Editorial: snow makes big news at Grand Canyon
Nearly everyone in northern Arizona can say they know what it's like to shovel snow. And for a lot of people, that's putting it mildly. The recent bout of winter weather that passed over the area is bound to go down as one of the biggest storms the area has seen in a long time. Roughly two feet of snow remained on the ground around the Grand Canyon area as of Jan. 24. Roughly 2.25 inches of precipitation alone were measured at the Grand Canyon Airport from Jan. 18-24.
As the Grand Canyon area and northern Arizona in general was said to have been experiencing its third driest year since the late 1800's, the added moisture in the area has been a long time coming. Weather experts predicted the arrival of a "moderate" El Niño effect for northern Arizona back in December and, so far, those predictions seem to have been accurate. The greatest benefit from an El Niño, they said, would begin in January and last through March and include above average moisture for the area. El-Niño conditions arise when sea surface temperatures in the equatorial areas of the Pacific Ocean are abnormally warm. This particular El Niño was deemed a moderate one.
A planned H1N1 flu clinic was among the cancelled events scheduled to be held at the Grand Canyon during the onset of the storm Jan. 20, though the clinic has been rescheduled for Feb. 3. Those who wish to get their H1N1 shot can visit North Country Health Care's Grand Canyon Clinic, located within the national park at 1 Clinic Road, from 4-7 p.m.
Let's not put those snow shovels up just yet either. More rain and snow seems to be in store for residents of northern Arizona this week, with far less accumulation called for than what fell during last week's storms. Light snow is called for today, with about a 30 percent chance expected tonight. A 10 percent chance of rain and snow is possible through Saturday, increasing to a higher chance Saturday and Sunday. High temperatures will hover at around 41 degrees, according to meteorologists. And, while many may lament the sun, the moisture will certainly benefit all of northern Arizona in the long run.
Just not our back muscles.