12/27/21 Monday 7 am
I shuffled my plans around to get this first update out early.
The biggest change between the coming storms and what we have seen up to this point will be the temperatures. A colder air mass is going to be moving into the area and should be in place by late afternoon/early evening. Temperatures should stay below freezing until at least Thursday for areas at or above 6,500 feet.
Intermittent snow will fall throughout the day today in the higher elevation areas. Snow should work into the mid-elevation areas late this afternoon and the lower elevation areas by the evening.
All of the models are showing varying intensities of snow falling consistently through Wednesday morning for the entire forecast area. In the lower elevations, the snow may be heavy at times but it should be manageable and easier to shovel. I like the 4 to 8 inch forecast from the NWS from this evening through Wednesday for the lower elevations.
In the higher elevations, it is going to be dicey. Wind and additional heavy high ratio snow will combine with existing snow to make travel extremely dangerous for even the most seasoned winter drivers.
People who do not have well-equipped vehicles with 4-wheel drive should avoid travel over the passes beginning this afternoon. I expect frequent closures of all of the passes through Sunday.
There may be a bit of a lull on Wednesday late morning before more snow moves in Wednesday evening. New Advisories and Warnings are likely to be issued for the rest of the week.
Friday and Saturday will have to be watched very carefully. Moist Pacific air will move through Arizona and combine with very cold air already in place. Models are not all on board with the exact track of the heaviest precipitation. However, most of the models are still showing additional snow of up to a foot in the lower elevations, up to two feet in the mid-elevations, and 2 to 3 feet in the higher elevations above 8,200 feet between Thursday and Sunday morning.
I will break out the forecast for all locations in my afternoon update.
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