Cold storm targets Arizona

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PHOENIX -- A cold, windy and winter-like storm is targeting Arizona.  Beginning late Friday morning and continuing into late Friday night, strong southerly and southwesterly winds are possible statewide.  Look for sustained 25 to 35 mph winds, with gusts up to 50 mph. 

Almost the entire state is under a wind advisory today and tonight, with the Valley also under a blowing dust advisory between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

Low visibility could be a problem on local roads, especially Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson.  Strong crosswinds could also produce dangerous driving conditions for high profile vehicles, especially on east-to-west oriented roads like I-10, Interstate 40, Interstate 8 and U.S. 60. 

An Air Quality Alert has also been issued as well as a high pollution advisory for Maricopa County, including the greater Phoenix area and Pinal County Friday because of dust.

Following the dust, there's a decent chance of rain.  Most of the rain is expected to be in south-central Arizona including the greater Phoenix area Friday night. The showers and chance of thunderstorms will probably not reach the Phoenix area until late Friday evening, with amounts around 0.25 inch or less likely.  Higher terrain north and east of the Valley could see much more. 

The National Weather Service has issued an  winter weather advisory for the high country of Northern and Eastern Arizona for tonight and tomorrow for the threat of blowing snow. Snow levels are expected to drop to around 5,000 feet, and the Flagstaff could get between 3 and 8 inches of snow.