Winter is Coming in Sedona
Make Sure You Have A Snow Shovel!
Remember the Sedona Winter of 2018-2019?
El Nino was responsible for our extreme cold weather last winter, especially February. Sedona had 5 low-temperature readings below 20º with 11.2º the lowest temp so far this year. I am pretty sure this will hold as the lowest temperature for the rest of 2019.
When I say “low temp”, I am referring to the temperature that hits the lowest point for the day. Usually, this is in the early morning right before sunrise. As soon as the sun rises, the temperature readings start to rise and quickly get above freezing.
What is “Hard Freeze”?
What we have to be worried about is a “hard freeze”. This is a combination of temperature and time below freezing that can damage the cell structure of a plant or bush. 27º is considered a danger zone. Ice can start forming on water and seasonal vegetation may be destroyed if the temp remains there for a sufficient time period.
Moving Forward – Are You Willing To Take The Chance?
Last year (2018), only 1 day at 18.6º was recorded. February had the most snowfall in any recorded month since starting in 2010 at 25.51 inches recorded at the Cottages At Coffeepot weather station. Chances are we may not see cold temperatures and snow like we saw last February but are you willing to take the chance?
Don’t Get Caught Off Guard!
Once the stores run out of winter supplies, it is hard to find any replacements. It is better to be prepared than to be caught off guard. I was in Ace Hardware at the beginning of November and they had the snow shovels (all models) lined up at the entrance to the store. Ace had plenty of buckets of driveway salt also.
I went in to get some burlap to cover the plants when the temperatures get down below freezing and saw this first hand. When we got to Sedona, we bought a snow shovel, my husband has used it every year. Even in light snow, it is better to be pro-active and keep a path clear for walking. It was only a couple of years later, that we had ice on the driveway and had to buy a snow pick to scrap it off.
This past February, we had such a large amount of snowfall (over 25 inches) that many residents were caught off guard. We were the only ones with a snow shovel or salt. Many neighbors needed our help to clear driveways. My husband also has a rock climbing jeep if there was an emergency and someone needed to get to a hospital. Fortunately, there are four vehicles like the one pictured above in our neighborhood, but only Rick is here full-time!
Another item I would highly recommend is a cover to protect the outdoor faucet or spigot. My house had both spigots freeze up in different years. I left a hose on one which is something you do not want to do in the winter during freezing morning temps. The other faucet was just a little too exposed to the elements.
Living in Southern California until 2007, I had never seen one of these covers. It is worth spending a couple of dollars to put one of these covers over each of your outdoor spigots or faucets.
Faucet or Spigot Bib Covers
These faucet or spigot bib covers are easy to put on and take off to put a hose on to water plants during times when there is no freeze. The black pull has a circle at the end under the bell-shaped cover. Fit that over the faucet handle or spigot and loosen or tighten the pull. Just make sure you put it back on before the next freeze!
Here are just a few things to keep in mind when you are off to the store to pick up winter supplies.
Pick up a nice sturdy snow shovel with metal on the scoop. This will keep your shovel from wearing out prematurely. It should be light but sturdy. The snow shovel pictured above is 15 years old! Remember, you won’t be using it very often but you will be so glad you have it when you need it!
If you wait too long, this is another commodity that will be missing from store shelves. I was able to substitute soft water system salt and it works just fine. I also recommend a small container that you can use to easily scoop the salt out of as you place it on your steps.
Burlap Roll or Bags
Take inventory of plants and hedges that may need extra protection from early morning freezing temps. In most cases here in Sedona, you can keep plants covered and they should be able to weather the freeze. I had a very hardy cactus plant and never covered it. It seemed to do fine every year until it didn’t… I lost this beautiful cactus.
If you cover cactus plants like the one pictured above, make sure you are wearing gloves. This type of cactus has plenty of stickers that you won’t even be able to see. My suggestion, once the season is over take the tarp (at arm’s length) and throw it in the trash!
Odds and Ends
You might also need Bungie cords, rope or netting to secure the tarp around bushes or trees. I also bought some stakes to secure the netting into the ground. Last recommendation, don’t wait until the freeze is upon you to get all the supplies. If you plan ahead, you will be happy you did!
Don’t Let A Little Snow Scare You Away From Sedona!
I have found that many real estate agents do not show snow in their images. My husband was commissioned by an agent for landscapes of Sedona and she specifically told him “no images with snow.” There have been some potential buyers who have had such a negative experience with snow and frigid conditions, they will not ever consider an area where snow could fall.
We are fortunate to have a four-season climate. Better yet, the winter and summer seasons are mild compared to the rest of the country. Why? The humidity is low. Sometimes the snow evaporates before it melts. It just disappears.
Many who have not experienced winter here in Sedona don’t realize just how beautiful it really is. We don’t get a lot of snow and when we do, it melts the same day. It is rare we see ice and that is only if the sun cannot reach it. Shady areas may make the snow linger. Our freezing temps are usually in the early morning and once the sun comes out, temps move into the 50ºs or 60ºs. Rick has only recorded 3 days with a high of below 32º since 2011. That is approximately 3,282 days (and climbing) that never had a day where the temperature stayed below 32º. My husband has a weather station in the backyard and tracks all the temps.
The contrast of the crimson color of the rocks and the evergreens with the pure white snow is just amazing to see. Our cold is not bone-chilling because the air is dry. Most days, just a sweater will do. You don’t need to bundle up unless you are going to be out in the weather for longer periods.
As always, if I can help you with any questions about Sedona or Verde Valley real estate, please don’t hesitate to call me at 928) 274-7355.
The Chapel Area – Elephant Rock – Twin Sisters