Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 251054

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
354 AM MST Sat Feb 25 2017

.SYNOPSIS...Cool and dry conditions will continue through
Saturday. An unsettled pattern will arrive on Sunday and last into
early next week, with breezy and cool conditions along with a good
chance for rain and snow showers.


Temperatures will continue to warm slightly across the area as
another day of breezy dry westerly flow continues over Northern
Arizona. Some locations may see gusts around 30 mph Saturday ahead
of the next approaching system.

By Sunday morning increasing clouds and some shower activity is
expected to develop mainly over the high country as a quick moving
shortwave trough crosses Arizona. Models continue to show a
decrease in available moisture, which will ultimately be the
limiting factor for precipitation amounts with this system. Due to
the dry nature of this shortwave, showers will be scattered with
the majority of precipitation occurring over the higher peaks. No
significant accumulations are expected. Snow levels will remain
relatively low between 4500-5500 feet. Which will allow for some
light accumulations of snow to occur, however no significant
accumulations are anticipated this weekend.

As the system exits the region Sunday night, breezy zonal flow
will develop again over Northern Arizona in its wake, however
another trough of low pressure is expected to impact the area
possibly bringing a more significant amount of precipitation to
Northern Arizona Monday afternoon through Tuesday Night. Models
have for the time being come into agreement over a decent
transport of moisture from the Pacific Ocean of the Coast of
Northern Baja California directly into Arizona.

Model guidance from the operational runs of the GFS and ECMWF
show efficient moisture transport that will allow for up to 2
inches of precipitation to fall over the Mogollon Rim Monday
Afternoon through Tuesday evening. While Confidence is low
concerning this solution, it should be noted that at least amongst
the GEFS ensemble, the operational forecast is only slightly
above the average of the ensemble members at the moment.
Confidence will increase if subsequent runs continue to show this
return to a wetter solution. For the time being probability of
precipitation, along with quantitative precipitation forecasts,
and subsequent snowfall amounts have been increased to account for
this change towards a wetter start to next week. Snow levels look
to be around 5500-6000 for this current solution, so some winter
weather impacts look possible at this time for the higher
elevations above the Mogollon Rim. Interested parties should
continue to monitor the forecast for additional updates as this
second of two systems looks to impact the region.

As the second system moves out of the area Tuesday night a ridge
of high pressure looks to dominate the forecast through the
remainder of the period. Temperatures are expected to climb back
above seasonal averages by the end of the work week as dry
conditions dominate.


.AVIATION...For the 12Z package...Expect VFR conditions for the next
24 hours for most of northern Arizona. SKC-SCT250 skies this morning
to transition to sct-bkn150 by 02z Sun. Btwn 06z-12z Sun areas of
MVFR cigs possible across high terrain north of a KRQE-KFLG-KPRC

Btwn 18Z Sat-06z Sun SFC winds SW 10-20kt gusts to 30kt. Aviation
discussion not updated for TAF amendments.






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