PHOENIX — Winter weather is returning to parts of Arizona and New Mexico early this week.
Weather Service officials say Arizona could see moderate to heavy rain Monday and Tuesday.
The snow level will drop to around 6000 feet (1,829 meters) on Tuesday in northern Arizona and a few inches (less than a millimeter) of snow is expected to fall along portions of the Mogollon Rim.
Widespread rain returns to the lower deserts. Best rain chances in Pinal County likely to be on Monday night, the National Weather Service said, but can't rule out an isolated afternoon/evening storm, which would help enhance rain totals.
The storm system should leave Arizona by Wednesday morning.
National Weather Service meteorologists say a storm system is expected to bring cold temperatures and snow to New Mexico on Monday and Tuesday.
Light snow Monday morning will produce up to three inches of snow for areas above 8000 feet (2,438 meters).
Isolated thunderstorms will spawn over the southwest mountains and work their way northeast, but scattered showers will eventually become widespread precipitation by Tuesday morning.
Authorities say driving will be difficult in eastern and northern New Mexico because of high winds, cold temperatures and moderate to heavy snow.