Freeze warnings are in effect for the weekend. Photo by Adam Wolfe

A freeze warning has been issued for Maricopa and surrounding desert regions for Christmas Day and the following weekend.

According to the National Weather Service, temperatures are expected to drop below 30 degrees each night for the foreseeable future. Daily temperature highs are expected to fall to the mid 50s, and rain is possible early in the weekend.

“Freezing temperatures are on the way for the southwest and south central Arizona deserts this weekend,” the NWS released in a statement. “A strong low pressure system will bring a dry and very cold air mass to the region on Friday and maintain it through the weekend. Morning lows will respond with a bout of near-freezing to freezing temperatures.”

Any moisture present, combined with the freezing temperatures, could create icy road conditions. Holiday commuters should look out for black ice and other winter driving conditions.

“One of the big things for driving and for road ways is to take it slow,” Maricopa Fire Department public information officer Brad Pitassi said. “What the result of this freeze warning could be is black ice. Black ice is non-apparent ice or slick surfaces on the road way, and a lot of times, by the time you realize you’re on ice it’s too late.”

The Christmas forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies and a 10-percent chance of rain in the afternoon. The projected high for the day is 59 degrees, and the overnight low should drop below freezing to 32 degrees. The wind should be calm near 5 mph, but gusts could reach up to 10 mph.

Saturday is expected to have sunny skies, but temperatures will remain near 54 degrees. The wind is expected to pick up to 15 mph, but gusts could reach up to 25 mph in the afternoon. The overnight low is once again expected to dip below freezing to 31 degrees.

Sunday should see much of the same with sunny skies and a high near 55 degrees. The wind should calm to 5 mph, but occasional gusts could reach 10 mph. The overnight low should drop to a weekend low of 28 degrees.

The upcoming week is expected to stay in the mid 50s during the day and drop to the low 30s at night. More information will be available after the holiday weekend.

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