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Flagstaff sets all-time daily snow record, Payson receives yearly snow amount in a day, Arizona

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A powerful winter storm dumped record-breaking amounts of snow on Arizona this week, forcing the closure of roads, schools and government offices.

Flagstaff Pulliam Airport in Flagstaff, Arizona recorded 911.8 mm (35.9 inches) of snow on February 21, 2019, setting the new all-time 24-hour snow record for the city. The previous record was 787.4 mm (31 inches) set on December 30, 1915. 

The storm dumped a total of 1 023.6 mm (40.3 inches) of snow, 40% of its annual snowfall.

The amount of snow Flagstaff received on Thursday also shattered February's all-time daily snowfall record of 609.6 mm (24 inches) set on February 2, 1901, and was just 76.2 mm (3 inches) short of setting a new one-day state of Arizona record. Record-keeping in Flagstaff goes back to 1893.

On the same day, Payson received 609 mm (24 inches) of snow, more than it usually receives in a year.

"This was a very cold and highly unusual event for northern Arizona," said Brian Klimowski, meteorologist in charge at the National Weather Service office in Flagstaff. "We had record snowfall in several locations — certainly a historical event."

"The storm pretty much came as forecast, but was a little bit heavier in the Flagstaff area," he said.

The storm closed numerous roads, including nearly a 31 km (50 miles) stretch of Interstate 17.

Featured image credit: Arizona DOT

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