Rain, snow bearing down on Arizona; storm preps in full swing

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by Catherine Holland

3TV team coverage

Posted on November 21, 2013 at 6:42 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 7:18 PM

STATEWIDE -- Mother Nature is sending a significant weather system our way and the Arizona Department of Transportation is gearing up for it, even putting 200 snowplows on standby.

While the bulk of the moisture is still off shore, areas of Northern and Eastern Arizona are seeing some showers already. Those showers are bearing down on the Valley.

"The chance of showers is really best tomorrow but there is a chance we could start to see those rain showers begin this afternoon or even this evening," 3TV meteorologist April Warnecke said.

The team at ADOT is keeping a close eye on the forecast.

"We're already calling in some extra staff here at our Traffic Operations Center when the rain hits and when the snow hits in the higher elevations," ADOT spokesman Garin Groff told 3TV's Jill Galus. "It's going to be a really busy day all across the state. ... We're ready for whatever might come."

Groff said there are 450 trained snowplow drivers who are ready to hit the streets as soon as the snow starts.

"They'll even be out there patrolling before the snow hits," he said.

While we won't have snow in Phoenix, we will have rain -- likely a lot of rain.

Warnecke said there is the potential for several inches to drench parts of the Valley Friday, Saturday and into Sunday.

While Phoenix is not under a flood watch, flooding could be an issue in some areas.

"This is pretty rare weather even for us -- to get that much rain at once," Warnecke explained.

Groff said those who are out and about need to be extra careful.

"It's really important to slow down because those roads are going to be pretty slick tomorrow when that rain does hit here," Groff advised drivers.

Stick with 3TV and azfamily.com for the latest as this late fall storm approaches.

Get the latest forecast for your neighborhood

Link: Phoenix Traffic app

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