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Major winter storm expected Wednesday through early Saturday: 1 to 2 feet of snow possible in mountains

Hotel St. Michael’s head of maintenance clears the sidewalks in front of the business in downtown Prescott, Feb. 22, 2019. (Max Efrein/Courier)

Hotel St. Michael’s head of maintenance clears the sidewalks in front of the business in downtown Prescott, Feb. 22, 2019. (Max Efrein/Courier)

Northern Arizona is in for another spell of winter weather.

This time, snow and ice will likely cause difficult to impossible travel conditions Thursday evening, Nov. 28, through Friday afternoon in the Prescott area, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Precipitation for this storm will begin late Wednesday, with snow accumulation in areas above 6,500 feet in elevation. Snow levels will fall to about 5,500 feet Thursday evening and drop to as low as 3,500 feet by Friday morning, according to NWS.

Snow totals will be in the 12-to-24 inch range above 5,500 feet and around 2 to 6 inches below 5,500.

“Snow amounts will be greater in higher-elevation southern suburbs of Prescott,” said Mark Sinclair, a professor of meteorology at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Ice will be a problem Friday morning, so travelers should delay their departure until late morning and try to arrive at their destinations before dark.

“There will be hard freezes both Friday and Saturday nights,” Sinclair said.

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A winter storm is likely to bring difficult to impossible travel conditions to the area between Thursday morning and Friday afternoon (National Weather Service/Courtesy)

Snow showers will taper off Friday afternoon. A few lingering snow showers may persist Saturday morning, but the weekend will mostly be clear and cold, with temperatures staying in the 30s during the days and dipping into the teens at night.

For more information about local weather, go to www.weather.gov/fgz.

To track road conditions, go to AZ511.gov.

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The Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott Friday morning, Feb. 22, 2019. (Max Efrein/Courier)

And as a refresher, the Arizona Department of Public Safety recommends the following driving safety tips during winter weather:

• Always wear your seatbelt.

• “Don’t crowd the plow” - Give snow plows plenty of room; they move slower, but they are there to ensure your safety on the roadway ahead.

• Watch for black ice - Use extra caution when approaching bridges, intersections, off-ramps and shady areas.

• Keep a minimum of 2/3 of gas in your tank to prevent freezing.

• Don’t pull over on the freeway to play in the snow, this causes a severe hazard to you and other motorists.

• Notify someone of your planned travel route.

• Check road conditions and weather alerts.

• Use snow tires, chains or studded tires. Studded tires are permitted on Arizona highways from Oct. 1 to May 1.

• Don’t overcorrect your steering if you feel your car sliding. In addition, do not slam on the brakes if your car begins to slide.

• Avoid cruise control in wet, icy conditions.

Follow Max Efrein on Twitter @mefrein, email him at mefrein@prescottaz.com or call him at 928-445-3333 ext. 1105.

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