Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Junction, CO

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592
FXUS65 KGJT 270544
AFDGJT

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service GRAND JUNCTION CO
1144 PM MDT Wed Apr 26 2017

.SHORT TERM...(Tonight through Thursday night)
Issued at 330 PM MDT Wed Apr 26 2017

Satellite and radar this afternoon show scattered orographic
showers this afternoon under northwest flow aloft, generally
limited to the central and northern ranges of Colorado. Webcams
show snow falling at a few high elevation locations, most notably
Rabbit Ears Pass along US-40, though roads are only wet.

Moisture increases tonight ahead of a fast-moving shortwave
trough approaching the area from the northwest. Deepening
moisture, combined with dynamic forcing at mid and higher levels
of the atmosphere is expected to result in widespread snow across
all mountain areas. Snow levels will lower to mountain bases in
the north, though accumulations will be limited in the lower
elevations.

A cold front associated with this system sweeps southeastward
across much of the forecast area late tonight through Thursday
morning. Moisture decreases behind the front, especially across
the south, but still sufficient to produce steady snow in the
northern and central mountains. Shower activity will be more
scattered over the southern ranges. Despite less available
moisture, expect showers will continue into Thursday night as a
broad trough settles over the region. A few weak thunderstorms
are possible as well as a colder and more unstable air mass moves
into the region.

Clouds, showers and weak cold air advection will keep afternoon
temperatures well below normal. Overnight lows will be cold, but
expect clouds and moisture should prevent temperatures from
reaching freezing in the lower valleys.

This late-season snow potential is well-handled by the current
headlines. The northernmost Colorado ranges may see more than a
foot in some areas. Lesser amounts are expected in Colorado`s
central mountains.

.LONG TERM...(Friday through Wednesday)
Issued at 441 AM MDT Wed Apr 26 2017

Off the west coast, a well-amplified ridge begins to set up for
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
locations.

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 Thursday night)
Issued at 1127 PM MDT Wed Apr 26 2017

Aviation conditions are expected to deteriorate this evening. A
storm system will continue to spread showers through the forecast
area with some snowfall possible in higher altitude terminals
overnight. ASE, TEX, EGE all could see times of IFR conditions
through the overnight before snow slackens during the morning on
Thursday. VIS could drop to a mile or less in heaviest snow.
Ceilings will slowly rise from sunrise onward elsewhere across the
region as the storm system departs to the east.

&&

.GJT WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
CO...Winter Weather Advisory until 6 PM MDT Thursday for COZ009-012.

     Winter Storm Warning until midnight MDT Thursday night for
     COZ004-013.

     Winter Weather Advisory until midnight MDT Thursday night for
     COZ010.

UT...None.
&&

$$

SHORT TERM...NL/DVC
LONG TERM...MMS
AVIATION...MAC



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