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11:47 PM Tue, Jan. 15th

Weather Service Warning: Rain turning to 6 to 10 inches of snow tonight

A winter storm with a mixture of rain, wind and snow could hit Prescott today through Tuesday morning.

While about 1 to 2 inches of wintry precipitation is predicted here during the day Monday, the chance of precipitation rises to 90 percent tonight, according to the National Weather Service website - www.wrh.noaa.gov/fgz/ - and new snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches is possible.

The National Weather Service warns travelers that a major winter storm could make traveling hazardous in the higher elevations.

"It's going to be a little bit dicey," meteorologist Robert Bohlin said. The Weather Service issued a winter storm watch for areas above 5,000 feet, with possible blizzard conditions.

"For folks traveling in the high country, there is a blizzard warning in higher elevations with wind and drifting snow causing a lot of problems," he said. "If people don't have to travel they shouldn't."

If the precipitation is not in the form of snow, Prescott residents will see a "sloppy" rain and snow mix. The heaviest precipitation is likely between midnight and morning on Tuesday, Bohlin said.

On Thursday another weaker storm could hit northern Arizona, he said, adding that, "We'll be able to pinpoint it, as it gets closer."

However, the expected moisture will not make much of a dent in the ongoing drought affecting the region, he said.

"It's a brief respite for the trees," Bohlin said. "One or two events are not going to refill the lakes."

In a normal year Prescott would get 16.88 inches of precipitation between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, he said. This year only 9.17 inches has fallen, a deficit of 7.71 inches. Flagstaff is 12.5 inches behind normal rainfall quota.