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10:27 AM Thu, Dec. 13th

New Year to bring snow; carnival canceled but Boot Drop, fireworks are on

Prescott may not have seen a white Christmas, but it's certainly going to see a white New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, according to the National Weather Service.

The agency is forecasting that a total of 5 to 10 inches of snow will fall in Prescott on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

The forecast has led the Whiskey Row Boot Drop organizers to drop plans for carnival rides and games on Whiskey Row this New Year's Eve.

"This is a hard decision to make," said Matt Brassard of M&M Entertainment. "At the same time, we can't control the weather and we have to do what's safe."

It could be dangerous for people to ride a Ferris wheel while it's snowing, he said.

"But the Boot Drop will go on, no matter what," Brassard added. And alongside the Boot Drops at 10 p.m. and midnight, there will be fireworks. "The X Factor" finalist Drew Ryniewicz of Chino Valley will perform pop songs before each Boot Drop, too.

"And who knows, if we have enough snow we might have some kind of snowmaking contest," Brassard said. "We're going to make it a party, no matter what."

The Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Yavapai County and most of the state from Tuesday evening through Thursday afternoon for areas above 3,000 feet.

The deep, cold trough could cause snow levels to plummet down to 2,000 feet Wednesday night, the Weather Service warned Monday.

The Weather Service is forecasting a trace to 2 inches of snow for areas below 3,000 feet; 2 to 6 inches for areas at 3,000-5,000 feet in elevation; 6 to 12 inches for areas above 5,000 feet; and higher amounts nearest the Mogollon Rim and above 8,500 feet.

"Expect dangerous driving conditions for the New Year's holiday," the Weather Service warned in a hazardous weather outlook, advising people to stay off the roads.

Prescott's forecast on Monday was calling for a 40 percent chance of rain Tuesday night; 100 percent chance of snow on New Year's Eve with accumulations of 2 to 4 inches, and a high temperature of 34 degrees; 100 percent chance of heavy snow Wednesday night with accumulations of 2 to 4 inches, and a low temperature of 26; 80 percent chance of snow on New Year's Day with accumulations of 1 to 2 inches, and a high of 30; and 40 percent chance of snow on Thursday night, with a low of 18.

By the weekend, conditions will be much warmer. And by Monday, the high temperature could climb back up to 50 degrees.

Go to weather.gov/flagstaff for updates.

Follow Joanna Dodder on Twitter @joannadodder