Monday, January 22, 2007

Snow Day!!

Well this is a first -- a snow day for Tucson's schools!
From the Arizona Daily Star, January 22, 2007:
Sunday's snow left behind closed schools and treacherous road conditions throughout the metropolitan area this morning.The Pima County Sheriff's Department and the Tucson Police Department report that numerous roads and bridges were closed due to icing early this morning. In addition, the National Weather Service has issued advisories for snow and dense fog. The fog advisory remains in effect until 9 a.m. while the snow advisory expires at 5 p.m. today.
Kids across the greater Tucson area are experiencing something their counterparts in the Northeast take for granted: A snow day. Schools across Tucson were either closed or starting late today. School bus service was eliminated in most Tucson school districts.
It snowed last night starting around 7:30 pm - large wonderful soft flakes. At our elevation, about 2300 feet, we received about an inch of snow, but we're in the lowest part of the valley. Other areas received as much as three inches.Two Red-tailed Hawks huddled together on the eucalyptus tree across the street. A third flew in with its prey, but it was still too dark to get a clear photo. The Mourning Doves were waiting for me when I went out to feed the birds and the sunflower seed I scattered on the surface of the snow was gone in a flash. All the gang were there: Cactus Wrens, the Cardinal pair, several charms (don't you love that word?) of House Finches, Curve-billed Thrashers, a Gilded Flicker, Abert's Towhees, Gambel's Quail, Lesser Goldfinches, White-crowned and House Sparrows. A Roadrunner hopped up on the wall, and the Gila Woodpeckers were out in force. The Santa Catalina Mountains had 12 inches of snow at 10 this morning and it was reportedly still snowing there, so there may be some good skiing on Mt. Lemmon (the southernmost ski slope in the US). By 2:00 pm today the snow in our neighbourhood had pretty much melted, but we're expecting a hard freeze tonight.

t.beth of The Firefly Forest has posted some great shots of desert vegetation in today's snow and Daniel of cowjumping.net presents us with a Tucson-sized snowman.

15 comments:

Liza Lee Miller said...

Gorgeous pictures! Isn't it fun to get an unexpected snow day?

robin andrea said...

Heard about your snow. What a surprise. It makes everything beautiful, doesn't it?

Peacechick Mary said...

I read about that! What a happening. We traveled to Arizona in the late 50's and my mother kept telling us how we would peel off layers of winter clothes as we got closer and when we got there, snow. All the kids were out going wild making snowmen and having snowball fights.

LauraHinNJ said...

I looove that photo of the snow-covered cacti!

I'd also like to ask that you send one of the Gambel's Quail my way - they are so handsome.

Hope you enjoyed the snow day.

jimmy said...

Great Photos....Would you like some of our snow? We have around 13 inches on the ground and more coming and I am sure we could send some of our cold weather your way. It is 17 above right now.

Pam in Tucson said...

liza lee, robin andrea - The snow day was a real surprise. We were afraid our northern friends would laugh at our 2 inches of snow, but the black ice we get is quite real and they were right to keep the school buses off the roads. It was the first time our little grandsons have seen falling snow.

pc mary - Love your story. The lowlands of southern Arizona rarely get snow, but our mountains to the north of the city provide a little skiing most years. North of the Mogollon Rim, however, they have quite severe winters and there are ski resorts in the White Mountains and near Flagstaff.

laura - Snow-covered cacti are always beautiful. Unfortunately they were difficult to photograph, because the recent drought has dried them out and they're not really photogenic. A Gambel's Quail photo has been sent for this weekend's Good Planets; also a snow-covered cactus photo, if you have room for it.

jimmy - I think I'll pass on your snow. I remembered how cold I used to get back in Connecticut, shovelling my way to the cellar, where we had our washing machine. My blood's much thinner after 40 years of desert living. Love your snowy photos and those northern lights are something else!

Sonia said...

Just beautiful photos!

GreenmanTim said...

I believe your two inches are as much or greater than the sum total of the trace snowfalls we have had this winter her in Northwest CT. We have had nothing that required a plow - though they scraped the roads once just to keep in practice.

kerrdelune said...

Lovely photos, Pam, but my word, that kind of snow in Arizona? What a surprise for everyone in the area.

... I finally remembered where I had copied the Tommy Makem poem from - a CD called Ancient Pulsing on which Tommy recites his own poetry to music. There is a book of the lyrics here somewhere but I haven't managed to locate it yet. I do have a web link for the CD if you are interested.

Deb said...

Pam- in January of 1987 I was on a college trip to the Southwest and we spent a couple nights camped just outside of Tucson (I couldn't tell you what direction we were from the city...I don't remember!) Anyway, it snowed, probably as much as you had in this storm. The snow on the cacti was quite an unusual, beautiful sight, although we Minnesotans were hoping for some more warmth and sunshine.

chiefbiscuit said...

There's something so romantic about feeding birds in snow ... And yes a charm of finches is a sweet word - so snow's not all that common there? Enjoy!

Daniel said...

Oh, a link to my page! You had wonderful pictures recently here which I unfortunately missed - too much work.

Ontario Wanderer said...

I am pleased to report that we even have snow in southern Ontario, at last. We went cross-country skiing for the first time last Sunday, January 21st. (We used to start the first Sunday in December.)

TDharma said...

love your snow pictures, and the links. the photo of the Candybarrel cactus is partiuclarly exquisiste.

Here in CA we had bitter frost for more than a week -- Ive been watching it move east. People's water pipes were freezing, and that rarelly happens here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Endment said...

Still struggling to leave comments - but I will try again

The photo of the quail and the snow clad cacti are my favorites.

12" of snow??? Here we are in New York with only about 3"

Beautiful