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Thu, Dec. 12

Winter storm warning in effect today; Prescott could get half-foot of snow

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier, file<br>
Jane and Tim Griffin of Santa Cruz, Calif., wait at the stoplight at the corner of Gurley and Cortez streets as the snow flies in downtown Prescott on Dec. 7, 2009. The scene will likely be similar today, according to the National Weather Service.

Les Stukenberg/The Daily Courier, file<br> Jane and Tim Griffin of Santa Cruz, Calif., wait at the stoplight at the corner of Gurley and Cortez streets as the snow flies in downtown Prescott on Dec. 7, 2009. The scene will likely be similar today, according to the National Weather Service.

Downtown Prescott could see 4 to 6 inches of snow from a strong Pacific storm system sweeping through northern Arizona.

The courthouse plaza sits at 5,400 feet. Higher-elevation areas just to the south and west of downtown Prescott could get 8 to 12 inches by the time the storm moves out Saturday.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from 6 a.m. to midnight today for areas of Yavapai County above 5,500 feet, and a winter weather advisory for areas between 4,500 and 5,500 feet.

The storm system could produce snow as low as 4,000 feet, and elevations higher than 6,000 feet could get as much as 14 inches of the white stuff.

"This is going to be a good snow event for northern Arizona," said Dan LeBlanc of the National Weather Service office in Flagstaff. He advised travelers to be prepared with emergency supplies.

The City of Prescott is asking people not to park along snowy streets.

"Cars parked along any street impede the progress of snow plows and pose a danger," Prescott Streets Superintendent Bobbie King said.

City code requires residents and businesses to clear snow and ice from sidewalks on their properties, Prescott officials noted.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is advising people not to drive anywhere during the snowstorm if they don't have to. To check highway conditions, dial 511 or go online to az511.gov.

"Expect winter driving conditions with slick roadways and low visibilities due to snow and blowing snow," the Weather Service's winter storm warning said.

Prescott's forecast is calling for rain to turn to snow around 11 a.m. today, with 100 percent chance for rain and snow today. The high temperature is forecast at 43 degrees. Winds could gust to 29 mph.

The Weather Service is calling for a 100 percent chance of heavy snow tonight with a low of 31 degrees, then a 70 percent chance for snow Saturday with a high of 42 degrees, and a 30 percent chance Saturday night with a low of 28 degrees.

Temperatures should rise back up to 54 degrees Sunday under mostly sunny skies.

To keep up with the latest forecast, go online to weather.gov/flagstaff.

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