Originally Published: November 18, 2016 6:01 a.m.
PRESCOTT – It’s cold.
Not just “chilly,” but cold.
The National Weather Service issued a freeze warning for much of Yavapai County, as well as other parts of the state that just ended this morning at 8.
The temperatures are expected to rise a bit in the coming days, said National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Bohlin.
“Usually, the one or two days after the cold front comes through, you get the coldest temperatures,” he said, noting that the current cold front passed through Wednesday. “Depending on your elevation, maybe even by Friday night, you’ll still see below freezing temperatures.”
Next week, the forecast is for wetter conditions, especially on Sunday night, Monday, and into Tuesday, but, Bohlin said, he expected that the weather would be warmer, which would keep snow or sleet away from all but elevations above 8,000 feet.
Travel weather in Arizona for Thanksgiving looks good, according to forecasters, who said dry conditions are expected for northern Arizona from the latter half of Tuesday through Thursday.
It would still pay to be prepared for snow, though, from this point forward. Here are some winter driving suggestions from AAA:
• Make certain your tires are properly inflated.
• Keep your gas tank at least half full.
• If possible, avoid using your parking brake in cold, rainy and snowy weather.
• Do not use cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
• Drive slowly. Everything takes longer on snow-covered roads. Accelerating, stopping, turning – nothing happens as quickly as on dry pavement.
• If you become snow-bound, stay with your vehicle. It provides temporary shelter and makes it easier for rescuers to locate you. Don’t try to walk in a severe storm. It’s easy to lose sight of your vehicle in blowing snow and become lost.
• Tie a brightly colored cloth to the antenna or place a cloth at the top of a rolled up window to signal distress. At night, keep the dome light on if possible. It uses only a small amount of electricity and will make it easier for rescuers to find you.
• Make sure the exhaust pipe isn’t clogged with snow, ice or mud. A blocked exhaust could cause deadly carbon monoxide gas to leak into the passenger compartment with the engine running.
Snow doesn’t usually become a major issue in northern Arizona until late December or January, but weather can be unpredictable, and Bohlin suggested that travelers keep an eye on the current forecast.
Just ask residents of that other “mile high” city, Denver, where it was a record 78 degrees and sunny Wednesday, and then it snowed into Thursday.