers should also carry the “Ten Essentials” which include water, food, extra warm clothing, navigation equipment,
headlamp/flashlight, first aid kit, shelter material (space blanket or large leaf bag), fire starting kit, pocket knife/multi-tool, and signaling equipment (whistle and mirror).

Carrying a cell phone is also a good idea although there are still locations in Coconino County that do not have cellular service. Hikers should always leave a detailed itinerary for their hike with a trusted person in case they do not return as expected.