Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 261047

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
347 AM MST Sun Feb 26 2017

.SYNOPSIS... An unsettled pattern begins today and will continue
through the first half of the week, with breezy and cool
conditions along with a good chance for rain and snow showers. Dry
weather and a warming trend is then forecast Wednesday through
the end of the week.


The first of two troughs of low pressure is moving through the
region today with cold temperatures and showers across the region.
Temperatures are expected to be at their lowest values during
this first system. Snow levels this morning will be around 4500
feet allowing for early shower activity to fall as snow with some
light accumulations possible. Snowfall amounts from this quick
moving shortwave should generally range from 0.5 to 1 inch. This
is due to the quick moving and dry nature of this first wave.

A brief quiet period will develop this evening and last overnight
before the next trough begins to affect the area.

By Monday afternoon moisture ahead of the next trough will begin
to stream into the area on from the Pacific coast off the Baja
penisula. While confidence over available liquid precipitation
has risen due to an continued increase in the amount of
atmospheric moisture over the past 24 hours, confidence in
snowfall amounts remains more conservative.

The main concern is the warm nature of the moisture plume
associated with this second system. Models continue to push
towards a warming trend through the second event. If this solution
comes to pass snow levels could initially start out cold enough
for snowfall at lower elevations before transitioning to rainfall
as the storm progresses across Northern Arizona. Model Soundings
suggest that some of these warmer solutions are overplaying the
potential for this transition, however there is not a lot of room
for error in the temperature profile across Northern Arizona. Areas
that are currently forecast to experience a significant winter
event may have a warmer and wetter reality. Have kept with a
cooler solution for the time being. Moderate confidence in a
winter weather event has necessitated the need for a Winter Storm
Watch for locations above 6000 feet along the Mogollon Rim from
late Monday Morning through Tuesday Afternoon. Interested parties
should continue to pay close attention to the forecast due to the
amount of change that could occur from relatively small changes in
the forecast solutions.

As previously mentioned confidence is increasing in a significant
moisture event that could create some impacts across the lower
terrain especially in Yavapai and Northern Gila Counties. Have
held off on issuing any hydrologic highlights at this time,
however some may become necessary as the event nears.

From Wednesday onward drying and warming conditions are expected
across the region as a ridge of high pressure builds into the
area. This should continue through rest of the week and into the
weekend with temperatures climbing back above seasonal averages.


.AVIATION...For the 12Z package...Widespread cigs around 12kft
msl to persist for the next 24 hours. An upper level disturbance
will move from west to east across our area today, with areas of
MVFR ceilings and showers spreading from west to east across the
high terrain of northern Arizona. Showers to exit the area aft 00z
Mon but MVFR cigs to remain. Sfc winds SW 10-20 knots. Aviation
discussion not updated for TAF amendments.


.FGZ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...Winter Storm Watch from Monday morning through Tuesday afternoon
FOR AZZ008-015>017.




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