Funnel cloud spotted over Valley as rain, snow predicted for Arizona

PHOENIX (FOX 10/AP) - A funnel cloud has been spotted over the Valley as rain and snow are expected to hit Arizona through Wednesday.

A winter storm watch has been issued for areas in the White Mountains above 7,500 feet starting Monday afternoon.

Periods of heavy rainfall are expected in the Phoenix area.

>>LIVE VIDEO: Flagstaff snow camera

The National Weather Service has confirmed a funnel cloud has been spotted over the Valley.

"To be classified as a tornado, there has to be contact with the ground and the bottom of the cloud base," said Larry Hopper with the National Weather Service. "This case, we did have a funnel that had contact with the bottom of the cloud base, but it never made contact with the ground. So. it wasn't a tornado."

NWS has projected up to 8 inches of snow in Flagstaff, 9 inches in Williams and 5 inches in Show, with up to 22 inches on the highest elevations of the San Francisco Peaks.

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A winter weather advisory issued for Tuesday afternoon and evening and Wednesday morning warns of difficult driving conditions such as snow-covered roads and low visibility.

The good news is the funnel cloud spotted Tuesday was not a tornado, but to the woman who took the video, it sure felt like it.

"I'm just glad it wasn't a tornado," said Valerie Hunter Fisher. Fisher, who lived in Arkansas, has seen tornadoes many times before.

"At first when I was sitting there, it was raining and I was thinking wow the clouds look a little scary and dark, and I said I think I see a tornado," said Fisher. She went on to say it even felt like a tornado would break out, but the funnel cloud never made it to the ground.

"The cloud, when I first walked out and how low they were, you can tell it kind of look like it can break through, and then Arkansas -- that's one of the reasons I left too," said Fisher. "It's scary, the stillness in the sky."