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Student Run School News Website

Viper Times

Arizona’s Moody Weather Swings

Graphic+of+what+the+Phoenix+area+might+look+like+if+the+weather+continues+to+be+uncharacteristically+cold.
Bryson Taylor
Graphic of what the Phoenix area might look like if the weather continues to be uncharacteristically cold.

During the late 1800s, Arizona experienced a series of severe winters, which were called the “Great Freezes.” These freezes brought freezing temperatures dropping to between 40-44 degrees during night time and snowfall to parts of the state. It was quite a surprise for the residents who were used to the desert heat.

One notable event in Arizona’s cold weather history is the “Big Freeze” of 1937. In January of that year, a massive cold front swept across the state, bringing freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall. Many cities, including Phoenix, experienced record-breaking low temperatures during this time.

In more recent years, Arizona has seen occasional cold snaps and winter storms. These events can bring snow to higher elevations and colder temperatures to the entire state. It’s always a unique sight to see cacti covered in snow.
Right now, Arizona is experiencing winter warnings due to a significant temperature drop and the possibility of snow and rain throughout the northern state.

The cold weather can be influenced by a variety of factors. One possible reason for the cold temperatures could be changes in the weather patterns or atmospheric conditions. These fluctuations can bring colder air masses down from the north, causing a drop in temperature.

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When temperatures drop, it becomes even more challenging for individuals experiencing homelessness to find shelter and stay warm. The cold weather puts their health and safety at risk.

However, the demand often exceeds the available resources, leaving some individuals without adequate shelter. It’s a heartbreaking situation and it highlights the importance of supporting homeless outreach programs in our community.

The windshield of a car frozen after a recent snow storm in Northern Arizona is becoming more common. (Kevin Reinhardt)

Keep in mind that weather conditions can develop between 38-42 degrees and larger areas of snow occur between 33 and 37 degrees. Also, make sure with these conditions to have emergency supplies like blankets, flashlights, and extra food and water on hand, just in case.

Despite the challenges that this may bring, it’s also an opportunity to embrace the beauty of the season. Take some time to enjoy the snow, build a snowman, or have a friendly snowball fight.

According to Kaitlyn Rioja, a Verrado student, “I went to see the snow at the perfect time of year but it feels a lot colder than last year”. Make the most of this unique winter experience in Arizona.

Arizona is known for its warm and sunny climate, but during winter, things can get a bit different. Winter warnings in Arizona typically occur when there’s a significant drop in temperatures and the possibility of snowfall. It’s a bit of a change from the usual desert landscape.

Winter warnings mean that the temperatures in Arizona are expected to be much colder than usual. Meteorologist Krystal Henderson from 12 News says “When these warnings are issued, people should seek shelter from the cold, pets should be brought indoors too and people should be reminded to protect their frost-sensitive plants by either covering them or bringing potted plants inside.”

You might need to bundle up in warm clothing, grab your favorite cozy blanket, and maybe even turn on the heater to stay comfortable. It’s a great time to enjoy hot cocoa and snuggle up indoors.

With these beautiful experiences also come horrible conditions. With Arizona being the coldest it has ever been in the past 25 years it creates many challenges.

Krystal Henderson also mentioned in an interview that, “The airport has only froze 16 times since the year 2000. It’s more rare nowadays but Phoenix used to freeze almost every winter up until 1977.”

After several years the cold weather can also have an impact on traffic in Arizona, especially because of how much the population has grown in the past year.

When it gets chilly, people tend to drive more cautiously, which can lead to slower speeds and increased congestion on the roads. If there’s any snow or ice, it can make the roads slippery and more dangerous to drive on.

Despite the colder temperatures, winter warnings still bring opportunities for fun winter activities. You can go skiing or snowboarding in the nearby mountains, take a scenic hike in the snow, or simply enjoy the beauty of nature during this unique time of the year.

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