Originally Published: January 11, 2018 5:57 a.m.
Northern Arizona finally received some precipitation Tuesday evening, Jan. 9, and Wednesday morning, Jan. 10, after an unprecedented dry streak.
The National Weather Service (NWS) reports the Prescott airport received just over half an inch of rain(.63).
At the Prescott wastewater treatment plant, about 7 miles south of the airport along Highway 89, the rain reading was closer to an inch (.87).
Volunteer weather observers in Prescott also sent in a number of reports saying higher elevations in Prescott received some snow.
“We heard that in some places there were half-inch to an inch, but it melted quickly,” said David Byers, meteorologist with the NWS office in Bellemont.
For those who enjoy winter recreation, Arizona Snowbowl in Flagstaff received 14 inches of snow during this event. Since temperatures are beginning to warm up again, the road leading up to the mountain should melt and be clear of ice, Byers said. “I think it will probably be crowded this weekend,” he said about Snowbowl.
The hope by meteorologists is that this first winter storm has pulled the jet stream moving across the United States down enough so that storm tracks pass over areas like Flagstaff and Prescott instead of staying to the north, Byers said.
The next possible precipitation event may come as soon as Tuesday, Jan. 16, or Wednesday, Jan. 17, but forecasters are not sure at this time if that will pan out.
“The models are not in agreement,” Byers said. “One model pushes it to the north, and another one brings it through, so we’re not very confident on that.”
The more likely event will occur the following weekend on Saturday, Jan. 20, or Sunday, Jan. 21.
“There’s another deep trough that is coming down and the models are in agreement on that, so that gives us some confidence, but it’s still way out there,” Byers said.