This week we experienced something we have not had for quite some time: Rain.

This week’s storm was not unusual for this time of year. Depending on the fluctuations in weekly temperature, December and January storms can be either rain or snow. It’s snow more often than not, but this year has been warmer than normal so snow only fell at higher elevations. Reporter Makenna Lepowsky shot some photos of the snow that did fall in Oak Creek Canyon and at the overlook to remind us what the white stuff looks like.

What does make this storm unusual, however, was that it was the first significant precipitation the Sedona area has received since Sept. 10. The Verde Valley has been bone dry for more than three months. We’ve had plenty of clouds roll above us offering some great sunrises and sunsets, but none of the moisture those clouds held fell to earth.

Like many in Sedona, I generally do not wash my pickup truck, trusting nature to keep her clean, but after months without a drop she was beginning to look pretty nasty. After this week, she’s back to her brilliant blue.

The storm wasn’t a light one, either. The rain fell hard and heavy Tuesday night, dropping more than an inch-and-a-half on Sedona and the Village of Oak Creek, filling dry washes, clearing out rain gutters and swelling Oak Creek and the Verde River.

The stoplight at State Route 89A and Coffee Pot Drive has been out of commission since the storm, flashing yellow in all four directions. Sedona police officers and police volunteers have been directing traffic to keep the area flowing safely. If the intersection lights are still out by the time you read this, please drive carefully in that area.

Yet as quickly as the storm moved in, it dissipated.

Anyone who happened to be out of the area between Monday and Wednesday will doubt claims that we even experienced a storm — thus we have included photos in today’s paper to help you prove to them that yes, we did indeed have rainfall.

Meteorologists are expecting sunny skies for the next week with the potential for more precipitation next weekend and the weekend after, but with temperatures still in the 50s, the chance for a January snowstorm is slim.

As we warm in February, there is a high probability we may not get any snow this year unless any of these storms is accompanied by a sudden cold snap. It would not be the first year in recent memory without any snowfall.

We can hope for a late winter snow in February or March if for no other reason than the fact that our red rocks look beautiful when dusted with a layer of white.

Christopher Fox Graham

Managing Editor