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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
7:41 AM Sat, Dec. 15th

Nature brings plentiful present of rain, snow

Prescott received an early Christmas present of plentiful rain and snow Monday through Thursday that added up to 1.34 inches of precipitation.

The city's long-term December average at the official measuring site on the northeast side of town is 1.62 inches of precipitation and 4.7 inches of snow.

Accumulated snow was patchy in the heart of the city at about 5,300 feet in elevation, although light snow fell throughout the region as temperatures cooled Thursday.

People living in the higher elevations on the fringes of the Prescott Basin to the south and west reported about a foot of snow.

Some people, including Hank and Mary Andra in the Highland Pines subdivision at about 6,000 feet in elevation just west of town, were still trying to plow their way out of their homes Thursday since they live on private roads.

The two back-to-back Pacific storm systems were a boon to Arizona's ski areas.

Sunrise Park in the White Mountains opens today and its website reports 25 inches of new snow. Arizona Snowbowl north of Flagstaff and Elk Ridge south of Williams both plan to open Saturday. The Snowbowl reports 52 inches of new snow on top, while Elk Ridge's website lists 10 inches in the 24 hours ending Thursday.

Snow totals reported to the National Weather Service included 25 inches on the Grand Canyon's North Rim, 23 inches in Flagstaff and 5.5 inches in Seligman.

Precipitation reports include 2.12 inches for Flag, 1.3 inches for the North Rim, 1.11 inches for Sedona, 1.1 inches for Cottonwood and 1.05 inches at Seligman.

Northern Arizona could see more snow and rain Monday and Tuesday, but the Weather Service expects that system to be much weaker.

At this early point, the Weather Service is forecasting only a slight chance of showers for Prescott Monday, an unspecified chance Tuesday, and mostly sunny skies for Christmas with temperatures reaching 52.

Thursday's afternoon high at the Prescott airport was 37 degrees, compared to 47 degrees Wednesday and 38 on Tuesday.

Contact the reporter at jdodder@prescottaz.com