A look back at Arizona's crazy winter season - New York News

A look back at Arizona's crazy winter season

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PHOENIX -

Spring has sprung! Today is the first official day of spring, and right now we're enjoying some great weather here in the valley.

But this winter was a wild one -- with record cold and heat in January -- and just last month we got our first taste of a little thing called graupel.

There was a big debate in the newsroom whether it was snow, hail or something called graupel.

February 20, 2013, was the first day most of us first learned about it.

The valley turned winter white in a matter of minutes. Rush hour traffic was snarled on the loop 101.

Desert plants appeared dusted with snow. And one of the most impressive sights of the day was an overhead view of Salt River Fields.

The D'backs were forced to take a snow day and move practice to another location because of the storm.

There was plenty of snow in the high country this winter. Northern Arizona took a hit from several winter storms. The most recent one was less than two weeks ago.

The lifts at Snowbowl are still running even now, and the ski resort is hoping to stay open into the first week of April.

This winter brought also brought record cold to the valley. Who can forget video of a backyard pool iced over, ready for a friendly game of hockey.

A lot of valley landscaping is still bearing the scars of that freeze.

But the cold soon gave way to record heat -- and just one week later the valley shattered a record, reaching 81 degrees on January 22nd.

While this winter was a memorable one, we didn't set any records as far as rainfall was concerned. Sky Harbor recorded two and a half inches of rain -- that's pretty average, but way up from last year, when only a quarter of an inch of rain fell.

Flagstaff received about 44 inches of snow which was down slightly from last year.

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