Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ
FXUS65 KFGZ 221711
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
1011 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017
.SYNOPSIS...Expect breezy winds this afternoon followed by much
colder temperatures Thursday as a passing cold front moves through
the area. A few light showers will be possible from Flagstaff
north. An unsettled pattern will develop late in the weekend and
early next week, with better chances for rain and snow.
.UPDATE...A few changes have been made to the wind forecast
through tonight to decrease wind gust speeds some during the day
today and increase winds during the period of frontal passage
tonight, especially northeast of higher terrain. Cloud cover will
make it difficult to realize full gust potential at the surface
this afternoon except perhaps near the Utah state line, with the
pressure gradient along the frontal zone tonight likely providing
the best mechanism for generating strong winds. Even then, strong
winds/gustiness tonight may be sporadic /short-lived as de-
coupling tries to occur.
Otherwise, the forecast is on track.
.PREV DISCUSSION /347 AM MST/...Upper level clouds are streaming
across the northwestern half of the state this morning with a
trough positioned over the west coast resulting in southwest flow
over Arizona. The base of the trough (currently off the Pacific
coast) will make its way into the southern Great Basin by this
evening, tightening pressure gradients and causing an increase in
wind speeds across the forecast area today. The greatest increase
is anticipated generally from I-40 north to the Utah state line
where gusts will reach 40-45 mph and a Wind Advisory has been
issued. The one caveat is cloud cover this afternoon which is
expected to increase through the day and could hamper the
strongest gusts from reaching the surface.
The trough will push a cold front through Arizona tonight keeping
breezy conditions going through the overnight hours. Very minimal
precipitation impacts are anticipated with the front as any
showers will remain isolated.
Confidence is increasing in the overall pattern turning wetter
again as early as Sunday and lasting into Tuesday as a long wave
trough moves through the western US. Forecast models are in fair
agreement with showers starting Sunday and the potential for
heavier precipitation from Monday into Tuesday when a strong cold
front moves through Arizona. Initial snow impacts look to remain
mostly above 6000-6500 feet through Monday, with snow levels
falling below 6000 feet Tuesday. Still 6 to 7 days out and too
early to determine details, but there is potential for a multi-
day precipitation event.
.AVIATION...For the 18Z package...VFR conditions will prevail for
the next 24 hours. Gusty southwest surface winds of 20-25 kts with
gusts 30-35 kts will continue into mid evening. Aviation discussion
not updated for TAF amendments.
.FGZ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...Wind Advisory until 6 PM MST this evening FOR AZZ004-006-007-
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