Winter storm hits Gila Valley, hard freeze warning for Tuesday night – Wednesday morning

Morenci School District closed Tuesday for snow day

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Snow covers a residential area in Pima on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Staff Reports

GRAHAM AND GREENLEE COUNTIES – A winter storm has dumped snow all over the Gila Valley from the mountains down to the municipalities. 

According to the National Weather Service, the snow level is hovering at about 2,500 to 3,000 feet and several inches of snow could continue to fall through 5 p.m. today, with occasional rain showers below 2,500 feet. 

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: The snow blanketed the Gila Valley on Tuesday morning.

Very cold temperatures will follow tonight, with a hard freeze expected for the desert areas as temperatures could get as low as in the teens to the 20’s. 

With a hard freeze warning issued for Tuesday night through Wednesday morning, authorities are advising to protect your pets and plants, check on elderly relatives, stay indoors if possible during the hard freeze times, and protect exposed pipes by wrapping them prior to tonight. 

The National Weather Service advises to protect the four P’s, people, pets, plants, and pipes. 

According to the Arizona Meteorological Network station southeast of Safford, the precipitation from the storm netted .19 of an inch, to give the area .21 of an inch to date this year. 

Last year was one of the driest in decades, with only 3.63 inches of precipitation measured at the station for the entire year.

The Morenci Unified School District has advised it will take a snow day and remain closed. Discovery Plus Academy in Pima is opening late (9:30) but the Pima School District is operating as a normal day, with students playing in the snow on their arrival at school. Morenci reportedly received about three inches of snow overnight.  

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