A strong winter storm is moving into northern Arizona tonight and it should last through Sunday, producing rain and then snow in Prescott.
The National Weather Service was forecasting a 50 percent chance of rain tonight in Prescott by press time Thursday night. Wind gusts could reach 34 mph today, and the high winds will continue into Saturday.
The chance for rain increases to 80 percent Saturday in Prescott, with the possibility for heavy snow in the Yavapai County mountains above 6,500, said David Vonderheide of the National Weather Service office in Flagstaff.
The rain should turn to snow in Prescott late Saturday night when the chance for precipitation is 90 percent, with a 70 percent chance of more snow on Sunday.
The mile-high city could get 1-3 inches of snow in all. The snow level in Yavapai County could drop to 4,500 feet as the storm front passes.
Yavapai County mountains higher than 6,000 feet could get 5-10 inches of snow. The Mogollon Rim, Kaibab Plateau and White Mountains above 7,000 feet could see 8-18 inches.
"People traveling into the high country should be prepared," Vonderheide warned. Windy conditions will produce blowing and drifting snow, a special weather statement from the Weather Service said.