Another Pacific storm system will move across the area tonight – tomorrow. This system will direct more moisture across the state than the previous system, with liquid water equivalence of about 0.40” - 0.80” expected around the Prescott area. However, the storm will also be warmer than the New Year’s Eve storm was. Snow levels will start above 6,000’ this evening, then drop and hover around 5,000’ - 5,500’ after midnight. Temperatures will bottom out at around 31 F.
The big question that comes to mind is how much snow will accumulate in this area? The higher elevations around Prescott could see 6-8” of snow accumulation, while the lower elevations of the Quad City Area could experience mostly rain. Heavier precipitation cores allow snow levels to drop due to cooling of the air from latent cooling of evaporation and melting. Most of the snow forecast totals at the Prescott airport, according to the short range ensemble forecast (SREF), is between 0.5-2.5” of snow. The snow on the ground will probably become slushy and roadways will not be as icy and treacherous as they were with the previous storm, except in higher elevation areas where snow could become packed. Travelers should still exercise caution, especially if they intend to drive above 5,500’ elevation.
A third storm system (though weaker) could bring another round of light rain or mixed rain/snow showers on Thurs-Fri.
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Official National Weather Service forecast
According to the National Weather Service in Flagstaff, A Winter Advisory is in Effect:
... WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 5 PM MST
SUNDAY ABOVE 5500 FEET...
* WHAT... Periods of mainly light snow overnight, becoming more showery during the day Sunday. Additional snow accumulations of 1 to 4 inches, with localized amounts 8 to 12 inches on the North Rim.
* WHERE... Grand Canyon Country and Yavapai County Mountains.
* WHEN... Until 5 PM Sunday.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS... Look for reduced visibilities at times.
Additional snow forecast from 9 PM Today to 5 PM Sunday:
Grand Canyon 4 to 8 INCHES
North Rim 9 to 13 INCHES
Prescott 1 to 2 INCHES
Prescott Valley 0 to 1 INCHES
Seligman 1 to 2 INCHES
A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Be prepared for snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.
The latest road conditions for the state you are calling from can be obtained by calling 5 1 1.
Road Forecast for I-40
Road Forecast for I-17