Approaching Storms Dropping Rain, Snow

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A series of approaching storms will affect Northern Arizona through Friday.

The National Weather Service said there is the potential for hazardous weather including snow and rain at higher elevations and wind and rain in the lower elevations, which may result in flooding in Oak Creek and the Verde River basin.

The first system, which hit Monday morning, is predicted to bring more rain at elevations below 6,000 feet, 2 to 6 inches of snow from 6,000 to 7,000 feet, and 6 to 10 inches of snow above 7,000 feet. This storm is predicted to move out by mid-day Tuesday.

The second system is predicted to arrive late Tuesday evening and last until mid Wednesday. With a colder air mass, it will produce rain below 5,500 feet, 4 to 10 inches of snow from 5,500 to 6,500 feet, and 8 to 12 inches of snow above 6,500 feet.

The third system, due to arrive by Thursday evening, is expected to be windier and wetter.

Expect rain in the higher elevations, which could melt snow deposited by the first two storms.

Preliminary predictions indicate this storm could produce 2 to 4 inches of rain in the higher elevations, which will likely produce flooding in the Oak Creek and Verde River drainages. Additionally, this storm has the potential to produce wind gusts of up to 50 mph.

Due to the possibility of extended snow throughout next week, Coconino County is encouraging all citizens to prepare for possible adverse weather and driving conditions.

Always have the 5 P’s – Pills, Papers, Pets, Pictures and Personal Computers in your emergency go bag.

Other items to pack include flashlight/batteries, radio/batteries, first aid kit, prescription medication/copies of prescriptions, eyeglasses, water, non-perishable food, infant/elder hygiene items, hand sanitizer, medical equipment/devices, change of clothes, sleeping bags, computer back-up files, and pet food. Vehicles should be winterized and equipped with snow tires, chains, blankets, water, a first aid kit, ice scraper, and extra clothes. The vehicle gas tank should be kept at least half full.

Due to drifting snow, a portion of Lake Mary Road, also known as Forest Highway 3, was closed at 9:30 a.m. Monday. The closure begins at the north entrance of Mormon Lake (near the scenic overlook) to the south entrance of Mormon Lake.

Traffic will detour along the West Side Mormon Lake Road, which loops around Mormon Lake and goes through Mormon Lake Village. This section of Lake Mary Road will be closed until further notice.

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