Phoenix weather: Chilly changes coming

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PHOENIX -- Thursday was off to a mild start with morning temperatures in the 40s and 50s, and plenty of sunshine is forecast for the day ahead.  Afternoon highs will once again top out above average in the low 70s.  This is expected to be last warm and sunny day for a while.

A Pacific low-pressure system is moving onshore in the Northwest, and the associated cold front is expected to push into Arizona Friday.  Winds are expected to pick up tomorrow, with 10-20 mph winds expected in the Valley.  In the high country, a Wind Advisory is in effect 11 a.m.-7 p.m. tomorrow for stronger southwesterly winds of 25-35 mph, with gusts of up to 50 mph possible. 

This storm doesn't have a whole lot of precipitation, but snow showers could begin in the high country Friday afternoon.  More snow is likely overnight Friday and during the day Saturday and Sunday, with snowfall amounts likely between 4 to 8 inches in most spots, including Flagstaff.  The storm brings very cold air and lower snow levels, so even lower elevations like Prescott and Payson could see an inch or two of the white stuff. 

There is about a 20 percent chance of rain in the Valley Friday night and Saturday, with just a slight chance for a shower on Sunday.

Temperatures will take a big dive with this storm.  Look for highs in the mid 60s Friday, but mid 50s over the weekend.  Overnight lows will dip to the 30s, although no watches or warnings have been issued as widespread freezing conditions are not expected. 

Sunshine returns by the start of next week, but the below-average temperatures will continue for much of the week.

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