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Fri, April 19

Stay indoors: Prescott could get a foot of snow this weekend

Courtesy photo<br>

Courtesy photo<br>

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning for all of Yavapai County as a strong Pacific storm system moves in today.

Prescott could get as much as a foot of snow by the time the fast-moving storm leaves the area Sunday, the Weather Service warns. Surrounding mountains could see 17 inches.

Snow levels could drop down to 2,500 feet in northern Arizona by Sunday morning, the Weather Service said.

The warning is forecasting a total of 1-2 inches of snow in Yavapai County below 4,000 feet, 2-6 inches at elevations of 4,000-5,000 feet, 6-12 inches at elevations of 5,000-7,000 feet, and 12-24 inches above 7,000 feet.

Southwest winds throughout the county could be steady at 15-25 mph, with gusts reaching 35-40 mph.

"Dangerous winter driving conditions are forecast with blowing snow and poor visibility," the winter storm warning stated. "A winter storm warning means there is a potential for significant snow accumulations and strong winds."

The Weather Service issued the winter storm warning late Friday afternoon. It is in effect from 5 p.m. today through 5 p.m. Sunday for elevations higher than 4,000 feet.

The Arizona Department of Transportation and Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a press release Friday warning that authorities could close portions of interstates 17 and 40, as well as state highways in Yavapai County.

During last weekend's storm, state officials closed parts of interstates 17 and 40 as well as parts of highways 89A and 180.

Rain is likely in Prescott today before 11 a.m., then rain and snow, the Weather Service forecast said Friday night. The snow level should start out around 5,700 feet and lower to 5,300 feet today. The city could get 1-2 inches of snow today, while winds gust to 33 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90 percent, with a high temperature of 41 degrees.

By tonight the snow could be heavy, with 5-9 more inches of snow falling and wind gusts reaching 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100 percent, with a low of 27 degrees.

Most of Sunday's snow in Prescott should fall before 11 a.m., with less than one inch of new snow, the Weather Service said. Winds could gust to 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent, with a high temperature of 35 degrees.

By Wednesday, the Weather Service is forecasting the temperature to rise back up to 62 degrees.

For weather updates, go online to www.weather.gov/flagstaff. For travel information, go to www.az511.gov or call 511. For safe driving tips, go online to www.azdot.gov/KnowSnow.

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