Heavy Winds and Rain Showers are Expected to Reach Arizona on Christmas

Bryan Dijkhuizen

With gusty gusts, widespread rain, and high elevation snow, a Pacific storm system will strike north-central Arizona through Christmas morning, according to the National Weather Service.

According to the forecast, the active winter weather pattern will continue throughout next week, bringing considerably lower temperatures and increased possibilities of rain and snow.

For locations over 6500 feet, widespread moderate to heavy rain and moderate to heavy snowfall are likely to persist throughout the day on Friday.

Moisture is expected to build during the morning as the low-pressure system travels north and east through the region in combination with a longwave trough sliding southward across the Pacific Northwest.

As the developing trough over the Pacific moves southward, drier midlevel air will begin to come in late Friday into early Saturday, bringing with it the finest moisture available for the region.

This will result in a reduction in the amount of shower action. The rain and snow showers will become infrequent as we remain in a strong west to southwest flow with extra energy going through the longwave trough.

Light accumulations are expected again on Christmas Day above 6500 feet in the Mogollon Rim, as the cold and gusty weather prevails.

The pattern of snow and storms is expected to continue for the whole of next week and into the New Year. It would help if you prepared for periods of hazardous traffic and occasional rain and snow throughout the rest of the week.

There is still a chance for a more powerful broad storm to hit the region by midweek. Long-range models are not nearly as enthusiastic, with the ECMWF bringing the Pacific low farther south in subsequent runs as the Global Forecast System.

On the other hand, members of the ensemble continue to predict the potential of another wave of severe rain and snow in the mountains. Keep an eye out for further information as it becomes available.

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