With snow forecast on Saturday in Arizona’s high country and possibly reaching lower elevations than usual, drivers are advised not to underestimate the power of a winter storm or overestimate your ability to negotiate highways covered with snow and ice.
I-40 closure west of FlagstaffArizona Department of Transportation snowplows will be out in force, but driving conditions are expected to be hazardous during the storm. A highway can close suddenly if enough snow falls in a brief period or if there are crashes, slide-offs or both.
Because of the rapidly changing nature of snowstorms, road conditions and visibility can change in an instant. A couple of weeks ago, the Ash Fork Hill area along Interstate 40 west of Flagstaff got so much snow overnight from a storm predicted to only drop a few inches that the freeway closed temporarily. On Christmas Eve in 2016, vehicles lined up for miles were stuck on Interstate 40 west of Flagstaff overnight due to the heavy snowfall and a large number of crashes and slide-offs.
Before deciding whether and when to travel, check weather reports and get the latest highway conditions by checking ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, calling 511 or reviewing ADOT’s Twitter feed (@ArizonaDOT). When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, a free app available at ADOTAlerts.com will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.