The National Weather Service expects a strong Pacific storm to bring as much as 3-5 inches of rain to Yavapai County today and Saturday - more than Prescott usually gets in a month of monsoon rains.
The Weather Service has issued a flood watch for all of Yavapai County from now through Saturday morning. The watch also includes parts of Gila, Maricopa and Pinal counties.
Yavapai County could get 3-5 inches of rain from the storm system today through Saturday morning, said Dan LeBlanc, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Flagstaff. People in flood-prone areas should be prepared.
The forecast for this storm has been evolving, since cutoff low pressure systems are tricky to model on computers. These types of storms drop off the jet stream and can sit over one area for an extended period of time. The Weather Service advises people to keep checking for online updates at weather.gov/flagstaff.
Yavapai County drivers are likely to face flooded roads Friday, especially in the Verde Valley.
"Travel in eastern Yavapai County is going to be very difficult, due to water in the roadway and rain and fog," LeBlanc said.
The Weather Service also is warning about difficult travel on Interstate 17 today.
The Verde could get 1-3 inches of rain today alone, while Prescott could see 1.5 inches, he said.
Yavapai County snow levels could drop to about 6,500 feet by Saturday, so residential areas south of Prescott in the Bradshaw Mountains should prepare for winter weather, LeBlanc said.
It looks like the Bradshaws could get 1-2 inches of snow Saturday night, he said, but total amounts still are not clear in modeling. By that time, however, precipitation levels should be tapering off.
Other areas of northern Arizona could get more snow. The Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for the Page region for all of Friday and Saturday morning. Forecasters estimate higher-elevation areas of the Kaibab Plateau could get eight inches of snow.
The Weather Service forecast for about 5,500 feet in Prescott is calling for a 90 percent chance of rain today, 100 percent chance of heavy rain tonight, 100 percent chance of heavy rain Friday, 80 percent chance of heavy rain Friday night, 80 percent chance for showers on Saturday, 40 percent chance for showers Saturday night, 30 percent chance for showers Sunday, and slight chance of showers Sunday night.
By Monday, the Weather Service is forecasting mostly sunny skies with a high temperature of 53 degrees.
High temperatures this week should be a few degrees lower than Monday, with the low dropping below freezing Sunday night.