Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 161707

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
1007 AM MST Mon Jan 16 2017

.SYNOPSIS...Scattered light shower activity will persist today
along the Mogollon Rim southeast of Flagstaff. Lingering showers
are possible over the White Mountains region through Tuesday, otherwise
dry weather to return. Expect a nice warm up on Wednesday. A
period of colder and wet weather will arrive starting Thursday,
with several disturbances delivering winter weather through the


Made some updates to todays sky cover per satellite trends, namely
to reduce cloud cover across areas west of a line from Page-Flg-
Prescott. Extensive stratus to remain over the Little Colorado
River valley through this evening, at least. The morning sounding
from Bellemont showed a low level temp inversion with the top at
10000 ft msl, this should keep the stratus in place today.

A quick look at the latest models shows Wednesday to be a fair
weather day, best used to prep for our next bout with winter
weather. The first round should start Thursday.


.PREV DISCUSSION /405 AM MST/...The parent low pressure system
that brought rain and snow to the area over the weekend has moved
well east into the Central Plains this morning while a secondary
shortwave has elongated the long wave trough keeping a broad area
of low pressure over the southwestern United States. This,
combined with very moist conditions, has lead to persistent shower
activity early this morning along the western Mogollon Rim
southeastward through Gila County. Some light snow is even falling
here in Bellemont though it remains too shallow to be picked up by
radar. Expect scattered showers today generally from Flagstaff
southeastward with snow levels remaining in the 6500-7500 ft
range. In addition, patchy fog is possible through the morning
hours - most likely from around Sedona east through Happy Jack and
southward through Gila County.

Chances for precipitation will largely come to an end tonight with
the exception of Apache and southern Navajo Counties as the
aforementioned shortwave rotates northeast across eastern Arizona
on Tuesday. Any continued showers will be light. We`ll see a brief
dry period and warm up in temperatures on Wednesday.

Attention quickly turns to a long wave trough that will move into
the western states Thursday through the weekend bringing colder
and wet weather with the potential for significant snow in the
high country. There is consensus among forecast model guidance
that an initial shortwave will bring the first round of
precipitation Thursday/Thursday night followed by a colder and
wetter system Friday into early Saturday. Precipitation amounts
with the first round on Thursday look moderate ranging from a
tenth of an inch up toward a half inch (of liquid precipitation)
with some snow accumulation possible above roughly 6000 feet. The
second system shows good potential for heavier precipitation and
lower snow levels but there is not a clear trend of where the
heaviest will be. Confidence is relatively high in the overall
pattern evolution late this week due to good model consistency,
which has been hard to come by over the last few weeks.
Potentially high impact winter weather could develop Friday into
Saturday and it`s a good idea to stay up to date with the latest
forecast this week as details unfold.


.AVIATION...For the 18Z package...Areas of ceilings in the
4-5kft AGL level are likely through the afternoon mainly along/east
of a KSEZ-KFLG-KRQE line, with some locally lower decks and BR/FG at
times down to 1-3kft AGL. Isolated to scattered rain and snow
showers are also expected roughly east of a line from KPRC-KFLG-Four
Corners, gradually dissipating after 03Z. After 03Z Tuesday, VFR
conditions are expected across most of northern Arizona, except in
localized areas from the White Mountains north to the Little
Colorado River valley (KINW-KSJN) where low ceilings could
redevelop. Aviation discussion not updated for TAF amendments.





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