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WHAT TO EXPECT: Powerful winter storm moves into Arizona

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Phoenix rain
Posted at 8:19 AM, Feb 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 16:46:26-05

PHOENIX — Get ready for a big dose of winter weather this week in Arizona!

A storm system is moving into our state bringing wind, rain, snow and a huge drop in temperatures.

Winter weather alerts have been issued across the high country through Wednesday night.

Snow levels are dropping to around 3,000 feet and snow will accumulate in areas above 4,000 feet in elevation.

We could end up with 1 to 4 inches of snow above 4,000 feet, 4 to 8 inches of snow above 5,000 feet, and as much as 8 to 16 inches of snow in spots above 6,500 feet.

Travel will be hazardous across the high country with the potential of snow-covered roads, blowing snow and reduced visibility.

Here in the Valley, it's an ABC15 Weather Action Day as the rain pours down.

We could pick up around a quarter to half an inch of rain in some Valley locations with as much three-quarters of an inch of rain in the foothills to the north and east.

There's also a slight chance we could see some thunderstorms in the mix. If we do, there's a chance we could see some graupel, too. (That's a softer version of hail, also sometimes called snow pellets.)

As the cold air arrives Wednesday morning, we will even get a dusting of snow on some of the mountain peaks just north and east of the Valley. Those areas are now under Winter Weather Advisories through tonight, too.

As this storm moves in, temperatures are plummeting. Daytime highs are now more than 20 degrees cooler than this past weekend.

Overnight lows will get colder, too. Phoenix will drop to 39 degrees by Thursday morning, putting much of the rest of the Valley within a few degrees of a freeze.

Deep freezes are expected across the high country with many spots in the single digits by Thursday morning.

We'll dry out and start to warm up again by the end of the week as this storm heads east.