- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The Latest on Arizona weather (all times local):

4:21 p.m.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is advising drivers to put off any trips to northern Arizona on Friday as a major snowstorm is hitting the area.

Spokesman Bart Graves said the department is discouraging drivers from heading north because conditions will be extremely dangerous.

The Flagstaff area is being plummeted with snow.

According to the weather service, 12 to 18 inches of snowfall are expected in Flagstaff from Friday afternoon and into Saturday.

1:56 p.m.

The National Forest Service has closed all roads that lead to the Four Peaks and Mount Ord recreation areas in the Tonto National Forest northeast of Phoenix.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says the closure is due to the snow and bad conditions.

The northern Arizona area is seeing large snowfall amounts. The National Weather Service says Flagstaff will be about 12 to 18 inches of snow.

10:35 a. m.

The National Weather Service says heavy snowfall will create extremely hazardous conditions on Interstate 17 and 40 in northern Arizona Friday afternoon and into Saturday.

The weather service says those conditions will include heavy snow and wind that will reduce visibility and that travel delays are likely.

According to the weather service, 12 to 18 inches of snowfall are expected in Flagstaff from Friday afternoon and into Saturday.

Other expected snowfall amounts include 13 to 14 inches in Munds Park along I-17 south of Flagstaff and 12 to 18 inches at Williams along I-40 west of Flagstaff.

10:25 a.m.

The National Weather Service says heavy snowfall will create extremely hazardous conditions on Interstate 17 in northern Arizona Friday afternoon and into Saturday.

The weather service says those conditions will include heavy snow and wind that will reduce visibility and that travel delays are likely.

According to the weather service, 12 to 18 inches of snowfall are expected in Flagstaff from Friday afternoon and into Saturday, with 13 to 14 inches expected in Munds Park about 20 miles south of Flagstaff.

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10:15 a.m.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety says Interstates 17 and 40 — the busiest highways in northern Arizona — are open and clear midday Friday after significant snowfall during the start of a series of storms that will move across the region.

DPS says officers responded to 17 vehicle slide-offs overnight.

Snowfall is expected to pick up again late Friday and winter storm warnings remain in effect for elevations above 5,500 feet until noon Saturday in Flagstaff and until Saturday evening in communities in the White Mountains of eastern Arizona.

The National Weather Service reports 8 to 10 inches of snow in the Flagstaff area as of late Friday morning. Higher snowfall amounts include 21 inches at the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort in mountains above Flagstaff and 13 inches in Williams.

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7:40 a.m.

The first of three storms expected to parade across Arizona by early next week is dropping snow that resulted in a few school closures in the high country Friday.

Winter storm warnings are in effect for high elevations in northern, eastern and southern Arizona as authorities suggest limiting travel in the high country and urge travelers to be prepared for hazardous conditions such as blowing and drifting snow.

The National Weather Service says snow showers are expected to increase Friday with widespread to heavy snowfall spreading west to east Friday night and overnight.

Flagstaff by mid-morning Friday had 8 inches of snow. Rain showers are common in lower elevations.

Public schools are closed in Flagstaff and in eastern Arizona’s Blue Ridge Unified School District in Navajo County.

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