Rain And Snow In Flagstaff End Dry Spell

February 03, 2014

It finally rained in Flagstaff last week. The city experienced 39 days without precipitation in a row from Dec. 22 to Jan. 30.

“Over the last six or seven weeks, we had a very strong ridge of high pressure over the West coast,” said Robert Rickey, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Flagstaff. “It was essentially preventing weather storms from crossing Arizona because it was pushing them very far to the north.”

There is a good chance Flagstaff will see even more snowfall by the end of this week, according to the weather service. Rickey said a storm is being tracked that may cause significant snowfall Thursday and Friday. With less precipitation, Flagstaff residents do have a silver lining.

"I would imagine that if you polled the people in Flagstaff, they would say the biggest difference is that they’re not out in the morning shoveling snow,” said Rickey.

Before the weekend precipitation, Flagstaff tied its record for the longest dry spell since 1917. Systems of high pressure that sometimes hang over the West Coast often push precipitation to the Northwest, even as high as Canada, said Rickey. This keeps rain and snow out of California and Arizona, as well as other states in the Southwest. The high pressure ridge causing dryness in Arizona is the same one worsening a drought in Southern California, Rickey said.