- Associated Press - Saturday, December 24, 2016

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

4:15 p.m.

Bad weather and multiple crashes Saturday afternoon caused closures of parts of Interstate 40 and other highways in northern Arizona’s high country.

The state Department of Transportation says I-40 was closed in both directions on a 49-mile stretch between Ash Fork and Flagstaff and there are also closures on State Route 89A, 87, 238 and 64 in the region.

A winter storm warning is in effect for elevations above 6,000 feet, and the heaviest snowfall was expected to occur before 8 p.m.

ADOT says motorists should consider delaying traveling in areas with heavy snowfall.

To the south, rain has been falling in the Phoenix area.

12:25 p.m.

A strong winter storm system has begun socking Arizona with rain and snow and authorities are advising travelers to be prepared for poor and potential hazardous driving conditions.

Forecasts call for heavy snow in the high county, including 8 to 12 inches in Flagstaff and Williams, 4 to 6 inches in Show Low and 3 to 4 inches in Prescott and Payson.

The storm is moving west to east, and a winter storm warning was issued for much of northern Arizona for elevations above 6,000 feet until late Saturday or early Sunday morning, depending on locations.

Travelers are being advised to avoid travel if they can but to take water, food, warm clothes and other supplies if they must hit the road.

Rain is expected in desert cities.

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