Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 192231

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
331 PM MST Fri Jan 19 2018

.SYNOPSIS...An approaching storm system will result in increasing
winds tonight through much of Saturday. The storm system will
spread rain and snow across the area Saturday with accumulating
snow in the 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.


.DISCUSSION...A large trough is extending across the Pacific
Coast this afternoon with an increasing southwesterly flow over
Arizona. Expect mainly high clouds through this evening with
continued breezy winds gusting near 30 MPH. The trough will move
inland tonight taking on a more north to south orientation as it
approaches the state. Under the increasing southerly winds aloft,
locations downwind of the San Francisco Peaks and Mogollon Rim
from eastern Flagstaff towards Heber will experience a period of
strong winds gusting near 45 MPH through Saturday morning. The
precipitation will begin as the cold front approaches, and winds
will remain gusty through the frontal passage. The timing of the
front is on track to enter western Arizona around daybreak
Saturday, central Arizona through the morning hours, and into
eastern Arizona Saturday afternoon. Strong winds gusting near 50
MPH will continue ahead of the front Saturday across eastern
Arizona where a Wind Advisory remains in effect.

We are confident in precipitation amounts with this system as
they have remained in the same general range for multiple days
now. Winter Weather Advisories remain in effect Saturday for much
of the high country and we still anticipate the bulk of the snow
accumulation above 6,000 feet along the Kaibab and Coconino
Plateaus and Mogollon Rim. A few areas near 5,000 feet may see
some light snow of less than an inch, particularly in Gila County
including Payson.

Temperatures will be dropping through the day Saturday behind the
cold front. Temperatures during the day will be 15 to 20 degrees
colder than today. Showery precipitation will continue through the
evening hours Saturday before coming to an end overnight. Areas
that receive precipitation should be cautious of re-freezing on
the roads Saturday night as temperatures are expected to get quite

Temperatures won`t warm up in earnest until next week when dry and
more mild weather returns for the first half of the week. Another
round of winter weather is looking more likely Thursday afternoon
into Friday with increased winds, colder temperatures, and light
precipitation. Stay tuned.


.AVIATION...For the 00Z package...A strong cold front will
begin to move across northern Arizona tonight. VFR conditions will
continue through 06Z with bases lowering to AOA 14kft MSL by 06Z.
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 reaches the New Mexico border
by around 18Z. Surface winds S-SW 15-25KT this evening will
increase by 14Z-16Z with gust to 35-40KTS in wind prone area.
Aviation discussion not updated for amendments.


.FIRE WEATHER...A strong cold front will move into western Arizona
around midnight tonight and reach the New Mexico state line Saturday
afternoon. Strong to very strong southwest winds will develop 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. A few snow showers will linger
in Apache County Sunday morning.

Monday through Wednesday..Higher pressure will bring dry conditions
and a daytime warming trend. Expect variable high cloudiness.


Saturday FOR AZZ010-011-013-014-039-040.

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

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




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