Snow sticks in parts of southern Arizona

Updated: Jan. 26, 2021 at 1:21 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -Slick roads, spinouts, even some snow: winter weather continues to hamper southeastern Arizona.

A ‘Winter Storm Warning’ is in effect across mountainous and eastern portions of Cochise County until 5 p.m. on Tuesday. A ‘Winter Advisory’ is in place for Green Valley, Vail, Tucson and Marana until 5 p.m. on Tuesday.

Much to the excitement of many Sierra Vista residents, big, fluffy flakes were sticking by 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25.

The weather system also caused some dicey driving conditions.

“Just be prepared for it, because if you stop too fast, you’re going to lock up your brakes and you could have an accident,” said Brandon Gazard, a Sierra Visa resident.

He noticed most drivers playing it safe on the roads.

“People tend to drive a little slower when it rains or snows,” Gazard said.

The biggest issue Nina Bernardo encountered was a sharp wind and biting chill as she filled up at the pump.

“I was driving from Tombstone,” said Bernardo, “and while I was driving back [to Sierra Vista] about two hours ago, there were no issues really.”

While the weather had some taking extra time on the streets, others felt like jumping for joy.

“Any time it snows, it’s like ‘Oh, my God! This is amazing’,” said James Callahan.

Callahan owns Rune Wines in Sonoita. In his 9 years of business, he says 2020 was the driest year yet. It meant more ground water was used for irrigation, which he says doesn’t have the same benefits as the nitrogen-carrying rain.

“The snow sits on the ground for a while and it takes a while for it to melt and as it melts, it melts slowly,” he said, “and it melts into the ground slower.”

Callahan says the snow brings more than groundwater retention.

“In colder years, we get more blue fruit and rich, more savory flavors,” he said.

It turns out this weather is good for lavender, too.

“It does well in the winter,” said John Blair, who owns Life Under the Oaks Lavender Farm in Oracle along with his wife, Carolyn. “In fact, what we like to say is the plants go to sleep, they go dormant in the winter. So, the amount of moisture we get in the winter in Oracle is ideal for the lavender plants.”

Blair estimates they received about 6 inches of snow on Monday night. Life Under the Oaks Lavender Farm will open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday for people to enjoy the wintery landscape. Families are asked to get tickets ahead of time.

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