Mother Nature smacks Arizona with winter storm

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STATEWIDE -- Mother Nature is giving Arizona a taste of winter with a slow-moving storm that's affecting nearly every part of the state.

It's been snowing in the high country and raining in the Valley since Monday.

Flagstaff has already seen about a foot of snow and more will be coming down as the storm system continues to make its way through the state.

School was canceled in Flagstaff Tuesday and the area remains under a winter storm warning until Wednesday morning. Another 4 to 6 inches of snow was expected Tuesday.

Right around Payson, the rain was switching over to snow. As of 7:30 a.m., it had been coming down steadily for about two hours, and what started as a two-hour delay for Payson school had been turned into a snow day. Snow was coming down heavier in the Heber/Overgaard area.

State Route 260 is closed east of Payson all the way to Heber. In addition, winter driving condition are being reported and Interstate 40 and Interstate 17 in the Flagstaff area.

This storm system is not particularly cold; the snow level is about 5,000 feet, but the Arizona Department of Transportation is advising drivers who are heading north to exercise extreme caution and be prepared for possible closures due to snow and ice.

ADOT is working to keep the roadways clear. The agency has almost 200 snow plow crews hard at work.

Lower elevations are seeing a good amount of rain.

While the rain has been relatively light for the most part, it is adding up. Some parts of the Valley can boast a rainfall total of more than an inch. Rain gauges have measure about 0.63 inch in downtown Phoenix.

While the rain is intermittent and no flooding has been reported, the roadways are extremely slick and dotted with puddles, which means drivers should be extra careful.

As the center of the system creeps through Arizona, it's possible that the Phoenix metro area could seem some stray thunderstorms. What we'll see for sure is more rain.

Those showers are expected to continue throughout the day and into evening, finally tapering off during the overnight hours.

Depending on how quickly that storms moves out of the state, the Valley could see some potentially dense fog Wednesday morning.