Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Junction, CO

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FXUS65 KGJT 221744
AFDGJT

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Junction CO
1044 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017

.SHORT TERM...(Today through Thursday)
Issued at 430 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017

Energetic and fast west-southwest flow aloft continues over the
forecast area this morning with split jet over the Great Basin and
Central Rockies. Our forecast area is still stuck in between with
dry slot working through. Few showers developing on the edges
between the northern stream and the drier air near the Park Range
and Flat Tops with a few light showers over the San Juans as well
in closer proximity to the southern stream energy. Models have
slowed on driving surface front into the northern zones today,
looking to hold it off until late this afternoon and into the
evening hours. This will wreak havoc with our current highlights
as slower arrival will result in higher snow levels to start off.
The Eastern Uintah mountains will get going this morning as the
front approaches with the heavier snowfall moving in tonight and
Thursday when best push of cold air rolls through. Little energy
out ahead of the main show will also get tweak showers up a notch
across the northern Park Range this morning with snow expected to
continue off an on through Thursday night. For areas along and
south of highway 40 (from Vernal to Steamboat Springs), more wind
than precipitation expected today with gusty southwest winds,
especially at higher elevations. Wind speeds look to remain below
advisory criteria, but it will be breezy. Did pick up on a
stronger core of winds moving up into the Four Corners region
this evening, but timing suggests inversions will have set-up
with best gust potential up aloft.

Tonight and Thursday will see much cooler weather sweep across
the forecast area with rain and snow showers increasing in
coverage and intensity. Snow levels expected to drop to the lower
valley floors, although recent warm weather will hamper
accumulating snowfall and result in minimal impact should showers
pass through. Current winter highlights appear reasonable and
really saw no reason to expand coverage at this time. Northern
valleys could see enough snow overnight and early Thursday to
warrant highlights although it looks marginal at this time.

Temperatures will be well above seasonal norms once again today
with the wheels falling off this early spring weather tonight as
the cold front arrives. Temperatures on Thursday will be a good 10
to 20 degrees cooler for most areas. The good news is that it`s
only a few degrees below seasonal normals!

.LONG TERM...(Thursday night through Tuesday)
Issued at 430 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017

Light northwest flow will linger in the wake of this exiting
system with weak convectively enhanced orographic showers
lingering over the northern and central mountains through Friday.
Could see a few more inches of snow under this scenario with the
Park and Gore ranges favored. Flat ridge moves in Friday night and
Saturday with dry conditions expected. Then the gates open back up
as a series of Pacific waves head across the Western U.S.
promising more rain and snow for our area beginning Saturday night
and continuing through Tuesday. Models still not in perfect
agreement during the later extended periods, but all suggest
unsettled conditions with potential for moderate to heavy
precipitation. Not expecting a drastic swing in temperatures
through this extended period with near normal highs and lows
through the period.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Thursday afternoon)
Issued at 1032 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017

From here on out, flight conditions will begin to deteriorate. An
approaching cold front will cause an increase in cloud cover but,
more importantly, will cause winds to pick up. Broken skies will
be common across much of the area though ceilings should remain
fairly high. Winds will start picking up from now and continue
through the rest of the afternoon and into the evening as the cold
front approaches. Wind shear a definite possibility for KASE and
KTEX so included in the TAF. Expect rain and snow showers later
tonight for most TAF sites though KVEL will likely see off and on
showers through the day. Mountains will be obscured due to lower
ceilings.

&&

.GJT WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
CO...Winter Weather Advisory until 9 AM MST Friday for COZ004.

     Winter Weather Advisory from 6 PM this evening to 9 AM MST
     Friday for COZ003-013.

UT...Winter Weather Advisory until 6 PM MST Thursday for UTZ023.

&&

$$

SHORT TERM...JDC
LONG TERM...JDC
AVIATION...TGR


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