Three storms expected to begin Monday

Weather will intensify throughout the week

A series of three strong, winter storms are expected to affect northern Arizona, starting Monday. The storm pattern is driven by El Nino, according to the National Weather Service.

The first storm is expected to arrive by Monday afternoon with widespread rain and snow. Snow levels will start at 7,000 feet, decreasing to 5,500 feet by Tuesday morning. Two to six inches are expected through Tuesday morning.

The second, colder storm will arrive Tuesday night with snow levels ranging from 5,000 to 6,000 feet. Eight to 12 inches of snow are expected by Wednesday morning.

The third and even stronger storm will arrive on Jan. 21. The storm may produce significant amounts of rain and snow. It will be accompanied by strong winds. Extremely heavy snowfall is expected Jan. 22.

Forecasters caution that storm patterns are subject to change; therefore, it is important to check for updates often.

The Department of Public Safety urges travelers to be prepared for winter driving conditions next wee with low visibility and icy roads throughout northern Arizona. Motorists should remember that roadways become very slippery during light flurries and during light freezing rain conditions. Motorists are urged to have headlights on while traveling through any inclement weather activity.

During snowstorms, ice storms and winter blizzards, all motorists are required to slow down to speeds where the driver can completely control the vehicle. These conditions also can greatly diminish visibility. Motorists are requested to maintain greater following distances to prevent collisions and/or loss of control should the need arise to avoid roadway hazards.

DPS urges motorists to avoid stopping along the side of interstates or highways for non-emergency purposes such as playing in the snow. This is very dangerous and even deadly considering that many vehicles are traveling too fast in snow conditions. Parking along the roadways also prevents snowplows from adequately clearing roads in those areas.

For current road conditions, visit az511.com or dial 511.

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