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.

High wind advisory continues through 11 tonight

WILLIAMS – Strong winds started this morning and continued throughout the day blowing in dark clouds and possible snow tonight. There is a possibility of some lightning. There is a 60% chance of snow tonight dropping as snow continues through Saturday morning. Overall there is a possibility of about one-inch throughout the period. The weather should clear and start to warm up through next week with the exception of a slight chance of snow on Monday. Snow may continue in Flagstaff through Saturday.

Snow in forecast

WILLIAMS – Happy Spring. While we have been enjoying spring weather for over a week, many may have forgotten that winter does not necessarily rest in peace. There is a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday after 11 a.m. followed by snow overnight and Thursday throughout the day. A slight chance of snow and showers exists over Thursday night. Though the wet weather will clear for the weekend, temperatures are expected to dip to the high-50s during the day and the 30s overnight through Sunday. Less than an inch of new snow accumulation is expected.

Be ready for snow, blowing dust with powerful storm arriving

PHOENIX – Travelers can expect hazardous driving conditions in northern Arizona from Monday afternoon into Tuesday, while blowing dust is possible in southeastern Arizona, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The National Weather Service forecast calls for snow above 6,000 feet along Interstate 40 from an area near Seligman to Winslow, with total accumulation of 8 to 16 inches in Williams and Flagstaff. ADOT will mobilize more than a third of its snowplow fleet to clear snow and ice off highways.

Driving conditions can deteriorate quickly during winter storms, causing crashes that lead to long backups and highway closures. Travelers should be ready to postpone trips until the weather improves.

With strong wind forecast in southeastern Arizona, drivers should watch out for blowing dust between Willcox and the New Mexico line. If caught in a dust storm, immediately check traffic around your vehicle and pull all the way off the roadway. Turn off all lights, including emergency flashers, and take your foot off the brake.

Learn more about driving in areas prone to blowing dust at PullAsideStayAlive.org.

Among ADOT’s winter-driving tips at azdot.gov/KnowSnow:

  • Slow down: Adjust speed to conditions.
  • Create space: Leave extra room between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. Avoid sudden braking.
  • Give snowplows room: Slow down and stay at least four vehicle lengths behind a plow. Wait for a plow to pull over before passing. The safest place to be when there’s snow and ice on a road is behind a snowplow.
  • Leave prepared: Bring extra clothing and gloves, make sure the gas tank is half to three-quarters full at all times, keep cellphones charged and pack extra drinking water, snacks and all necessary medications.
  • Pack an emergency kit: It should include blankets, a flashlight, an ice scraper, a small shovel, a container of sand or cat litter for traction and warning lights or reflectors.
  • Beware of black ice: Melting snow can turn into ice, especially at night. Ice tends to form on bridges first and can be difficult to see.

Motorists should get the latest on highway conditions and any closures from the ADOT Traveler Information Center, available at az511.gov or by calling 511. ADOT’s traffic cameras at az511.gov provide a view of conditions.

Updates are also available via ADOT’s Twitter (@ArizonaDOT) and Facebook (facebook.com/AZDOT) accounts.

4″ to 7″ of snow possible through Tuesday

WILLIAMS – Breezy conditions lasts throughout the day with a 30% chance of snow Sunday during the day. Little or no snow accumulation is expected. Winds today 7 to 16-mph with gusts of 23 overnight. Winds tomorrow will drop slightly.

Monday you can expect high winds with less than a half-inch of snow during the day with a possible 4″ to 6″ overnight.

Tuesday there is a 60% chance of snow during the day with 2″ possible. It should clear up over Tuesday night and return to sunny and warm Wednesday.

Winter storm advisory through Sunday afternoon

WILLIAMS – Rain started sprinkling about 6 a.m. this morning with a quick dump of slush about 6:45 for about fifteen-minutes. A winter weather advisory takes effect at the end of the day running through late Sunday afternoon. There is a chance of up to 5″ of snow through Sunday. 25- to 32-miles of wind are expected today with gusts up to 43. Winds will drop overnight and remain up to 14-mph through Sunday with gusts up to 20. The weather will clear Monday and Tuesday with rising temperatures and breezy. Chance of rain returns by Tuesday night through Thursday clearing up and becoming sunny Friday.

Two ADOT snowplows damaged by vehicles in January storms

PHOENIX ‒ Three Arizona Department of Transportation employees working to keep highways open in recent storms avoided serious injury when vehicles struck two ADOT snowplows in separate crashes. The drivers of the other vehicles came out fine as well.

One of the plows wasn’t so lucky, however, when a semi rear-ended and severely damaged it Jan. 21 on Interstate 40 near Seligman. In addition to sending the two ADOT employees aboard to the hospital with minor injuries, the crash hindered ADOT’s efforts to clear snow and ice along that route.

In the other crash, an SUV suffered serious damage Jan. 19 when it hit a snowplow clearing State Route 89A between Prescott Valley and Jerome. The plow and its operator were able to continue working, but only after losing precious time dealing with the crash.

“During storms, drivers need to slow down and give plows plenty of space,” said Alvin Stump, district engineer in ADOT’s Northwest District, where both of the incidents occurred. “Plows require a large work area to remove snow.”

It isn’t easy driving a snowplow on slippery roads with limited visibility, and other drivers make that job dangerous when they don’t give ADOT’s operators plenty of room to work. So respect the plow! It starts with staying at least four car lengths behind and never passing a working plow until the operator pulls over to let traffic by.

Gabriel Alvarado, who has plowed Interstate 40 for 13 years out of ADOT’s Seligman operation, said he likes seeing a line of vehicles making the sensible decision to follow his snowplow.

“It’s the best possible scenario to have a plow right in front of you,” he said.

But several times during a 12-hour shift a passenger vehicle or semi will make the ill-advised decision to pass Alvarado’s snowplow in an unplowed lane, raising the potential for a collision.

“Sometimes it gets really, really close,” Alvarado said.

Alvarado said it isn’t uncommon for him to later come upon those who’ve passed him stuck in the snow after sliding off the roadway.

Other tips from ADOT’s snowplow drivers:

· Never assume a snowplow operator knows you are nearby. If you can’t see the plow driver, there is a good chance the driver can’t see you.

· Plowed snow can create a cloud that reduces visibility, and spreaders on trucks throw de-icing agents or sand that can damage vehicles, so stay back.

· Leave space when stopping behind a snowplow. The driver might need to back up.

· If approaching an oncoming snowplow, slow down and give the plow extra room.

· Just because a plow has been through the area, drivers shouldn’t assume the roadway is completely clear of snow and ice.

Snow today, rain through tomorrow

WILLIAMS – Williams and Flagstaff may experience some snow before noon, today, turning to rain in the afternoon and through Tuesday. Ash Fork, Valle and the surrounding area can expect rain through the same period.

Winds today will be West southwest wind 18 to 21 mph, with gusts as high as 33 mph. On Tuesday winds will be 15-mph with gusts up to 23. The chill factor will be minimal and temperatures will remain in the mid-40s.

It is expected to clear Wednesday and Thursday with temperatures in the 50s. Chance of rain will return Friday and through the weekend, but temperatures are currently expected to remain in the upper-40s and lower-50s.

No hazardous conditions are predicted for the time frame. The rain should wash away some of the remaining snow and residents can expect muddy conditions. Icy conditions may exist in the early morning hours, so drivers should take caution.