Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 191648

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
948 AM MST Fri Jan 19 2018

.SYNOPSIS...Dry weather and warm temperatures will persist through
the daytime hours today. An approaching storm system will result
in increasing southwest winds tonight through much of Saturday.
The storm system will spread rain and snow across the area
Saturday with accumulating snow in mountains. Expect winter
driving conditions if heading into the high country this weekend,
particularly above 5,000 feet. Drier weather returns on Sunday and
through the middle of next week.


.UPDATE...The short term forecast is is good shape today. Expect
clouds to gradually increase across the Grand Canyon region
through this afternoon with scattered high clouds elsewhere.
Southwest winds will also be increasing through the day gusting
around 30 mph this afternoon for many locations. No short term
updates are needed this morning.


.PREV DISCUSSION /403 AM MST/...One more day of dry weather and
above normal temperatures before winter makes its return to
northern Arizona. A strong cold front will approach the region
late tonight and cross the area through the day Saturday. This
system will bring gusty southwesterly winds, rapidly falling snow
levels, and rain/snow showers to the region. Latest model guidance
has slowed down the arrival of the precipitation with the bulk of
it now falling Saturday morning and into the afternoon. Snowfall
amounts were slightly increased from the previous forecast
especially along the Mogollon Rim from Flagstaff northward to the
Coconino and Kaibab Plateaus. The most significant accumulation is
still expected above 6,000 feet with minor accumulations possible
as low as 5,000 feet. Behind the front, expect increased
instability in association with significant CAA aloft which will
promote continued shower activity into Saturday night. While any
accumulation will be highly variable behind the front, expect some
of the showers to be locally moderate to heavy based on forecast
model soundings.

Lingering snow shower activity will diminish early Sunday morning
across far eastern AZ with diminishing cloud cover from west to
east through the day. Temperatures will remain chilly during the
day Sunday before slowly moderating early next week. Another
trough will approach the region Thursday/Friday with increased
southwesterly winds. However, significant precipitation does not
appear likely with this system at this time.


.AVIATION...For the 18Z package...A strong cold front will approach
northern Arizona today. VFR conditions will continue through 06Z
Saturday, though cloud cover to increase and bases lower to AOA
14kft MSL by 06Z. Surface winds S-SW 15-25kt this afternoon and
evening. Aft 06Z Sat MVFR and local IFR west of a KPGA-KPAN line
with scattered rain and snow showers, snow levels falling to 6500 ft
by 12Z...and will continue to fall through the day. Conditions will
continue to deteriorate as the front moves to the New Mexico border
by around 18Z. Aviation discussion not updated for amendments.


.FIRE WEATHER...Expect dry weather today, with increasing
south and southwest winds as a strong cold front approaches. The
cold front should move into western Arizona around midnight Saturday
morning and reach the New Mexico state line Saturday afternoon. Very
strong southwest winds to persist ahead of the front. A band of
precipitation is expected with the front, followed by scattered
showers through Saturday night. Snow levels down to 3500 feet
Saturday afternoon.

Sunday through Tuesday...A few showers to persist Sunday morning
along the New Mexico line. Otherwise expect dry conditions through
Tuesday. Max temperatures to start a warming trend Monday.


Saturday FOR AZZ013-014-039- 040.

Winter Weather Advisory from 5 AM to 8 PM MST Saturday FOR

Winter Weather Advisory from 8 AM to 11 PM MST Saturday FOR




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