Winter storm warning in effect; police issue warning
All of Yavapai County is in the midst of a winter storm warning through 6 a.m. Tuesday.
That means the National Weather Service advises people to avoid road travel if possible. People who do travel should bring emergency supplies and tell others their route, expected arrival time and type of vehicle.
The forecast is calling for 8-16 inches of new snow above 8,000 feet during the warning period, with winds gusting as strong as 50 mph.
Prescott and other areas between 5,000 and 6,000 feet in elevation are supposed to get 4-8 inches of snow from this powerful Pacific storm system.
Snow levels could drop to 3,000 feet by Tuesday morning across Arizona.
Local authorities have received reports of vehicles sliding off roads in the Prescott area, including Highway 89 south of Prescott.
The heaviest snow in the Prescott area was scheduled to arrive around 1 p.m. Monday and last about four hours; however, at 6 p.m. Weather Service officials said the brunt of the storm had yet to hit the area and was still centered over the Colorado River.
Wind gusts in the Prescott area could reach 33 mph today, with sustained wind speeds around 20 mph.
Flagstaff set a snow record for Sunday, Feb. 8, with 12.9 inches falling. It broke the 11-inch record set in 1939.
Prescott received several inches of snow by Monday morning, with 0.23 inches of precipitation at the Sundog measuring site by 5 a.m. Monday.
The Weather Service expects a break in winter weather Wednesday, but then another cold storm system could bring more snow Thursday.
Yet another strong storm system could hit the region for Valentine's Day weekend, forecasters say.