Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ
FXUS65 KFGZ 122141
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
241 PM MST Thu Jan 12 2017
.SYNOPSIS...A Pacific storm system will bring unsettled weather
to northern Arizona through Monday. The greatest chances for rain
and high elevation snow will be over the northwest part of Arizona
through Friday, and most of Arizona this weekend. Fair weather
should return on Tuesday.
.DISCUSSION...Low pressure was centered over the coastal region of
northern California during the afternoon. The forecast models
show this low heading southward to a position just off the Baja
California coast by Saturday. From Saturday onward, the low will
then turn eastward eventually moving over the central United
States. All-in-all really no change to the storm path or forecast.
Associated with this low, a cold front will slowly sag southward
across Arizona today serving as a focus for precipitation through
tonight. Lift associated with this frontal zone will produce areas
of rain and snow showers west of a Kayenta to Prescott line where
snow levels will range between 6000 and 7000 feet. 2 to 5 inches
of new snow is expected over the Kaibab Plateau by Friday morning
with up to an inch possible elsewhere above 6500 feet. Look for
only isolated to scattered shower activity over northern Arizona
Friday as the low center dips across Baja California.
On Saturday - Forecast models continue to move the low from
northern Baja towards southwestern New Mexico. Sufficient moisture
and large scale upward motion should be present north of the low
center to wrap rain and snow across much of Arizona. A warmer air
mass will be drawn into the low from the south with snow levels
rising to around 7000 feet near Flagstaff and to 8000 feet over
the White Mountains. Total precipitation amounts measured in
liquid should range from 0.25-0.75 inches across northern
Arizona. The highest amounts will generally be located over the
White Mountains, Chuska Mountains and eastern Mogollon Rim.
Elevations above 8000 feet will see snow accumulation in the 5 to
10 inch range on Saturday with the higher snowfall amounts mainly
confined to the White Mountains and Chuska Mountains. A bit less
over the San Francisco Peaks.
Sunday and Monday - unsettled and cool weather to continue as a
broad trough of low pressure remains over the desert southwest.
For this reason it looks like there will be a good chance of
showers on Sunday for areas east of a line from Page to Black
Canyon City diminishing to a slight chance across the same area on
Monday as the low heads eastward. In any event, the air mass will
dry some with cold overnight lows Sunday and Monday.
Expect dry weather on Tuesday and Wednesday as high pressure
aloft moves across Arizona and the desert southwest. Models are
showing the potential for another stormy pattern developing
toward the end of next week.
.AVIATION...For the 00Z forecast...Through 12Z...Expect scattered
showers primarily west of a Prescott-Flagstaff-Kayenta line with sct
MVFR to IFR conditions, VFR conditions east of this line. Expect
southwest winds 10-20 kts through 02Z. Showers will expand east
after 12Z Friday with MVFR to IFR conditions in showers and low
CIGS. Aviation discussion not updated for TAF amendments.
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