Storm in Arizona

Following a beautiful morning in Austin, TX (sunny, 20+ °C), I flew into a major storm in Phoenix, AZ. For a while, it actually looked like I wasn’t flying into Phoenix at all, given the weather conditions. But we did, so I got to experience what it feels to land in 25 mph crosswinds, with gusts up to 35 mph. Not too much fun, I’ll tell you.

From the airport to the hotel, I shared a shuttle with two guys whose flights out of Phoenix got cancelled. Indeed, inbound and outbound flights got cancelled all over the board. Mine was one of the few that still got in this afternoon. The shuttle driver had been watching incoming flights for a while, and had seen many aborted landings. Made me feel good that we touched down on the first attempt.

I’m in my hotel now, comfortably sheltered against the wind and rain, and watching the news on tv. They’re calling it the storm of the century; given that it’s the worst storm since at least 1993, that moniker is correct, albeit a tad premature. Phoenix is getting record amounts of rain, apparently the most in a single day since people started keeping track. Further north, the city of Flagstaff is getting a foot or two of snow. Elsewhere, the abundant precipitation is causing floods, and that’s expected to get worse over the next few days.

I was going to go on a bus tour to the Grand Canyon tomorrow, but it’s exceedingly unlikely that that will still happen. Authorities are strongly advising people not to travel. If the tour company decides to go on with the tour, I’ll assume it’s safe enough and I’ll go. If they cancel, I guess I’ll be stuck in my hotel for a day.

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