Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Junction, CO

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FXUS65 KGJT 211139

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service GRAND JUNCTION CO
439 AM MST Wed Feb 21 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today through Thursday)
Issued at 400 AM MST Wed Feb 21 2018

Following a brief break in the action overnight, snow is expected
to develop over the San Juan Mountains from late this morning into
the afternoon as a trough along the West Coast begins to push
inland. Modest moisture will move into the Four Corners region
ahead of the trough where the right entrance region of the jet
will add dynamic lift to a weak overrunning regime. GFS appears to
go a bit overboard with the QPF given the modest moisture levels
in a weak warm advective environment. Consequently will continue
with scattered coverage over the southern and central mountains of
Colorado. Left isolated coverage in the northern mountains since
flurries can`t be ruled out there.

Snow becomes widespread across the San Juans tonight and spreads
into the central and northern Colorado mountains as the trough
rotates eastward across the Desert Southwest in concert with a
cyclonically curved jet aloft. Snow also becomes likely at KDRO
with better chances to the east at KPSO. The negatively tilted
trough sweeps northeastward across eastern Utah and western
Colorado Thursday morning with moisture and energy continuing to
favor southwest Colorado. The trough axis pushes east of the
Continental Divide Thursday afternoon resulting in a significant
reduction in dynamic lift. However, expect snow showers will
remain fairly numerous as the -30 deg C 5H cold pool moves
overhead yielding steep lapse rates. Model snowfall estimates
still in line with Winter Weather Advisory (WWA) for the southwest
San Juan Mountains and adjacent lower elevations in and around
Pagosa Springs. Though adjacent areas are likely to experience
accumulating snow, believe amounts will fall short of advisory
levels so made no additions to the current WWA`s already in place.

Temperatures will continue to be unseasonably cool today, though a
bit warmer than yesterday for most locations. Tonight, clouds and
moisture will result in more moderate lows. Modest warming will
continue for all but southwest Colorado on Thursday, though
afternoon highs are unlikely to recover to normal levels.

.LONG TERM...(Thursday night through Tuesday)
Issued at 400 AM MST Wed Feb 21 2018

Fairly active weather is expected through the extended period with
multiple weather systems projected to move through the area.
Thursday night eastern UT and western CO will be under the warm
advection ahead of strengthening trough over the Great Basin. This
trough will be a large one and cover much of the Rockies and the
Intermountain region into Friday. By sunrise Friday a strong cold
front should be moving through eastern UT and push through western
CO by sunset. Precipitation should be widespread, in the valleys
as well as the mountains, with -12 to -14 C at 700 mb over all of
western CO and eastern UT. The 700 mb trough should be east of the
Continental Divide by 03z, according to the GFS, so NW flow ought
to produce enhanced orographic snow on favored slopes from
Steamboat Spring to Durango and all parts in between.

Most of the area should clear out Saturday, except for a good
chance of precipitation continuing over in the NW flow over the
northern CO mountains. Then late Saturday night through Sunday
another trough drops through the forecast area from the northwest.
Monday and Tuesday look like the "in between days" as moisture
erodes over the area under strong zonal flow as the next strong
storm develops over the Pacific Northwest.


.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Thursday morning)
Issued at 439 AM MST Wed Feb 21 2018

An approaching storm will result in CIGS falling below ILS
breakpoints this evening for KRIL, KEGE, KASE, KMTJ, KGUC, KTEX
and KDRO. Later tonight snow becomes likely at KGUC, KTEX and KDRO
resulting in MVFR visibility and CIGS. Elsewhere, VFR conditions
are expected over the next 24 hours.



CO...Winter Weather Advisory from 8 PM this evening to 6 PM MST
     Thursday for COZ019-023.



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