Winter storm brings snow, cold temps, lightning

The winter storm in Kingman had lighting with it, as seen here from behind Mohave State Bank on Hualapai Mountain Road. (HERBERTA SCHROEDER/Courtesy)

The winter storm in Kingman had lighting with it, as seen here from behind Mohave State Bank on Hualapai Mountain Road. (HERBERTA SCHROEDER/Courtesy)

KINGMAN - A winter storm dropped snow across Arizona on Monday, from the state's high country down to the desert region bordering Mexico.

In the 24-hour period ending at 1:30 p.m. Monday, precipitation totals in the Kingman area ranged from half an inch to more than three-quarters of an inch in some locations.

Those included (in inches):

• Diagonal Wash: .51

• Hualapai Foothills: 0.47

• Coyote Pass: 0.51

• Rancho Santa Fe: 0.63

• Frees Wash at I-40: 0.79.

Updated totals are avalible at the Mohave County Flood Control District's website, weather.mohavecounty.us.

Snow was forecast to keep falling until the early evening, with a trace to 3 inches accumulating between 3,000-4,000 feet, and 3-6 inches above 4,000 feet. Travelers were urged to use caution in slick, cold conditions.

The Flagstaff area had several inches of snow before noon Monday and was expecting around a foot total before the storm moves out. Enough snow fell in Nogales and Sierra Vista to lightly coat the ground, weather forecasters said.

Traffic moved along slowly on icy and snow-packed highways in northern Arizona, complicated by strong winds that limited visibility at times. The storm hit late Sunday night, creating whiteout conditions on Interstate 40 and forcing motorists to turn on their hazard lights to spot vehicles ahead.

Residents in northern Arizona also witnessed a rare weather phenomenon when thunder and lightning struck as heavy snow fell.

Authorities responded to multiple slide-offs on major roadways in the region and less than a handful of collisions, though none serious, Arizona Department of Public Safety spokesman Bart Graves said Monday.

The Flagstaff and Prescott school districts canceled classes Monday, and some government offices delayed the start of the work day.

Tsaile on the Navajo Nation had about 10 inches of snow Monday morning, Alpine had 7 inches and Prescott had three. Additional snowfall later Monday depends on the elevation.

The storm was expected to move out of the state by this morning.

Elsewhere, meanwhile, a weather system that unleashed strong winds, snow and heavy rain on California is promising to bring the first big snowstorm of the season to the Denver area before heading across the Plains.

Up to about a foot of snow could fall along Colorado's heavily populated Front Range region by the time the storm moves out today.