Cooler temps, Valley rain, mountain snow, breezy winds headed for Arizona

Posted: Updated:
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A big change in the weather pattern starts this weekend , beginning with breezy winds and mountain snow, followed by cooler temperatures and Valley rain chances.

High pressure across the eastern Pacific is starting to break down while the storm track that has stayed well north of Arizona begins to to shift southward towards the state.

A tightening pressure gradient between high pressure and a trough to the north will kick up winds across northern and southern Arizona Saturday. West to southwest wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour along and northeast of the Mogollon Rim, as well as south of Metro Phoenix will kick up blowing dust, increase fire danger and create difficult driving conditions for high profile vehicles starting late morning and continuing through the early evening hours.

A cold front associated with the trough will drop snow levels down across northeast Arizona to roughly 5500 feet Satuday night through early Sunday morning. Snow accumulation will be confined to the highest elevations with one to two inches possible. The Valley will remain sunny Saturday, with light breezes and highs near 80 degrees.

Cooler air moves in behind the cold front Sunday, dropping Valley daytime highs to the mid 70s. Valley winds will also increase and remain rather breezy each afternoon through next week.

Forecast models indicate an area of low pressure cut off from the main storm track will bring the most significant rain and snow for Arizona so far this season from Tuesday through at least next Friday.

Rain chances are in the Valley forecast starting Tuesday night at 20 percent and continuing each day at 40 percent through Friday. As of this update rain totals of a quarter to half inch are possible, with localized amounts of up to an inch possible during this period. Valley highs will drop to the low 70s Monday and to the upper 60s by Thursday.

We'll fine tune the snow forecast in the coming day or two.

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Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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