Snow in Scottsdale, Arizona

Odometer (Legend):  519,776

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Odometer (ILX):  28,402

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There’s a reason I choose to live in the Phoenix, Arizona area:  I love the sun.  We get more than 300 days of sunshine per year.  The temperature reaches / exceeds 100 degrees Fahrenheit over 110 days per year (that’s 30% of our days!).  Needless to say:  it’s toasty — which is why today’s weather threw everyone for a loop.  Suddenly at work, all of my colleagues flocked to the windows and exclaimed that it was snowing.  It’s the most accumulation I’ve seen in the 7 years I’ve lived in the area.

To those like my family who live in Utah, this is nothing.  But to those of us who are used to shorts & flip-flops year-round, it’s a bigger deal.  And traffic on the roadways reflects that.  Thankfully, my work commute is on back-roads.  The 101 freeway southbound was a parking lot, last I checked online.

Will the cacti survive?

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Leaving the office:

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It just doesn’t seem right to have palm trees & snow in the same picture.

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Soon, though, everything had melted.  Ahead of me on Arizona Highway 87, storm clouds loomed:

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And then came the rains:

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But they made for an amazing sunset, and since I had my SLR camera in the car, I pulled into a random rain-filled alley and snapped a few pictures.

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Elsewhere in the state, other crazy things are happening.  Highway 89, one of the roads that I’ve traveled countless times on my trips to Utah, buckled due to shifting mountains – presumably from the moisture.

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The “A” marker shown here at the Utah/Arizona border is the location where it occurred.

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What a crazy experience that must have been for the drivers who came across it.

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I’ll be traveling in that area this weekend with the ILX so the new detour (which adds 45 miles) will affect me.  Imagine what it would have been like if I had encountered this gaping hole!

Just so I can include some Legend pictures in this post:  How about a similar white background that ISN’T snow?  These are pictures from June 2007 when I was scouting out the area a week prior to competing at the Bonneville 100 open-road race.  The Legend had 290,000 miles on it, and I was visiting the Bonneville Salt Flats in northwestern Utah.  These flats are famous for their sheer… well… flatness!  Land speed records are set here frequently.  The salt flats cover an area of 40 square miles.

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During rainy season, it’s highly possible to have “standing” water on the salt flats.  Once I saw a 4×4 pickup completely buried to its axles in salt mud.  Exercise caution if you ever venture out there!

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Remote area near the salt flats:

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Finally, a little bit of trivia:

When people learn about how many miles I drive every year, I often get asked, “Don’t you spend a fortune on gas?!”  Well, here’s the answer to that.  Yes, I spend quite a bit.  I always fuel up with 91 octane gas.  Below is a spending report that I pulled from my primary Wells Fargo checking account, showing only expenses related to Automotive / Transportation:

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In the second half of 2012, I spent an average of $647.66 per month on gas.  The highest expense month, July, was nearly double that amount (as some may recall, that’s the month when I traveled to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for NALM).  As fuel prices inevitably start creeping up this time of year, it definitely dampens my desire to keep driving all over the place.  At least I know the ILX is getting 32+ miles per gallon!

Stay cozy out there, my friends.

13 Responses to “Snow in Scottsdale, Arizona”

  1. Tyler Stoker Says:

    Beautiful photos, new and old, as always! Loving those rain and salt flats shots. Thanks for this fine post today, Sir Tyson.

    • Thanks, Tyler! There are a few places in northern Utah that I plan on visiting while I’m there the first week of July, and the Salt Flats is one of them. Perhaps you’d like to join!

  2. On the heels of Tyler, I have to say you captured once-in-a-lifetime photos there in Phoenix, land of the sun! It’s okay with me if your winter sun decides to spend some time up here in northern Utah. Heck, I’ll flip seasons with you anytime.

    The collapsed road, well, that’s just twisted. Excuse the pun. The horror of those who were driving on that particular stretch of highway at that particular time must have been…. unimaginable. That’s a little ‘too close to home” for comfort.

    The next conversation I will be having with you will be face to face, likely! Here’s to a memorable weekend! Take pics! haha

  3. P.S. $2.00 for “other/auto transportation? Do tell!

  4. I would have never thought to use “snow” and “Arizona” in the same sentence… Lol… Great pics Tyson.. You guys be safe!

    • Will do, Lance! The northern part of the state (Flagstaff area) commonly gets snow – in fact, there are ski resorts up there – but for those of us in the PHX valley it’s pretty unheard of. How is the winter weather treating you Texans?

      • Oh really? That’s intriguing. I didnt know there were ski resorts in Northern Arizona. Or should I say, I wasn’t aware. My friends and I have been looking at planning a ski trip soon before my trip later this year to Asheville, NC to visit my mom. So thanks for that info Tyson! Todays weather is bipolar… We’ve been dodging hail storms this am and now the sun is shining. Ha!

  5. Nice pics Tyson, snow, sunset, salt flats, what more can you ask for.

  6. Wow, that’s a scary buckle in that road! One thing I fear of living on the west coast; Earthquakes. While I have felt one here on the east coast back in 2011 when Virginia had a 5.8-magnitude, it was nothing major. Did shake the house a nice 10 seconds but after that it was all over. I don’t think I could deal a massive Earthquake that would destroy property. Same for shifting mountains. Scary, but sorta cool. The feeling of an Earthquake is indescribable. Sink holes are on that list as well but they can happen almost anywhere.

    Be safe out there, Tyson!

    • Wow I can’t believe it’s already been almost a year since this snowstorm happened. We haven’t experienced weather like that since then. As far as I know the highway up in northern Arizona that was buckled has STILL not reopened – and won’t for awhile yet. It’s a huge detour for people traveling in that area.

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