Winter records across Arizona

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

With the first decent snow of the season, thoughts turn to those years that will live in the record books because of the crazy winters we can have in Arizona.

On Wednesday, both Sunrise Mountain in the White Mountains and Snowbowl near Flagstaff were reporting more than 10 inches of snow. And recent memory recalls storms that produced 25 to 30 inches of snow in northern Arizona. But it can snow a lot more than that around Arizona.

The greatest 24-hour snowfall in our state is 38 inches on Dec.14, 1967 in Heber. That same storm actually lasted three days and by the time the skies cleared, 67 inches of snow had fallen.

What’s the most snow that was just sitting on the ground? Hawley Lake, in the wet winter of 1967 had 91 inches of snow on the ground a few days before Christmas.

Sunrise Mountain holds on to the record for the most snow in a season, getting 401 inches during the winters of 1971-73.

By the way, the most snow on the ground, officially for Phoenix, has been 1 inch and it’s happened a couple of times, but those measurements are disputed by some.

OK, last we talk about the cold and my all-time favorite Arizona weather trivia. What do you think the coldest temperature on record is? Hint: it’s the only “number” that’s equivalent in Celsius and Fahrenheit. You know, 0 C equals 32 F and 100 C equals 212 F. The scales are different. But on Jan. 7 of 1971, the weather observer at Hawley Lake in eastern Arizona reported a low of -40. And yes, -40 C equals -40 F.

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