Oh yes it did...
And for some reason, we thought this winter would be different.
So there it was.... a late, lazy Sunday afternoon (just yesterday)... we were watching the football playoffs on television and cooking some lovely chicken filling for our “La La” tortillas (to go along with a nice salsa of chunky tomatoes, red onion, garlic, black beans, cilantro and avocado with lime)... all perfect snacks for some serious television sports viewing.
(BTW amazing games... no?).
That was when we accidentally noticed, while cooking and simultaneously looking out at our new pool, that it had begun to rain outside. Large, thick and clearly precipitous clouds had filled the sky earlier in the day and so the falling rain was no surprise to us. From our observations of the clouds and chilly temperatures, we could see that it was coming.
Rain in south eastern Arizona means a few minutes of perhaps even intense sprinkles and then an immediate drying sensation of warm air along with sunshine, if the precip occurs in the daylight. But this was different. As the skies began to dim we saw that the drops had continued to fall even more thickly. And then the thickness began to look like something all too familiar; bigger blops and clumps -- the metamorphosis of a mere raindrop into snow flakes. Something we had hoped not to see again in the near future, coming from years of cold and snowy winters in the alpine mountains of far northern California. And yet, here it was.
A few hours later, we went outside to grab a log or two for the fireplace and found that the entire external world was blanketed in a covering of pristine white powder. This was not supposed to happen. Yes, snow does fall in all of the mountain ranges surrounding Tucson, but not on the valley floor itself. Ah well, it wouldn’t last long.
In the morning we awoke to brilliant light streaming through the windows in the bedroom; reflections of sunrise on a two inch blanket of very cold and white powdery stuff which enveloped our cactus gardens, yucca trees and everything outside. Every branch in each of our trees was carefully coated with gorgeous ice and snow. The brilliance of the wintry sun lit a beautiful snowscape.
Upon waking, I immediately rushed outside, camera in hand, in tennies and a nightgown to capture these stunning images before all melted and disappeared forever.
An inch of snow in a place like the desert is paralyzing. The local news stations were buzzing with photos, trivia and alive with the excitement of the curious. Schools were shut down, people stayed home from work, the highway to Mount Lemmon (some 8,000 feet and a ski area) was closed for fear of slide offs (black ice patches) or worse. Around these parts, they say that weatherwise, nothing like this has occurred in at least 10 years; there was apparently a snowfall of the equivalent in the late 1990s and an even worse one in 1971. And there was some snowfall back in 2002. So Tucson has seen the white stuff, but not often. And it is still a treat whenever it occurs.
And we must admit, as the exception: we actually liked it too.
For more images, visit the AZ snow album.
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