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Winter storm graces Catalinas with snow; Tucson gets hard freeze warning

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A saguaro arm is covered with a thin blanket of snow as a winter storm swung through Tucson on Monday night. - Paul Ingram/TucsonSentinel.com

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A winter squall brought rain and a little bit of snow to the Tucson valley Monday evening and Tuesday morning, and a hard freeze warning will be in effect for the metro area through 9 a.m. Wednesday.

By around 8:30 a.m., there were reports of snow in the Tucson metro area, and up to 25 inches fell at the General Store in Summerhaven, the National Weather Service said. 

NWS said that moderate and at times heavy snow would accumulate Tuesday afternoon for areas to the south and east of Tucson, and "light accumulations" are possible in the lower valleys generally above 3,500 feet. The storm pushed across Southern Arizona, bringing 5 to 8 inches of snow to Bisbee, and more than 16 inches to Mt. Graham. 

NWS warned of a hard freeze in Tucson on Tuesday night, with temperatures dipping down into the lower 20s or teens in the south and east.

Wrap your pipes, cover your plants, bring your pets inside and be kind to people who are outdoors at night. A freeze warning covers all of southeastern Arizona, including Cochise and Santa Cruz counties. In Pima County, a hard freeze warning covers the metro area and much of the Tohono O'odham Nation, stretching from Green Valley to Oracle and west past Sells nearly to Ajo.

NWS officials cautioned people to drain their outdoor sprinkler systems to protect them from freezing, and to cover their outdoor pipes and allow them to drip to keep them from bursting during the cold snap.

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