Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 151047

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
347 AM MST Wed Feb 15 2017

.SYNOPSIS...A drying and warming trend is forecast through
Thursday as high pressure moves into the region. Another cold
front is expected to bring colder temperatures along with rain and
high elevation snow at times beginning Friday and lasting through
the weekend.


.DISCUSSION...Weak mid-level ridging will develop today through
Thursday over the region bringing a period of fair and mild
weather. Generally light northeast breezes today, becoming
southwest by Thursday afternoon helping temperatures reach close
to 10 degrees above seasonal average.

The next storm system approaches the west coast Friday afternoon
with an initial wave of light precipitation possible from around
Flagstaff northwestward. The system is then forecast to develop
into a closed low by Saturday afternoon as it moves onshore, most
likely over northern Baja. Model trends still continue to indicate
a more southerly track Saturday night through Sunday, generally
across northern Sonora Mexico. This is supported by GFS ensemble
means and operational Euro models, and would lead to a higher snow
level and a focus of the moderate precipitation over the southern
portions of the forecast area. The forecast package was based
largely on this scenario. However with that said, spread in the
GFS ensemble is fairly large and there are quite a few members
with a more northerly track through southern Arizona which is
supported by the latest Canadian and 06Z operational GFS, which
would lead to lower snow levels and higher precipitation amounts.
In either case, cooler temperatures and occasional precipitation
is likely over the weekend for much of northern Arizona, but snow
levels and precipitation amounts will depend on the eventual track
of the low which remains uncertain. Current forecasts include
snow levels Friday night of 7000-7500 ft, 7000-8000 ft Saturday,
falling to 6500-7000 ft Sunday, but these will be adjusted based
on later model guidance. If you have travel plans this weekend
over northern Arizona it would be a good idea to check back over
the next couple days for updated forecast information.

The weekend system looks like it will clear out of the region by
Monday and Tuesday with fair and warmer weather returning.


.AVIATION...For the 12Z package...Look for VFR conditions and light
winds over the next 24 hours. Aviation discussion not updated for
TAF amendments.






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