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Arizona’s winter going to get colder this week

PHOENIX — Winter is coming in a big way to Arizona.

A Canadian cold front will hit the Pacific Ocean in Southern California before turning east for the Grand Canyon State. Arizona will face its first major storm of the season.

Hector Vasquez with the National Weather Service in Phoenix said rain should start falling in the state Wednesday. Carefree, Cave Creek and other higher Valley locations could get snow.

By the weekend, mornings will be in the low 30s; in the open desert some places could dip down to the 20s.

David Vonderheide with the National Weather Service office in Bellemont, west of Flagstaff, said significant snowfall is expected above 5,000 feet midweek.

Flagstaff was predicted to get 9-13 inches, Prescott 4-8 inches and Sedona 3-6 inches.

“Some places like Forest Lakes east of Payson could get up to a foot,” Vonderheide said.

“The storms up to now that we thought were going to be pretty productive were disappointing. This one looks to deliver.”

This storm will affect New Year’s holiday travel, with dangerous driving conditions expected on high country highways and Interstates 17 and 40.

The storm also expected to bring snow to parts of southeastern Arizona, mainly to the east and south of Tucson.

Mount Lemmon in Pima County could get a foot of snow.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.