Winter storm tops Gila Mountain Range with snow

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: The Gila Mountain Range is snowcapped by a winter storm Thursday night and early Friday morning. Below freezing temperatures are expected for Graham and Greenlee counties this weekend.

Below freezing temperatures predicted for Safford and southeast Arizona

By Jon Johnson

GRAHAM AND GREENLEE COUNTY – The snowcapped Gila Mountain Range is a pretty sight to see Friday morning (Morenci received 2” of snow itself) but it is also a harbinger of below freezing temperatures expected this weekend. 

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Freeport McMoRan Inc.’s Safford Operations can be seen nestled amid the snow in this picture.

The National Weather Service is predicting the coldest temperatures so far this season, with a predicted low of 20 degrees in Safford on Saturday, 19 degrees in Clifton, and 16 degrees in Willcox. 

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: Temperatures are expected to drop below freezing for Graham and Greenlee counties this weekend.

The thermometer isn’t expected to rise much Sunday either, as the predicted lows are 23 degrees for Safford, 21 degrees for Clifton, and 18 degrees for Willcox. 

Jon Johnson Photo/Gila Herald: While Mount Graham annually has a good amount of snowpack, the Gila Mountain Range rarely has snow last longer than a week.

The winter weather calls for covering vulnerable pipes and plants or trees so they don’t freeze, and taking care of pets who live outdoors.