Thu, May 23

Big storm to bring white Christmas to Northern Arizona

NORTHERN ARIZONA -- A high pressure system in the Southwest have kept precipitation away for the past two months, but the weather picture changes starting this evening with plenty of rainfall predicted in the Verde Valley and snow on every road leading outside.

A series of back-to-back storms have slammed the Northwest US this year. But all have sailed over the high pressure bubble dominating our weather. Now that high pressure is breaking down and rain is expected with snow at the higher elevations.

In the Verde Valley, rainfall will range from 80-100 percent Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

The National Weather Service in Flagstaff says snow will begin this (Thursday) afternoon snow will begin at 5,000 feet increasing with elevation. The storm could dump a total of from four inches to 10 inches and higher on the mountains. One to three inches of snow are expected in Prescott.

The agency has issued a winter storm watch from 9 p.m. Thursday through noon Friday.

The winters snow will make travel difficult above the snowline. Jerry Doerksen of Verde Valley Fire also warns that with precipitation overnight, drivers should be cautious of bridges where ice will develop below freezing temperatures. He says that is a very common hazard.