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Weather Service warns of mountain snow for New Year's Eve

While much of Southern Arizona will be cold and rainy as the calendar flips to 2015, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning covering areas above 5,000 feet, including the Catalina and Rincon mountains.

Snowfall of 6-10 inches is expected above 5,000 feet, with 10-15 inches possible in areas above 7,000 feet.

Because of winds gusting to 35 mph, blowing snow will make driving difficult in mountain areas, the Weather Service said.

The warning will be in effect from 1 p.m. Wednesday through 11 a.m. Thursday.

"Widespread snow" will increase from west to east Wednesday afternoon and evening along a cold front, with snow continuing into Thursday morning and tapering off in the afternoon, NWS said.

Snow levels will be at aouty 6,000 feet in the afternoon, but "quickly lower" to 5,000 feet in the evening.

Covered by the warning are the White Mountains, and the Galiuro and Pinaleno mountains, as well as the Santa Catalinas and Rincons.

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