Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ
FXUS65 KFGZ 161105
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
405 AM MST Mon Jan 16 2017
.SYNOPSIS...Scattered shower activity will persist today from the
Flagstaff area southeast. Lingering showers are possible over the
White Mountains region through Tuesday with otherwise drier
weather returning. Expect a nice warm up on Wednesday before colder
and wetter weather develops again late this week into the weekend.
Significant winter weather could develop Friday into Saturday, so
be sure to keep updated with the latest forecast.
.DISCUSSION...The parent low pressure system that brought rain and
snow to the area over the weekend has moved well east into the
Central Plains this morning while a secondary shortwave has
elongated the long wave trough keeping a broad area of low
pressure over the southwestern United States. This, combined with
very moist conditions, has lead to persistent shower activity
early this morning along the western Mogollon Rim southeastward
through Gila County. Some light snow is even falling here in
Bellemont though it remains too shallow to be picked up by radar.
Expect scattered showers today generally from Flagstaff
southeastward with snow levels remaining in the 6500-7500 ft
range. In addition, patchy fog is possible through the morning
hours - most likely from around Sedona east through Happy Jack and
southward through Gila County.
Chances for precipitation will largely come to an end tonight
with the exception of Apache and southern Navajo Counties as the
aforementioned shortwave rotates northeast across eastern Arizona
on Tuesday. Any continued showers will be light. We`ll see a brief
dry period and warm up in temperatures on Wednesday.
Attention quickly turns to a long wave trough that will move into
the western states Thursday through the weekend bringing colder
and wet weather with the potential for significant snow in the
high country. There is consensus among forecast model guidance
that an initial shortwave will bring the first round of
precipitation Thursday/Thursday night followed by a colder and
wetter system Friday into early Saturday. Precipitation amounts
with the first round on Thursday look moderate ranging from a
tenth of an inch up toward a half inch (of liquid precipitation)
with some snow accumulation possible above roughly 6000 feet. The
second system shows good potential for heavier precipitation and
lower snow levels but there is not a clear trend of where the
heaviest will be. Confidence is relatively high in the overall
pattern evolution late this week due to good model consistency,
which has been hard to come by over the last few weeks. Potentially
high impact winter weather could develop Friday into Saturday and
it`s a good idea to stay up to date with the latest forecast this
week as details unfold.
.AVIATION...For the 12Z package...Areas of MVFR/IFR ceilings will
persist across northern Arizona with terrain obscuration through
16Z. After 16Z, ceilings are forecast to lift across the majority of
northern Arizona, but rain and snow showers may develop over higher
terrain roughly east of a line from Prescott-Flagstaff-Four Corners.
In these areas, periods of MVFR ceilings will be possible through
03Z Tuesday. After 03Z Tuesday, VFR conditions are expected across
northern Arizona, except perhaps in the White Mountains region where
lingering low ceilings are possible. Aviation discussion not updated
for TAF amendments.
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