Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 231148
AFDPUB

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
448 AM MST Fri Feb 23 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 448 AM MST Fri Feb 23 2018

...More Snow for the Continental Divide...

Current water vapor indicating moderate to strong southwest flow
aloft across the region, as a another upper trough digs into the
Great Basin. GOES 16 satellite imagery indicating stratus across
western Kansas and across the far southeast plains at this time.
This stratus looks to make a push up the Arkansas River Valley to La
Junta and possibly into Pueblo County through the morning hours,
with MSAS data and surface observations indicating pressure falls
across north central New Mexico at this time.

Today and Tonight...Models in fairly good agreement of upper level
features with upper trough digging across the Great Basin through
the morning and then lifting out across South Central Colorado this
evening and out across the Eastern Plains into early Saturday
morning. This will allow for increasing coverage and intensity of
snowfall across the Continental Divide through the afternoon and
evening, with the best coverage across the Southwest Mountains with
the enhanced orographics. Current winter weather advisory for the
Eastern San Juan`s through 12Z Saturday still looks on track, with
accumulations of 4 to 8 inches and localized amounts to over a foot
on the favored southwest slopes. Accumulations across the rest of
the ContDvd look to be in the 2 to 6 inch range, again with locally
higher amounts, especially across the Central Mountains. With gusty
southwest winds of 20 to 40 mph, travel across the higher mountain
passes will be difficult at times.

Further east, temperatures will be tricky and have stayed on the
cooler side of guidance, as expected lowering pressures across north
central New Mexico will keep east to southeast upslope winds in
place through the day. This, along with stratus across the lower
Arkansas Valley will keep temperatures mainly in the 30s across most
the lower elevations, though areas along the Ration Mesa could see
temps warming into the 40s, as surface low pushes east into the
afternoon. Models continue to support precipitation spreading east
across the high mountain valley through Eastern Mountains and Plains
this evening, with the Pikes Peak Region and areas north of the
Highway 50 Corridor favored for banded precipitation as trough and
associated jet lifts north and east. Currently have 1 to 3 inches
across the high valleys and through the eastern mountains and
plains, though will need to monitor further model runs for where
these bands set up.  Model soundings also indicating the potential
for freezing drizzle or light freezing rain early in the evening
across the far southeast plains, though this would be short lived
and quickly change over the snow as uvv increases ahead of the
system.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday through Thursday)
Issued at 448 AM MST Fri Feb 23 2018

The long-term forecast begins Saturday morning with a shortwave
trough exiting eastern Colorado and attendant surface low pressure
deepening over southwest Kansas. Remaining snow showers over the
continental divide and eastern Colorado plains will come to an end
by early afternoon as forcing shifts east of the state. As the
surface low deepens, surface winds are forecast to increase to 15-20
knots, gusting to 20-30 knots across the eastern plains. High
temperatures on Saturday afternoon will reach the mid 40s across the
plains and low/mid 30s in the mountain valleys.

Another shortwave trough will swing across Colorado from the
northwest Saturday evening through Sunday morning. This quick-moving
disturbance will bring another round of snow showers to the
continental divide, with most areas only seeing a few inches of
accumulation. The plains will remain dry on Sunday, and temperatures
will be slightly warmer with highs in the upper 40s. Winds will be
breezy and from the west during the afternoon, though not as strong
as the previous day.

Behind the Sunday morning shortwave, upper-level flow flattens out
and becomes westerly-southwesterly, bringing a couple days of dry
weather to Colorado. Westerly downslope flow on Monday will help
drive temperatures well into the upper 50s across the plains and mid
40s in the mountain valleys. Additionally, RH values will dip below
15 percent across much of the plains. The low RH values combined
with gusty winds developing over the far southeast Colorado plains
in response to a deepening lee side trough means critical fire
weather conditions are possible Monday afternoon. Tuesday will
remain dry, however, winds are not forecast to be as strong so fire
danger is not expected to be as high. Afternoon temperatures will
again rise to around 60 degrees across the plains.

Latest long range model runs remain in good agreement on developing
a closed upper low over southern California Tuesday evening. This
feature is forecast to advance east through Wednesday, south of
Colorado, and become an open wave. Model forecasts diverge with the
timing and strength of the disturbance as it progresses south of
Colorado. However, another bout of precip for at least the southern
Colorado mountains appears probable Wednesday. Variability in
deterministic and ensemble model guidance leads to low confidence
in the forecast beyond Wednesday.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Saturday morning)
Issued at 448 AM MST Fri Feb 23 2018

An upper level trough will propagate over southern Colorado,
bringing the potential for winter precipitation for all forecast
points.

KALS: As of right now, VFR conditions are put in the TAF, but
overnight, around 09Z, when the trough axis moves over the region,
heavier snow bands may form, which would lower visibilities.

KCOS: Currently, low level saturation is helping develop foggy
conditions. Conditions will improve later in the morning, but will
once again degrade once the upper level system moves closer to KCOS.
Expect lower cloud ceiling this evening, around 03Z, continuing to
lower throughout the overnight hours. Snow is expected around 07Z,
which will lower visibilities and lower the cloud ceilings. During
times of precipitation, expect LIFR conditions.

KPUB: Currently there is low stratus developing over the lower
Arkansas River valley, which is forecast to develop over KPUB within
the next few hours. Conditions will improve over the morning hours,
but will degrade as the upper level system moves closer to KPUB.
Lower cloud ceilings will begin around 03Z and continue to degrade
as the night progresses. The night will progress from MVFR to LIFR
as the cloud ceilings continue to degrade.

&&

.PUB WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Weather Advisory until 6 AM MST Saturday for COZ068.

&&

$$

SHORT TERM...MW
LONG TERM...LINE
AVIATION...KTS



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