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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Mon March 19, 2012

Winter's Last Stand: Arizona Is Pummeled By Snow

While most of the country has been enjoying spring-like temperatures for weeks now, parts of Arizona got a pretty significant visit from a waning winter: CNN reports that "the city of Flagstaff is still digging out of 10 to 14 inches of snow from the weekend, which prompted school closings in the city for Monday. The city of Prescott received 8 to 12 inches."

The National Weather Service still has much of Southern Arizona under a winter storm warning. The same is true for parts of northern New Mexico.

Those warnings are valid through most of Monday.

Meanwhile, Chicago has set warm weather records for the past five days. Today could be another record setter with temperatures expected to be in the upper 70's. Tomorrow they're expected to reach into the 80's.

But just how rare is this? The Chicago Sun-Times explains:

"In Chicago prior to this year, there had only been 10 days in March with highs in the 80s, according to the weather service. On average, Chicago only sees an 80-degree high day in March about once every 14 years. Already this month, there have been three days above 80.

"The last time Chicago saw an 80-degree temperature in the month of March before this year was on March 12, 1990, when the high was 81.

"The warmest March on record in Chicago? Two years are tied for that mark — 1910 and 1945. Both averaged 48.6 degrees through March 15. Through March 16 of this year, the average monthly temperature for Chicago for March was 48 degrees. The weather service says it's likely that this month will shatter the record for the warmest March in Chicago."

Here in Washington, by the way, the cherry blossom trees are in bloom, days before the official start of the festival.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.