Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 191120
AFDPUB

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
420 AM MST Fri Jan 19 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 420 AM MST Fri Jan 19 2018

...Near Critical Fire Weather Conditions over Parts of the Area
today...

Upper trough moving onshore across the Pacific Coast will produce
increasing southwesterly flow over southern Colorado today and
tonight. West to southwest winds will begin to increase in the high
country today with gusts to 40 mph possible in the mountains by
afternoon, and gusts to around 30 mph along and near eastern
mountain slopes. With humidity falling below 15 percent this
afternoon, elevated fire danger will develop over the eastern
mountains and plains, although the duration of the event looks too
short to warrant fire weather highlights. Regardless, there will be
some local concerns for brief periods, especially in wind prone
areas around Walsenburg and across Fort Carson. It is advisable to
postpone outdoor burning or any other activities that could
accidentally start a wildfire. Max temps will be very mild for
January, reaching levels 20-25f above average and nearing records in
many areas. The normal, record and forecast for Colorado Springs
tomorrow is 43, 70(1986) and 67. For Pueblo, those numbers are 47,
75(1986) and 71. For Alamosa, those numbers are 34, 56(2000) and 53.

Overnight, winds will continue leading to a rather mild night at
most locations, and a few spots in the lee of the eastern mountains
may stay above freezing the entire night. Precip may reach wrn CO by
early morning Sat, but any snow should stay west of the Continental
Divide through sunrise and will keep a dry forecast in place.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday through Thursday)
Issued at 420 AM MST Fri Jan 19 2018

...Snow and a much colder airmass to spread across the area
Saturday night and Sunday...

Saturday-Sunday night...Latest models remain in good agreement of a
strong upper trough moving across the Great Basin Saturday morning,
bringing snow and a much colder airmass to south central and
southeast Colorado, as it moves across the area through the late
weekend.

Moisture increases within the increasing southwest flow aloft across
the area ahead of Great Basin system on Saturday, and will see
increasing chances of snow along and west of the ContDvd through the
late morning, with snow becoming likely through the late afternoon
across the Eastern San Juan and La Garita Mountains, where a few
inches of wind driven snow could accumulate through the afternoon.

Further east, another warm and breezy to windy day looks to be in
the offing. Temperatures aloft cool through the day, however, with
the downslope flow, will again see temperatures in the 60s to lower
70s across the lower elevations, warmest across the far Southeast
Plains. Induced lee troughing across the plains on Saturday will
help mix down gusty southwest winds of 20 to 30 mph for areas along
and west of the I-25 Corridor through the late morning and
afternoon. This will again lead to increased fire danger, however,
latest models remain in agreement of increasing moisture within the
southerly flow to keep humidity levels at or above 20 percent
through the afternoon, and will not issue any fire weather
highlights at this time.

The broad upper trough continues across the Eastern Great Basin
Saturday afternoon and develops a closed low across the Four Corners
Region Saturday night. Models then lift this system north and east
across the far Southeast Plains through the day Sunday and into
North Central Kansas Sunday night. Although the exact track of this
system is not certain, the current projected path would continue to
bring snow to the ContDvd, especially the Southwest Mountains,
through Sunday morning, with the focus of snow across the ContDvd
shifting to the Central Mountains through the afternoon with
developing northwest flow. With the favored southwest orographic
flow, have issued a winter storm watch for Zones 66 and 68 (Eastern
San Juan and La Garita Mts) late Saturday afternoon through Sunday
afternoon, with a foot or more possible, along expected hazardous
travel with blowing snow across the high mountain passes. Snow
across the Central Mountains and lower elevations of the Southwest
Mountains looks to be in the 4 to 8 inch range, and later shifts
will likely need winter weather advisories for Saturday night and
Sunday.

Snow is expected to spread east across the high mountain valleys
through the Eastern Mountains Saturday night, with the current
forecasted track of the system supporting a period of wind driven
snow, with strong and gusty north winds 20 to 40 mph behind the
systems associated cold front, spreading east across the I-25
Corridor through the far southeast plains Sunday morning through
Sunday evening. Current grids indicating advisory amount snow fall
of 3 to 9 inches across the Eastern Mountains, with 3 to 6 inches of
wind driven snow possible across Palmer Divide and Northern El Paso
County. Snow fall of 2 to 4 inches will be possible across the
Southern I-25 Corridor and Raton Mesa, with 1 to 3 inches possible
across the rest of the southeast plains. May also need winter
highlights across portions of the plains on Sunday, as snow combined
with the gusty north winds, will likely create hazardous travel
conditions. Again, a further north or south track to this system
could bring less or more snow to the eastern plains. At any rate,
temperatures on Sunday will be much colder than Saturday, with highs
mainly in the 20s and 30s areawide, warmest across the far Southeast
Plains.

Monday-Thursday...Moderating northwest flow aloft on Monday becomes
more westerly on Tuesday and increasing southwesterly on Wednesday,
ahead of another system digging into the Great Basin. This will lead
to a generally dry forecast through the period, save possible light
snow showers across the Central Mountains, along with a slow warming
trend to slightly above seasonal levels by Wednesday. Models do
agree on this system bringing another round of snow and colder
temperatures to the area for later in the work week, through differ
on its strength and location as it moves across the Rockies.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Saturday morning)
Issued at 420 AM MST Fri Jan 19 2018

VFR all areas next 24 hours, including the KCOS, KPUB and KALS
terminals. W-SW winds will become gusty at times today and tonight,
especially over the higher terrain and along and west of I-25.

&&

.PUB WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Storm Watch from Saturday afternoon through Sunday
afternoon for COZ066-068.

&&

$$

SHORT TERM...PETERSEN
LONG TERM...MW
AVIATION...PETERSEN


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