Snowfall in Strawberry Friday, Dec. 14.
Photo by Andy Towle.
A winter storm in Rim Country Friday loaded down branches and dusted the ground with a fluffy layer of snow.
While the snow, which was more like hail in town, quickly melted away in Payson, Pine-Strawberry and the Mogollon Rim are still well covered.
Several residents said they were planning to head to the higher elevations this weekend for some winter fun, including snowball fights and snowshoeing.
In Payson, the area received nearly an inch and a half of rain overnight Thursday.
The Weather Service says while the storm will take a brief break Friday afternoon, rain and snow will return by early Saturday morning.
This second storm will bring “significant” snowfall to the Rim and areas above 5,000 feet.
Things will dry out by Monday.
For those heading out on the roadways, AAA suggests giving your vehicle a once over and stocking up on emergency supplies.
“When the weather turns frightful, the least delightful activity is being stranded on the side of the road,” said John Walter, director of automotive repair for AAA Arizona. “Please take the time to make certain your vehicle is properly maintained and prepared for holiday driving to ensure it gets you and your loved ones to your destination safely and without incident.”
Drivers can avoid most breakdowns by keeping their vehicles properly maintained.
Here are a few things to check before heading out for a holiday drive:
• Antifreeze. Check antifreeze annually to ensure it will withstand the winter cold. A 50/50 mixture of coolant and water will protect against freezing.
• Windshield wipers and washer fluid. Replace wiper blades if they do not clear the glass in a single swipe without streaking. Fill the windshield washer reservoir with winter detergent fluid to prevent freeze up.
• Tires. A tire loses about a pound of pressure for every 10-degree drop in temperature, so check the pressure frequently and maintain the recommended levels found on the driver’s doorjamb. Motorists should never reduce tire pressure in an attempt to increase traction on snow and ice. This does not work, and when the roads dry out it can cause excessive tire wear and vehicle handling problems.
• Battery. Arizona’s summer heat puts auto batteries to the test, while our state’s winter temperatures can quickly sap the energy that’s left. Batteries don’t always give warning signs before they fail, so test strength and ensure connections are tight and free of corrosion to avoid an unexpected failure.
• Belts and hoses. Replace drive belts that are cracked, glazed or frayed, as well as coolant hoses that are visibly worn, brittle, bulging or excessively soft. Check for leaks around hose clamps and at the radiator and water pump.