Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Junction, CO

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FXUS65 KGJT 071745

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service GRAND JUNCTION CO
1045 AM MST Thu Dec 7 2017

.SHORT TERM...(Today through Friday)
Issued at 250 AM MST Thu Dec 7 2017

Short range models in very good agreement this morning that the
next wave to move over the northern and central mountains will
bring some snow to those regions. Snow should begin shortly after
sunrise, if the models are to be believed, and continue through
much of the day with occasional lulls from time to time. The
atmosphere continues to remain very dry so snowfall accumulations
look to be in the 1 to 4 inch range, maybe a bit higher in a few
spots. The Elkheads look favored while the Park Range and Flat
Tops will also see some accumulations. The Vail Pass area should
also see some snow. Partly sunny skies will become more cloudy as
the day progresses except for eastern Utah and our southern
valleys which should remain mostly sunny. Temperatures look to be
a bit cooler than yesterday thanks to the increased cloud

Friday, widespread sunshine returns as the ridge of high pressure
to our west slowly inches eastward. While flow remains from the
north, midlevel warming looks to kick in which will allow surface
temperatures to warm up some day by day.

.LONG TERM...(Friday night through Wednesday)
Issued at 250 AM MST Thu Dec 7 2017

A bit of a rinse and repeat long term discussion this morning as a
strongly amplified ridge of high pressure will still remain in
control of the western CONUS for the weekend and into next week. In
response, widespread dry conditions will prevail with only a few
passing high clouds here and there. Temperatures across the region
will remain right around seasonal through Saturday before inversions
gradually weaken and temperatures begin to climb back to above
normal levels. As has been mentioned in earlier discussions, this
anomalously strong ridge does not look to budge from its current
position through the end of the extended model runs so, unfortunately,
it looks as if the mild and dry conditions are here to stay.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Friday afternoon)
Issued at 1041 AM MST Thu Dec 7 2017

Primary forecast challenge this afternoon is whether or not to
include -SN at ASE. Have opted to add some light snow around 17z
given current radar trends, latest report of -SN at EGE, and
webcam imagery from the ski resort showing snow currently falling
higher up in the resort. Infrared satellite imagery reveals the
coldest cloud tops currently from EGE and ASE eastward to the
divide and it is most likely that if
-SN is to affect these terminals, it will do so in the next few
hours. CIG heights are likely around their lowest for the event,
and will generally begin to rise after 0z this evening. Clouds
will clear overnight leading to a mostly sunny morning on Friday.




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