The Latest: Part of I-10 closed because of snow
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Latest on winter weather in the U.S. Southwest (all times local):
Car crashes and heavy snow have closed part of Interstate 10 in southeastern Arizona, an important corridor for commerce.
The Arizona Department of Transportation said Friday it had closed eastbound lanes near Benson and has no estimated reopening time.
Westbound lanes remain open.
Winter weather has shut down several roads and small highways around Arizona.
Snow fell and accumulated in central and downtown Tucson on Friday, surprising many in a city where snow is extremely rare.
The National Weather Service said about half an inch had accumulated near the University of Arizona.
While snow is common in the mountains around Tucson, it’s much less likely within city limits.
Mount Lemmon, a popular hiking spot just outside the city, got 38 inches of snow and was closed even to residents.
Snow in Tucson was expected to stop by late morning.
Lingering cold air is keeping Southern California frigid following a storm that dropped snow at elevations rarely seen in the Los Angeles region.
The National Weather Service says snow showers were reported Thursday in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, Calabasas, Northridge and Pasadena, all at elevations roughly between 700 and 1,000 feet (213.3 and 304.8 meters).
The weather service says snow was also reported at Malibu Pier, Leo Carrillo State Beach and near sea level at a fire station at Point Dume. Most of it melted as it hit the ground.
Downtown Los Angeles had no snow, however. Measureable snow has fallen there only twice since records began in 1877 — first on Jan. 15, 1932, and then on Jan. 9, 1949. A trace fell on two days in January 1962.
A winter storm sweeping across the Southwest has set records in Arizona with heavy snowfall in the high country and significant rain in the desert.
Flagstaff on Thursday had a new single-day snowfall record of 35.9 inches (91.2 centimeters) at the airport, breaking the city’s previous mark of 31.0 inches (78.74 centimeters) set in 1915.
Phoenix on Thursday set a new record for the day with 1.01 inch (2.57 centimeters) of rain, eclipsing the old mark of 0.73 inch (1.85 centimeters) set in 1973.
Some outlying areas in higher elevations of the northern outskirts of metro Phoenix had light snowfall, which National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Deemer said Friday is not uncommon.
A winter storm that swept through the Southwest and brought a rare snowfall to the Las Vegas Strip and the mountains above Malibu in California pounded north-central Arizona with record amounts.
The Clark County School District in southern Nevada, the nation’s fifth-largest, is canceling classes Friday because of the weather. In northern Arizona, schools, government offices, airports and roads were expected to be closed for a second day as the storm tapers off.
Residents in northern Arizona will be digging out from what the National Weather Service characterized as “not your average” storm.