People in the Valley of the Sun have always been cool, but lately it’s been a little too cold to be hip.
The National Weather Service issued a hard-freeze warning for the early hours Wednesday and again on Thursday from midnight to 9 a.m. Wednesday, temperatures dropped to 28 in Maricopa, far from the record low of 23 set in 1919.
However, the Weather Service is predicting a low tonight of just 24 degrees in Maricopa, which could break the all-time record for Jan. 3 of 25 degrees F, also set in 1919. Historic weather data is based in Phoenix for this region.
The Weather Service’s warning states, “Freezing temperatures could kill sensitive vegetation and damage unprotected outdoor plumbing. A Hard Freeze Warning means temperatures will drop well below the freezing mark. It is recommended that measures be taken to protect exposed plumbing as well as sensitive crops and landscaping. Pets should be brought inside.”
It’s not just northern Arizona getting all the winter weather.
“It looks like a second night of very cold temperatures are on the way,” National Weather Service meteorologist Marvin Pracha said. “This morning, there were areas that actually stayed up (in temperatures) because of the wind. We are expecting less wind tomorrow and tonight. We still have a hard freeze warning in effect across the region.”
While the Phoenix area didn’t get snow New Year’s Day, Tucson was hit with measurable snow. Tombstone had so much snow overnight, all roads into the historic city were closed on Wednesday morning.
Pracha said weather this cold is uncommon but not unrepresented in southern Arizona. Pracha said meteorologists’ best recollection of the most recent weather of that type in the region was January 2001. The late afternoon high for Tombstone is expected to be just 38 degrees, with a low of 16 tonight.
Wednesday, Cochise County was expecting 2-6 inches of snow falling through the day, with up to 7 inches at higher elevations.
Tucson received 1-2 inches of snow overnight and it ended by 9 a.m.
No snow is predicted for Maricopa or the Phoenix area in the upcoming forecast, with a high of 49 expected today and the low of 24 tonight and calm winds about 5 mph. It will get warmer starting midday Thursday with a high of 54 and a low of 28 expected.
Friday will seem balmy with an expected high of 62 and a low of just 33. There is a 20 percent chance of showers Saturday with a high of 62 and a low of 42.