Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Phoenix, AZ
FXUS65 KPSR 252008
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Phoenix AZ
108 PM MST THU AUG 25 2016
A few afternoon and evening thunderstorms are forecast over the
central and eastern Arizona mountains today. Mostly sunny skies and
near normal afternoon temperatures are forecast elsewhere in
southeast California and southwest Arizona. On Friday, a moderate surge
of monsoon moisture will return to southern Arizona resulting in an
increasing threat of afternoon and evening thunderstorms over
portions of south central Arizona through Saturday. By Sunday a
strong high pressure system will build into the region for drier,
warmer, and more stable weather lasting into the middle of next week.
Visible satellite imagery shows mostly clear skies across
southeastern California and Arizona with some low level clouds mostly
over western Maricopa County. This morning`s Skew T for Phoenix shows
1.16 inches of PW with little CAPE. Modest surface moisture remains
in place with dew points in the 60s across southeastern CA and mostly
in the 50s for south central and southwest AZ. Water vapor satellite
imagery is showing drier air in the upper atmosphere across southwest
AZ and moving increasing from west to east.
Currently west to northwest flow aloft is keeping monsoon activity
fairly low with most activity focused across northern and eastern AZ.
A trough of low pressure stretches from Idaho southwest over central
California. Models indicate this trough is likely to spin off a
closed low eventually moving down into southern California by
Saturday. This will slightly shift our steering flow to be a bit less
zonal, more from the southwest, helping to gradually increase some
moisture into our region for this weekend. This is likely to slightly
push up PoPs particularly across eastern portions of Arizona. However
we still are keeping PoPs fairly modest with only slight chances for
all but the highest terrain in our CWA for this weekend.
Weak high pressure ridge should build back over the area Monday
through Wednesday which should keep monsoon activity fairly quiet
except for higher terrain and the chance for outflow boundaries from
those storms pushing across the lower deserts.
Today and Tonight...The overall atmospheric flow regime continues
in its late September like pattern, with strong west and
northwesterly flow aloft replete with numerous trofs/shortwaves
diving into the western states from Canada. The strong high pressure
system that was suppose to build into AZ from the west late
yesterday and today stalled offshore, continuing the strong
northwest flow aloft, i.e. above 300 mb. A couple of disturbances
are poised to move into central and northeast AZ today, with a
larger former Canadian trof moving into central UT.
With marginal remnants of monsoon moisture continuing across parts
of southwest and south central AZ, the combination of these weak
shortwaves should enhance another threat of afternoon and evening
mountain thunderstorms mainly north through east of Phoenix. A few
mtn thunderstorms could send some convective outflows into the
greater Phoenix area during the evening hours. A better chance will
exist over our southern Gila county zone 24. The threat of storms
will diminish after dark. Our forecast areas in southeast CA and
southwest AZ should be devoid of storms today as the atmosphere is
Friday through Sunday...850/700 mb circulation centers are still
forecast to develop along the San Diego coast by early Friday
morning. Increasing low level south winds from these features, i.e.
wind below 10 thsd ft, are still forecast to transport increasing
amounts of monsoon moisture from Mexico, surging north at times
predominately into south central AZ toward Gila Bend, Phoenix, and
Tucson. At the same time, the former Canadian trof in Utah is
forecast to slowly deepen into northern AZ Friday through Sunday,
with mid/upper level flows becoming increasingly cyclonic over AZ.
In fact a 500 mb closed low center is forecast to develop over
northwest AZ Saturday.
Increasing monsoon moisture, relatively cool air aloft, and hard to
time cyclonic perturbations will result in a threat of afternoon and
evening showers and thunderstorms across much of south central AZ
Friday and Saturday, including the greater Phoenix area. Our forecast
areas in southeast CA and southwest AZ should remain fairly stable
for little or no storm threats.
On Sunday it appears that any threat of afternoon and evening storms
should be relegated to the mountains of southern Gila County zone 24.
Monday through Thursday...A strong high pressure system located off
the southern CA coast will finally build into AZ stabilizing the
airmass and shifting most of the monsoon moisture into far southeast
AZ. This setup should preclude any convection in our forecast area.
South-Central Arizona Including KPHX, KIWA, and KSDL:
Although thunderstorm development will continue to occur through the
early evening hours over the higher terrain well to the north and
east of the terminals, this convective activity is not expected to
affect the terminals in any direct way as westerly flow aloft should
push these storms off to the east. This should allow winds to mainly
follow typical diurnal trends through the taf period (with just a
slight chance (10-20 percent) that any convective outflows do affect
the terminals. As far as cloud cover is concerned, few-sct mid-level
cloud decks this evening to give way to bkn-ovc later tonight and on
Friday as moisture from the south begins to move back north into
south-central AZ. There is even a slight chance that a sprinkle or
light shower could affect one or more of the terminals on Friday
morning/or a thunderstorm on Friday afternoon, but confidence is too
low to include VCSH or -SHRA in the tafs, at this time.
Southeast California/Southwest Arizona including KIPL and KBLH:
Skies will remain mostly clear through the TAF period, with winds
primarily following typical diurnal trends, with some afternoon
gustiness at KBLH.
Aviation Discussion not updated for amended TAFs.
Sunday through Thursday...
Southwesterly flow aloft is expected to keep any chances for
convective activity, and wetting rains mainly confined to the
higher terrain north and east of Phoenix through Tuesday, with dry
conditions prevailing across the lower elevations. A modest increase
in convective activity is then expected on Wednesday and
Thursday across south-central AZ as the flow aloft becomes
more southerly ahead of the next upper low center. Minimum
humidities in the 15 to 35 percent range from Sunday into Tuesday
will rise into the 20 to 40 percent range on Wednesday and Thursday.
Outside of any erratic thunderstorm winds, winds to mainly follow
typical diurnal trends, except for some gusty southerly winds from
time-to-time up the Colorado River Valley.
.SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT...
Spotter activation is not expected Thursday.
Visit us on Facebook...Twitter...and at weather.gov/phoenix