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Parts of Phoenix area could see snow from big storm in high country

Southbound State Route 89A in Oak Creek early Jan. 25, 2021. (Screenshot/ADOT webcam)

PHOENIX – A winter storm pushing into northern Arizona was big enough to send a little snow down to parts of the Phoenix area Monday.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix said Monday since the snow level dropped to as low as 2,000 feet, Carefree, Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Anthem and Wickenburg got dustings.

“Cave Creek, Carefree … even Deer Valley, they might see a few flakes falling,” meteorologist Andrew Deemer at the Phoenix weather bureau told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

Northern Arizona received heavier snow at higher elevations Monday.

Some areas in Flagstaff got up to 10 inches while Prescott received up to 9 inches.

Light rain was falling early in the morning but big bursts were anticipated to arrive around noon and last until around 3 p.m., the weather service said.

Wind gusts of up to 45 mph and the possibility of hail were also expected to impact metro Phoenix until about 3 p.m., NWS said.

By around 9:30 a.m., snow was sticking to the ground and poles in areas within 90 minutes of downtown Phoenix – Cordes Lakes, around 65 miles to the north, and Globe, about 75 miles to the east.

That pales in comparison to the harsher conditions in the high country, where the Arizona Department of Transportation is advising drivers to stay off the roads because of blowing snow and poor visibility. Stretches of a few highways were closed altogether.

State Route 89A was shut down in both directions between Sedona and Flagstaff. State Route 260 between Star Valley and Heber was closed because of the extreme conditions and State Route 87 north of Payson was blocked off for a few hours before it reopened.

There was no estimated time to reopen the road.

Schools were closed for the day, including remote classes, Flagstaff Unified School District announced.

Forecasters said Flagstaff could get 16 to 22 inches of snow, Prescott 13 to 19 inches and Payson 15 to 21 inches from the latest storm.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

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