PHOENIX – A winter weather advisory was in effect in the Flagstaff area until 5 p.m. Tuesday, with 3 to 6 inches of snow expected to fall, the National Weather Service said.
“It looks like it will wind down by this evening for most people,” Benji Johnson, a meteorologist in the Flagstaff bureau, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
Rain/mountain snow showers will continue throughout the morning and afternoon hours. Precipitation will start to dwindle after 5pm, and afternoon highs will remain well below normal for this time of year. #azwx pic.twitter.com/gqOKJLmWyT
— NWS Flagstaff (@NWSFlagstaff) January 3, 2023
Flagstaff already had 11.2 inches of snow drop down Monday, while nearby Bellemont had almost 10 inches.
Driving conditions along Interstates 17 and 40 in the region have been problematic because of low visibility, snow and ice, Johnson said.
“There were already accidents on I-17 between Munds Park and Rim Rock,” he said. “I would expect those conditions to deteriorate as the day continues.
Melting snow will cause issues, too.
“We have quite a bit of snow on the ground … [then] we’ll get melting and refreezing that will happen day to day, night to night,” Johnson said.
Snow runoff could wind up in streams, elevate water flow and fill dry washes, where drivers have crossed into floodwaters, he said.
“If you can, avoid travel, that’s the best-case scenario,” Johnson said.
Elevated water flow could continue into the foreseeable future as snow melts out of the high country, but the snowpack melt won’t be rapid, he said, despite rising temperatures later this week.
After a predicted high Tuesday of 34 degrees, numbers go up. Wednesday’s high jumps to 39 degrees, followed by 43 degrees Thursday and 40 degrees Friday.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.