Fast-moving storm brings wet, windy first day of spring


by April Warnecke

Bio | Email | Follow: @AprilWarnecke

Posted on March 21, 2011 at 7:12 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 21 at 9:26 PM

PHOENIX -- A spring storm is rolling through Arizona, bringing rain, snow and high winds.

The cold front brought flooding to Southern California over the weekend, and rain and snow started coming down in Arizona Monday morning.

The Valley is expected to get about a quarter of an inch of rain, although some spots could see up to a half inch.

Breezy conditions also brought areas of blowing dust Monday morning, prompting a dust storm warning in Pinal County.

Pinal County is under a high pollution advisory for coarse particles, meaning dust could create health problems for the elderly, children and people and asthma.

In Northern Arizona, there is a wind advisory, a high wind warning and a winter storm advisory in place. Winds are reaching 40 mph and gusts up to 60 mph are possible.

Because of the wind and snow, the Arizona Department of Transportation closed northbound Interstate 17 at Stoneman Lake Road south of Flagstaff Monday morning.

Officers reported numerous weather-related crashes and slide-offs on I-40 west of Flagstaff.

Northern Arizona is expected to get between 6 and 8 inches of snow from the storm.

The wind, snow and rain should move out Monday night, leaving behind cooler and drier conditions for the rest of the week ahead.