Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Junction, CO

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FXUS65 KGJT 260523

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service GRAND JUNCTION CO
1123 PM MDT Tue Apr 25 2017

Issued at 1113 PM MDT Tue Apr 25 2017

Winter Weather Advisories have been expired in the San Juan
Mountains this evening. A few snow showers are lingering in the
higher terrain, however accumulations have come to an end. Travel
conditions may still be treacherous overnight with temperatures
below freezing on the passes.


.SHORT TERM...(Tonight through Wednesday night)
Issued at 358 PM MDT Tue Apr 25 2017

An active afternoon today with plenty of clouds and showers (and
even a few lightning strikes) over the past several hours.
Precipitation will continue this evening but coverage will
gradually decrease as our latest disturbance is kicked to the
southeast. The Winter Weather Advisory is still in effect for the
San Juan Mountains until 9 PM this evening. Although the roads
look fine on webcams down south at the moment, periods of
decreased visibility and additional accumulations are still
expected this evening so will keep the Advisory as is and the
evening shift is welcome to re-evaluate the situation in a few

Orographic showers will linger in the northwesterly flow overnight
and into Wednesday as the next Pacific trough digs inland. With
such a messy transition between storms, we will not be seeing
clear blue skies, especially north of I-70. Coverage of showers
will quickly increase Wednesday evening, becoming numerous after
midnight. Snow levels will rise to between 8 and 9,000 feet
before quickly dropping to mountain bases by daybreak Thursday.
Models are showing impressive QPF values with this storm during
the overnight hours on Wednesday with significant accumulations
possible in a 6 to 12 hour period for the northern and central
mountains. Generally 6 to 12 inches are expected with locally
higher amounts possible, especially above 9000 feet. As a result,
have gone ahead and hoisted a Winter Storm Watch for these
locations. If the bulk of snow falls from 6 PM Wednesday to 6 AM
Thursday as anticipated, there will be definite impacts to travel,
especially over the higher mountain passes. It is, after all,
late April! Decided to leave the southern mountains out of the
Watch since these areas do not tend to do well in
westerly/northwesterly flow but definitely encourage later shifts
to take a closer look at these areas for potential highlights.

Temperatures will rebound slightly Wednesday afternoon but highs
will still be 5 to 10 degrees below normal. As the previous
forecaster mentioned, subfreezing temperatures will be possible in
some of the lower valleys in west-central Colorado and east-
central Utah tonight. However, widespread impacts are not
anticipated and, if sites do drop below freezing, it will only be
for an hour or so. Warm air advection and an influx of mid and
high level clouds ahead of the next system will allow overnight
lows to moderate Wednesday night and jump several degrees.

.LONG TERM...(Thursday through Tuesday)
Issued at 358 PM MDT Tue Apr 25 2017

Coverage of showers will shift to along the Continental Divide
Thursday afternoon as the shortwave trough lifts into the Plains.
Meanwhile, off the west coast, a well-amplified ridge begins to
set up the latter half of the week. This will push yet another
upper level trough into our forecast area Friday and into Saturday
with extended models even carving out a cutoff low. Details still
need to be worked out with this storm and would definitely prefer
to see some more model consistency. Regardless, the cool,
unsettled weather will continue through at least the end of the
work week. Temperatures will remain below normal through the week
and overnight lows will approach or reach freezing in many valley

Going even further into the extended, northwesterly flow appears
to set up over the region on Sunday. This will bring a shift
towards drier conditions although lingering moisture will more
than likely keep showers going over the northern mountains into
early next week.


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Wednesday night)
Issued at 1113 PM MDT Tue Apr 25 2017

Aviation conditions will continue to improve over the next 6
hours. VFR conditions at all but ASE are noted as of 5:30z. Expect
ceilings to rise at all terminals overnight including ASE. Partly
cloudy skies early will become overcast in the afternoon as the
next storm system moves in from the northwest. Ceiling heights
will lower once again on Thursday afternoon with some shower
activity moving in by nightfall. VEL, EGE, and ASE will be the
first to see aviation conditions deteriorate from this storm,
between 0z and 6z Friday.


CO...Winter Storm Watch from Wednesday evening through Thursday
     evening for COZ004-009-010-012-013.



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