Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Junction, CO

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FXUS65 KGJT 050435
AFDGJT

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
935 PM MST WED MAR 4 2015

.UPDATE...
ISSUED AT 935 PM MST WED MAR 4 2015

AN UNUSUAL SKY CONDITION WAS OBSERVED OVER THE FORECAST AREA THIS
EVENING...A BRIGHT MOON AND LOTS OF STARS. THE CLOUDS LINGER IN
THE STEAMBOAT AREA BUT OTHERWISE ARE OUT ALONG PORTIONS OF THE
FRONT RANGE AND DOWN THE NEW MEXICO PLAINS WHERE LAST NIGHT`S
FRONT IS STATIONARY. NORTH WINDS CONTINUE TO BLOW OVER THE HIGH
COUNTRY AND ARE STRONGEST IN SW COLORADO KEEPING SOME GUSTY WINDS
AT THE DURANGO AIRPORT AND WOLF CREEK PASS THIS HOUR. OTHERWISE
THE NEW AIR MASS IS QUITE DRY WITH DEWPOINTS TONIGHT 10 TO 20
DEGREES LOWER THAN LAST NIGHT. OVERNIGHT LOWS SHOULD BE QUITE COLD
FOR EARLY MARCH...AROUND 15 DEGREES COLDER THAN NORMAL.

THE WARMUP BEGINS ON THURSDAY AS THE WEST COAST RIDGE AMPLIFIES
OVER THE GREAT BASIN. ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES EXPECTED BY THE
WEEKEND THOUGH VALLEY INVERSIONS WILL BE PERSISTENT. THE MOUNTAIN
SNOWPACK WILL START GO THROUGH A DAILY FREEZE-THAW CYCLE BY THE
WEEKEND.

&&

.SHORT TERM...(TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT)
ISSUED AT 230 PM MST WED MAR 4 2015

PASSAGE OF TROUGH AXIS...COMBINED WITH POTENTIAL INSTABILITY AND
LOWER LEVEL MOISTURE...GENERATING SCATTERED SNOW SHOWERS. DRIER
AIR ALOFT A LIMITING FACTOR...THEREFORE SNOW SHOWERS HAVE
RELATIVELY SHORT LIFE SPAN.  NO APPRECIABLE ACCUMULATION IS
EXPECTED. NORTHWEST TO NORTH FLOW TURNS ANTICYCLONIC THIS EVENING
AND THAT WILL BRING AN END TO THE SNOW SHOWER ACTIVITY. CLEARING
QUICKLY FOLLOWS THIS EVENING EXCEPT FOR A SOME STRATOCUMULUS THAT
HUG THE HIGHER TERRAIN. TURNING CLEAR FOR THE LOWER DESERT AND
SOUTHERN VALLEYS OF THE FORECAST AREA.

HIGH PRESSURE ALONG THE WEST COAST AMPLIFIES AND THAT KEEPS
NORTHWEST FLOW OVER THE CENTRAL ROCKIES. SHALLOW MOISTURE STILL
EXISTS BUT WARMING ALOFT WILL CAP ANY VERTICAL MOTION. EXPECT DRY
WEATHER ACROSS THE ENTIRE REGION. WITH MORE MARCH SUN...TEMPS
WILL BE REBOUNDING WITH THE GREATEST CHANGE OVER NORTHWEST
COLORADO. NOT AS COLD THURSDAY NIGHT AS WARM RIDGE EXPANDS ACROSS
THE INTERMOUNTAIN WEST.

.LONG TERM...(FRIDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY)
ISSUED AT 230 PM MST WED MAR 4 2015

MORE SPRING-LIKE CONDITIONS RETURN TO THE REGION EARLY IN THE LONG
TERM PERIOD AS HIGH PRESSURE SITS OVER THE WEST COAST...AND A
LARGE LOW PRESSURE TROUGH COVERS THE EASTERN HALF OF THE CONUS.
THIS IS A RETURN TO THE FAMILIAR PATTERN THAT PERSISTED THROUGH
MUCH OF JAN AND UNTIL THE LAST WEEK OR SO OF FEB. AS A RESULT THE
AREA WILL SIT UNDER A DRY AND MOSTLY WEAK NORTHWEST FLOW. A FEW
EMBEDDED DISTURBANCES WILL BRUSH THE EASTERN EDGE OF AREA...BUT
MODELS DO NOT INDICATE THEY WILL HAVE MUCH OF AN IMPACT ON THE
FORECAST AREA. A WARMING TREND WILL BRING TEMPERATURES UP TO
AROUND NORMAL ON SAT...THEN ABOVE NORMAL THROUGH THE REST OF THE
PERIOD.

THE PATTERN WILL BEGIN TO BREAK DOWN ON WED AS SHORTWAVE ENERGY
FLATTENS THE HIGH PRESSURE RIDGE AND PUSHES IT TO THE EAST. A
CHANCE OF MOUNTAIN SHOWERS MAY DEVELOP AS EARLY AS WED AFTERNOON
AS THIS SHORTWAVE APPROACHES FROM THE WEST. BUT THERE IS STILL
SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCES IN MODEL SOLUTIONS. THE MAIN ACTIVITY
ASSOCIATED WITH THIS DISTURBANCE WILL WAIT UNTIL NEXT THU AT THE
EARLIEST...BEYOND THE LONG TERM PERIOD. STAY TUNED TO THE FORECAST
TO SEE IF THIS STORM SYSTEM WEAKENS OR STRENGTHENS.

&&

.AVIATION...(FOR THE 06Z TAFS THROUGH 06Z THURSDAY EVENING)
ISSUED AT 935 PM MST WED MAR 4 2015

VFR CONDITIONS WILL DOMINATE EXCEPT FOR VFR STRATUS CLOUDS IN THE
VICINITY OF KHDN AND KSBS INCLUDING RABBIT EARS PASS AREA.


&&

.GJT WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
CO...NONE.
UT...NONE.
&&

$$

UPDATE...JOE
SHORT TERM...PF
LONG TERM...EH
AVIATION...NL


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