A winter storm will blast Arizona Friday with much needed rain and snow. The storm will also keep temperatures chilly through the weekend as a second wave of energy brings another chance of precipitation to the area.
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- Still warm in the afternoon. But WINDY! Gusty winds pick up around lunchtime and remain powerful into the night. The most powerful winds will be from Tucson and west towards Sells and Ajo.
- Increasing clouds late in the day give way to spotty rain after sunset. The rain picks up through the night with heavy showers and possibly thunderstorms by midnight.
- Snow levels start at around 7500' tonight and drop in elevation into Friday morning. This means snow on top of Mt. Lemmon, the White Mountains, and in Flagstaff.
- There is a Winter Storm Warning in effect from 11 PM tonight to 5 PM Friday for the Catalina, Rincon, Galiuro, Pinaleño mountains above 5000'.
- There is a Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 11 PM tonight to 5 PM Friday for the Santa Rita, Chiricahua, and Huachuca mountains above 5000'.
- A Winter Weather Advisory is also in effect for the same time period for the White Mountains, Mogollon Rim, and San Francisco Peaks.
- Still windy on Friday morning as a cold front sweeps through Southeast Arizona. Heavy rain and thunderstorms are possible in the early morning hours as the front passes through the area.
- Cold air behind the front will drop snow levels to around 4500' by late morning. High elevations in the White Mountains could see over a foot of snow. The Catalina and Pinaleño could see 4"-8" of snow at the peak of the ranges. The top of the Chiricahua National Monument may see 3"-6" of snow. The Huachuca and Mule mountains could also receive a dusting of snow at high elevations.
- Most populated areas in Southeast Arizona will only see chilly rain and an possibly an icy mix at times instead of snow accumulations. Rain totals could top out at .25" to .75" by Friday night.
- Saturday will be chilly with highs only the 50s for most cities and towns in Southeast Arizona.
- Still breezy during the day with another wave of atmospheric energy bringing more rain to the basins and snow to the mountains. Snow levels linger around 5000'. This second wave of energy is much weaker than the storm system on Friday. Snow and rain accumulations will be less as compared to the first storm.
- Lingering clouds and perhaps a shower or two on Sunday.
- Temperatures will still be chilly. In the 50s for most locations in the afternoon.
- The clouds clear out late in the day with warmer weather forecasted for the workweek.
The double shot of rain and snow is welcome. The latest US Drought Monitor update (below) shows drought still gripping much of the state. Tucson International Airport has only measured 6.73" of rain for the year. That is over 4" below average.