A wound-up weather disturbance is producing unheard of amounts of snow in the southern Arizona desert.
The snow halted play at the PGA Tour’s Match Play Championship in Marana, Arizona, just north of Tucson.
In Tucson proper, up to three inches of snow is expected.
Meteorologist Eric Holthaus, a weather blogger for the Wall Street Journal who lives in the Tucson area, said getting accumulating snow in the city is “nearly unprecedented.”
“My fiancee’s coworker has lived in Tucson all her life - she’s about 50- and said this is the most snow she’s ever seen,” Holthaus said.
This weather is officially ridiculous! twitter.com/McIlroyRory/st…— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) February 20, 2013
Karen Edquist, Holthaus’ fiancee and school counselor at Empire High School in Vail, Az, said many of her students are seeing snow for the first time and are ecstatic. Here’s a first-hand report from Edquist:
The students are LOVING this snowstorm!!! I just told a student to make a snow angel and he was like, “ok!!” and he laid down face down and started waving his arms around and I was like, “you’re UPSIDE DOWN!!!” hahaha - these poor desert kids - haha
These are the biggest snows on record in Tucson, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) NowData:
1. 6.8” 12/8/1971
2. 6.4” 11/16/1958
3. 6.0” 3/12/1922
4. 4.3” 1/16/1987
5. 4.0” 3/2/1964, 1/7/1937, 12/25/1916, 2/13/1908
9. 3.8” 3/3/1976
10. 3.5” 1/25/1949
In the mountains surrounding Tucson, blizzard warnings are in effect for upwards of 7 inches of snow and white-out conditions, also highly unusual.
The weather system is expected to head into the Plains tomorrow, producing beneficial snow and rain in the drought-stricken area, before feeding into a possible East Coast storm this weekend.
Here are some more photos from the golf tournament...