Strong storm hits Arizona Friday
A powerful cold front will bring widespread rain and snow to Arizona Friday.
The Weather Service forecast for Friday has changed several times in the last few days between a forecast of snow or rain for Prescott. The snow elevation could drop as low as 5,300 feet, according to a revised 8:30 p.m. forecast Thursday. Hours earlier, the forecast called for only rain.
The Thursday night forecast was predicting 1-2 inches of snow in parts of Prescott at 5,300 feet late Friday and early Saturday. Higher-elevation homes throughout the Prescott Basin could see more.
Prescott has a 30 percent chance of rain today, a 100 percent chance of rain or snow tonight and a 40 percent chance of rain and snow Saturday before the storm moves east, the Weather Service forecast Thursday night.
The low temperature in Prescott is forecast at 33 degrees today, dropping to 28 degrees Saturday, with a high of only 46 Saturday.
By the time the snow level drops toward the end of the storm, there might not be much precipitation left to produce snow in Prescott, said meteorologist Justin Johndrow at the Weather Service office in Flagstaff.
The Weather Service is forecasting 2 to 5 inches of snow above 6,000 feet in northern Arizona today and Saturday. The Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the Yavapai County mountains that is in effect from 5 p.m. today to 8 a.m. Saturday above 6,000 feet.
The Weather Service also issued a wind advisory for most of Arizona from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. today. Prescott could get wind gusts of 43 mph today, with sustained winds as strong as 29 mph at the head of the front.
Across northern Arizona, wind gusts could reach 50 mph, with sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph.
Strong winds could lead to blinding dust storms on interstates 8 and 10 in the desert areas, the Arizona Department of Transportation is warning. A dust storm on I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson last month killed one person and injured at least 15 as dozens of cars piled up in crashes.
Meanwhile, travelers in northern Arizona could face icy and snowy driving conditions today and tomorrow.
Drivers can check road conditions online at az511.gov or call 511.
Northern Arizona temperatures will remain unseasonably cold into next week.
Another cold front will bring a slight chance for rain and snow Monday, when the high is forecast to be only 48 degrees.