Winter storm drops more snow in northern Arizona

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) -- Residents of northern Arizona can expect to wake up Wednesday to a fresh layer of snow as a fast-moving storm pushes through the state.

The snowmen that dot the landscape and the snow piled alongside driveways didn't have much of a chance to melt ahead of a storm that began dropping snow across much of the region on Tuesday afternoon.

It was expected to lower temperatures to 10 to 15 degrees below normal before clearing out Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service said.

Elevations above 6,000 feet, including Flagstaff and Show Low, could get up to 9 inches of snow. Prescott could receive up to 4 inches. The desert areas will see scattered rain showers with temperatures falling to near freezing, forecasters say.

Two recent storms dropped as much as 2 feet of snow in the mountains north of Flagstaff, about 20 inches in Flagstaff and along the Mogollon Rim, and about 6 inches in Prescott. The snowfall put Flagstaff above its nearly 17-inch normal for December with the snowiest month yet to come in January.

"We still have some considerable snowpack around, so we will get snowfall on top of that," said Robert Rickey, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Flagstaff.

The snowpack has allowed two Arizona ski resorts to open this week - Arizona Snowbowl outside Flagstaff and Sunrise Park Resort near Greer.

For those traveling over the weekend for the holidays, the weather won't be as bitter. Warmer temperatures will return Thursday and will be back to near-normal on Friday and through the weekend, Rickey said.

Until then, the major roadways in northern Arizona are expected to be an icy and slushy mess. Gusty winds that send snow blowing through the air also could limit visibility.

Another storm system could cross the state Sunday night and early Monday, though forecasters say the exact timing is uncertain as well as the amount of snow it could bring.

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