It snowed just 6 inches in Flagstaff on Wednesday night. But on the San Francisco Peaks, double that amount came down, allowing Arizona Snowbowl to announce a Christmas Day opening — one week later than last year.
The Flagstaff Nordic Center also benefited from a foot of new snow, reopening Thursday, as did the Wing Mountain Snowplay Area.
The storm was preceded by a rainy warm front, with snow totals varying widely depending on how far above or below 7,000 feet a location was. Snow totaled 8 inches at the National Weather Service station in Bellemont at 7,200 feet, while Doney Park, at 6,800 feet, received only a half-inch.
Other snowfall totals included 5.4 inches in Munds Park, 3 inches at Mormon Lake and 1.3 inches at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Sedona received 1.2 inches of rain.
Dave Smith of Arizona Snowbowl said the resort received about a foot of heavy, wet snow, which caused hundreds of trees and branches to topple onto the ski runs. No skiing or hiking will be permitted today while crews clean up the hazards and do avalanche control above the upper slopes. Snowbowl Road will be open today only to employees and season passholders wanting to pick up their passes at Hart Prairie Lodge.
The lifts and run status will be determined this afternoon, Smith said. The chairlifts will start operating at 9 a.m. Saturday.