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Stunning pictures show Grand Canyon blanketed in snow

The unusual spectacle came as temperatures dropped in the US west.

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The view across Lookout Studio in Grand Canyon Village on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park (Anna Johnson/AP)

The view across Lookout Studio in Grand Canyon Village on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park (Anna Johnson/AP)

The view across Lookout Studio in Grand Canyon Village on the south rim of Grand Canyon National Park (Anna Johnson/AP)

Stunning pictures show snow on the Grand Canyon as the west of the US saw unusually cold temperatures at the start of 2019.

Temperatures in nearby Phoenix, Arizona, dropped as low as 30F (-1C) overnight for the first time in five years and more cold temperatures were expected on Thursday.

Snow dusted cacti and mountains in southern Arizona and covered the Grand Canyon in the north.

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Tourists take photos of a snow-covered Grand Canyon (Anna Johnson/AP)

Tourists take photos of a snow-covered Grand Canyon (Anna Johnson/AP)

AP/PA Images

Tourists take photos of a snow-covered Grand Canyon (Anna Johnson/AP)

Elsewhere, the National Weather Service issued a freeze warning in the Nevada county where Las Vegas is located. Snow fell and stuck on a desert highway over a mountain just 20 minutes outside the city.

Albuquerque in New Mexico, saw heavy snowfall and icy roads that caused many government agencies and schools to close.

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While parts of the national park were closed due to the partial government shutdown, much of the park’s South Rim was open and accessible (Anna Johnson/AP)

While parts of the national park were closed due to the partial government shutdown, much of the park’s South Rim was open and accessible (Anna Johnson/AP)

AP/PA Images

While parts of the national park were closed due to the partial government shutdown, much of the park’s South Rim was open and accessible (Anna Johnson/AP)

The cold weather and snow is “quite uncommon” for the area, said Glenn Lader, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Tucson. Nogales, an Arizona city on the Mexico border, had about six inches of snow, he said.

Meanwhile, some parts of Alaska rang in the new year with relatively balmy weather for the region that helped melt snow in Anchorage. A change in the jet stream brought warmer air from the south, taking the temperature to 42F (6C) on New Year’s Day.

It was a nice respite from a winter mix that left 32.6 inches of snow on the ground in Anchorage in December, with most of it falling during the last half of the month.

PA Media