Payson's Big Snowstorm
Payson, Arizona • January 25 & 26, 2021

A near-record snowstorm barrelled through Payson (and all of high-elevation Arizona) starting late on January 24, and going through January 26, 2021. The official figures where between 20 and 25 inches fell, 30 inches in some higher-elevation locales. It missed the record by about an inch, from a big event fom 2019. We knew it was coming so we'd gotten groceries ahead of time and hunkered in for the three days. The highways into and out of Payson were shut for about 24 hours. It was coming down too fast to plow, and conditions were too dangerous for regular vehicle travel.

The local paper mentioned that there were very few injuries due to accidents, which is good. But there were a few stranded motorists, some of whom were likely just caught in the suddenness of the storm, and a few others who had no brain to begin with. With the highways closed and the snow falling and collecting over two feet deep, some apparently thought that going down sketchy forest roads would be a good idea. In one case reported in the paper, a trucker followed his on-board GPS onto one such road. As they say these days, smh.

The snow let up on the 26th, and we spent most of that day and the next day shoveling it all to the side, so we could have access to our cars and sidewalks and streets and so forth. The temperatures in the following days rose to the 50s and 60s, helping the snow melt, but it took about 10 days for it to melt, and even a few weeks later, small mounds of snow still existed in shaded spots. I would not like this kind of snow every week, but once a year or two is okay.

Our house, snow's about 8 inches deep now. There'd be more

Our street, still early in the storm

Backyard, as it was really coming down

Highway 260 looking east

Highway 260 looking west. We went for a stroll.

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(c) 2021 Scott Surgent. For entertainment purposes only.