Northern Arizona to get more snow and cold after short respite

Northern Arizona will have a slight reprieve in snowfall and showers this afternoon and Thursday as drier weather returns after a record-breaking weekend of snowfall across the area.

The break will be short-lived, however, as another winter storm set to arrive Thursday night will bring another 5-8 inches of snowfall in the high country and even colder temperatures Thursday night into Friday, according to the National Weather Service in Flagstaff.

Temperatures in the high country and the valley are going to be colder than normal starting Wednesday night through the weekend and into early next week, said weather service meteorologist Brian Klimowski.

In addition to the cold conditions, the storm will bring snowfall across most of northern and central Arizona and into the Valley, according to the weather service.

Hazardous driving advisories will start Thursday afternoon and continue through Friday, according to a tweet from the weather service in Flagstaff. Klimowski warns it doesn't take much snow to cause hazardous driving in cold temperatures, urging caution Thursday afternoon through Friday.

Related:Record-breaking snowfall blankets northern Arizona

"The storm that's coming Thursday through Friday is a much colder storm, so it's not only going to impact the high country," said Klimowski. "We're going to see snow down in the Valley areas."

Sedona, Prescott and Payson can expect between 2-5 inches of snow, Klimowski said. There will be snow in locations where there is not normally snow, according to Klimowski.

Dry weather is expected Thursday morning in northern and eastern Arizona before snow showers arrive in the afternoon.

Northern Arizona University's Flagstaff campus and schools in the Flagstaff Unified School District remained closed through Wednesday in response to the inclement weather. NAU expects to begin classes on Thursday after delaying the start of its Spring semester by three days.

Fair but cold conditions are expected to return to the high country this weekend, with no weather-related travel advisories in effect, said the weather service.

Freeze warning in effect for areas near Pinal County

A freeze warning was issued Wednesday night into Thursday for areas near Pinal County as a winter storm causes below average temperatures in the valley, according to the weather service in Phoenix.

"Heading into the weekend through early next week, freezing temperatures are expected during the early morning hours across several of the lower desert communities," said the weather service in a forecast discussion.

The freeze warning will also impact Tucson and span across southern Arizona starting Wednesday night. It's expected to last into early next week, according to a tweet from the weather service in Tucson.

There will be a hard freeze in colder valleys and a widespread freeze in Tucson into the lower deserts tonight and Thursday. Cold air from a winter storm Friday could make a hard freeze possible for the Tucson area on Saturday morning, said the weather service.

No new precipitation is expected in lower elevation areas, but light showers could arrive to high terrain areas starting Friday.

Minor flooding localized rural areas across Gila County will continue to be an area of concern through the end of the week due to persistent runoff from the showers earlier this week, said the weather service in Phoenix.

Cold weather tips

The weather service recommends these tips for protecting against freeze hazards:

  • Cover pipes exposed to cold temperatures

  • Bring sensitive plants indoors or cover with blankets

  • Bring pets indoors

  • Wear clothing like jackets, sweater and long pants

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Northern Arizona to get more snow, cold weather: What to know