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Cold snap: Change in weather to bring freezing temps, snow to Southern Arizona

Forecast swings from sweltering heat to shivering & snowy in just days

Update: Bundle up: Weather Service steps up warnings of widespread freeze in Southern Az

Just 10 days after thermometers in Tucson hit 101 degrees, freeze warnings will extend across Southern Arizona, with lows as cold as 20 degrees possible — and seasonal records for temperatures shattered in some locations.

Freezing temperatures are likely overnight on Monday and Tuesday, with the coldest temperatures possible heading into Wednesday morning, National Weather Service officials cautioned, stepping up their advisory from a "watch" to a "warning" — including a hard freeze warning for much of the area. Read more »

Just 10 days after thermometers in Tucson hit 101 degrees, a freeze watch will be in effect for Southern Arizona, with lows as cold as 23 degrees possible and snow falling down to 4,000 feet Monday and Tuesday nights.

Freezing temperatures are possible overnight on Monday and Tuesday, with the coldest temperatures possible heading into Wednesday morning, National Weather Service officials warned.

Monday night will see rain and snow throughout eastern Pima County, as well as Santa Cruz, Cochise, Graham and Greenlee counties, NWS said. Snow will initially hit higher elevations, above 9,000 feet, but drop to 7,000 feet by Monday night, and as low as 4,000 feet by Tuesday morning. Tuesday will be "much colder," and showers and snow will continue through Tuesday night, forecasters said.

Wednesday, a hard freeze is possible in some valleys east of Tucson, with lows in the 30s also hitting the metro area.

Monday night, sub-freezing temperatures as low as 28 are possible; Tuesday, lows could drop to 23 degrees in some areas. In Tucson, lows are forecast to remain just above freezing, but some parts of the metro area may see colder temperatures. Inside Tucson, the elevation is 2,400-2,600 feet, so snow is unlikely to hit the valley floor.

The watches covers Nogales, Green Valley, Sierra Vista, Benson, Safford and Willcox, and other parts of Southeastern Arizona. Tucson, Marana and Oro Valley are included in the watch for Tuesday into Wednesday, when temperatures are likely to fall below 32 degrees.

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NWS officials said that the second freeze watch was issued for Tuesday night for areas east of Tucson because of the potential for much lower temperatures and a hard freeze, even though "normally in these typically colder areas once a freeze has occurred freeze watches and warnings are no longer issued" during a winter.

Just 10 days ago, on October 16, Tucson's recorded high temperature was 101 degrees, as an unseasonable hot spell continued. Forecasters said that temperatures should return to normal by the end of the week, with highs in the 80s and lows in the upper 40s for Tucson.

Wrap your pipes, cover your plants, bring your pets inside and be kind to people who are outdoors at night. The coldest temperatures are expected around daybreak on Wednesday.

Frost and freezing conditions can kill crops, damage other sensitive plants and potentially damage outdoor plumbing that isn't protected.

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