Winter Storm to Dump Heavy Snowfall, Rain Across Arizona

Feb 20, 2019

Children in northern Arizona are turning to superstition to try to guarantee school is canceled amid a major snowstorm.

Credit Melissa Sevigny

Before they go to sleep, they plan to flush ice cubes down toilets, wear pajamas inside out and place spoons throughout their homes.

The tactics vary in practice and in reason, but children told the Arizona Daily Sun they don't want to leave anything to chance.

Some children use metal spoons instead of wooden ones. Some put a white crayon or an orange in the freezer, or don underwear as a nightcap. Scarlett Ellison, 10, says using small ice cubes in the toilet is important.

"We used daddy's bourbon ice cubes once, but they are really big and got stuck in the toilet," she said. "We use the right ones because we don't' want another plumbing issue."

The storm is expected to hit the region late Wednesday and continue through early Saturday, bringing the most significant snowfall in years, the National Weather Service said.

Forecasters have called for up to 2 feet (0.6 meter) of snow in Flagstaff, Prescott, Alpine, the Grand Canyon's North Rim and Show Low, and up to 2.5 feet (0.8 meter) in Payson.

Bisbee and Oracle in southeastern Arizona could see around a foot of snow.

The central Arizona deserts are expected to get significant rain, accompanied by temperatures far colder than normal. Phoenix's normal high around this time of the year is 72 degrees (22.2 Celsius) but will drop to nearly 50 degrees (10 Celsius).

Daytime temperatures in many parts of northern Arizona will struggle to get above freezing before the weekend, said meteorologist Emily Thorton.

The weather service and state transportation officials say drivers should put off traveling during the storm.

"It would not be out of the question to say we could expect closures on major interstates throughout the day Thursday," Thorton said.

Flagstaff Unified School District said it takes many factors into account when declaring a snow day. Meanwhile, children have been whispering in classrooms and on the playground about how to make it happen.

Elise Thom, 9, plans to wear her pajamas inside out and backward because her sister told her it helps release the magic inside her.

Adelaide Hart, 9, intends to place a metal spoon under her pillow.

"Maybe it's because when you put a tooth under your pillow you get money back," she said. "So when you put a metal spoon under your pillow, you get a snow day back."