snow

With snow forecast Saturday in Arizona’s high country and possibly reaching lower elevations than usual, please don't underestimate the power of a winter storm or overestimate your ability to negotiate highways covered with snow and ice.

Arizona Department of Transportation snowplows will be out in force, but driving conditions are expected to be hazardous during the storm. A highway can close suddenly if enough snow falls in a brief period or if there are crashes, slide-offs or both.

 The Santa Catalina Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest has temporarily closed and locked gates on seasonal roads and day-use sites in the upper elevations of Mt. Lemmon due to weather-related unsafe driving conditions.  The main road leading up the mountain, the Catalina Highway, will remain open but may close periodically due to weather-related issues.

State Route 67 between Jacob Lake (US 89A) and the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is scheduled to close for the winter season on Tuesday, Dec. 5. 

ADOT doesn’t clear snow from SR 67 during the winter since North Rim visitor accommodations are closed. The highway reopens each spring, usually around mid-May. US 89A remains open during the winter.

ADOT reminds motorists heading into snow country to drive with caution and follow this advice:

 With recent snowfall transforming much of Arizona’s high country into a winter wonderland, snow-play sites should become busy destinations this weekend. That means travelers can expect heavy traffic and delays around some popular areas.

Those heading to snow-play sites along US 180 should be prepared to spend extended time in winter conditions and be ready for traffic backups returning to Flagstaff that build as the afternoon goes on.

Drivers should be prepared for blowing dust and reduced visibility along Interstate 10 between Phoenix and Tucson, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

The National Weather Service says gusty winds were recorded in the Casa Grande area today and the Department of Public Safety reported areas of blowing dust crossing I-10 southeast of Phoenix.

Dust along portions of I-10 is just one of a number of weather-related issues motorists may encounter across the state due to the third in a series of winter storms in recent days.

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