Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 170524

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
1024 PM MST Fri Feb 16 2018

.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Saturday)
Issued at 324 PM MST Fri Feb 16 2018

...Winds across the high country increase tonight...

Marginal high winds will be possible later tonight in the Pikes Peak
region with timing of strongest gusts in the 09-12z window. Wind
gusts could get close to high wind criteria (75 mph mts)...but
appears to stay confined mainly to the higher east facing slopes of
the Ramparts. Model cross-sections look much more favorable for mtn
wave activity farther north and various model soundings either lack
a mtn top inversion or place it a bit too low in elevation.  Overall
it looks like a marginal event so no high wind highlights
anticipated with this package.  Will put wind gusts in the 60-70 mph
range for the Teller county zone and wouldn`t be surprised to see a
few wind gusts in the 55 mph approaching 60 mph range just west of
the AFF.  Another area that could see near high winds will be in the
lee of the Sawatch range. These areas will be watched closely in
latest high res model runs.  Elsewhere...northwest flow is not as
favorable for downslope high winds.

Otherwise...should see a drop in temperatures this evening for all
areas...though high cloudiness will initially help hold temperatures
up a few degrees.  With lee trof deepening overnight temperatures
will likely warm towards 12z along the lower eastern slopes as
westerlies kick in.  There could be an isolated snow shower across
the northern portions of the central mountains tonight but not
expecting much in the way of accumulations.

Much warmer temperatures expected for Saturday as skies will be
sunny and mountains will experience downslope warming.  Most of the
plains will stay in south southeasterly flow on the east side of the
surface trof...but even here mixing should allow for a good recovery
in temperatures with readings back in the 50s and lower 60s.  Could
be some spotty areas of near critical fire weather conditions along
the southern I-25 corridor Saturday afternoon but winds look to be
the limiting factor so no highlights expected. -KT

.LONG TERM...(Saturday night through Friday)
Issued at 324 PM MST Fri Feb 16 2018

Saturday night-Sunday...West to southwest flow aloft increases
across the region through the day Sunday, as Eastern Pacific energy
moves onshore across the Pacific Northwest Coast. Breezy to windy
conditions expected across the higher terrain, with model soundings
and cross-sections indicating the potential for strong downslope
winds across the lower eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Range
and the Southern I-25 Corridor late Saturday night through Sunday
morning. For now, I have increased winds with gusts in the 50 to 60
mph in the grids through this period, and we will continue to
monitor models for possible highlights in the near future. Warm
downslope flow will allow temps to warm into the 60s to lower 70s
across the Eastern Plains on Sunday. Breezy west to southwest
winds will mix down across the Plains in the afternoon, leading to
the potential for critical fire weather conditions. Will wait on
issuing any fire weather hightlights at this time, though any
outdoor burning plans should be postponed on Sunday.

Sunday night-Tuesday...Current models continue to dig the Pac
Northwest system into the Great Basin and lift it out across Rockies
in the late Sunday night through Tuesday timeframe, however, they
continue to indicate run to run differences on strength and timing
of said system. The GFS remains faster and not as amplified with
the trough, where as the ECMWF is most amplified and slowest, with
the NAM in between both solutions. All solutions point to
increasing chances of precipitation along and west of the ContDvd
Sunday night, with snow likely across the ContDvd Monday and
Monday night. Definitely could see highlights across the Dvd for
snow and blowing snow through through this time frame, with the
latest NAM the most bullish with amounts of 1 to 2 feet, highest
across the Southwest Mountains. Moderate to strong winds expected
over and near the higher terrain Sunday night, again with the
potential for high warning criteria being met, especially across
the Southern Mountains and lower eastern slopes.

Precipitation across the Eastern Mountains and Plains will depend on
how far the system digs, with the GFS keeping most of precipitation
along and north of the Palmer Divide, whereas the ECMWF solution
brings better chances of precipitation to the Eastern Mountains
through the Southern I-25 Corridor, though the 1612Z run of the EC
is not as wet as previous runs. Blended model pops continue to lean
towards the wetter solution for Southern Colorado. Highs on Monday
will be tricky across the Eastern Plains, with much cooler air
pushing in from the North through the day. Regardless of
precipitation, Monday night through Tuesday night look to be on the
chilly side, with highs only in the 20s and 30s across the Plains
Tuesday and lows in the single digits and teens.

Wednesday-Friday...Continued west to southwest flow aloft will lead
to a slow warming trend across the area through the end of the work
week. Dry conditions look to return to Eastern Colorado, with the
potential for snow across the ContDvd through the period.


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Saturday night)
Issued at 1014 PM MST Fri Feb 16 2018

VFR at all taf sites tonight and Sat. Downslope w-nw winds should
stay closer to the high terrain west of KCOS through the night,
but can`t rule out rotor occasionally drifting far enough east to
produce a brief period of 30-40 kt gusts for a few hrs toward 12z.
Chances look too low to mention in the taf, but will need to
monitor. At KPUB, prevailing w-nw wind will be occasionally gusty
through the night as mid level flow is nearly aligned with the
Arkansas Valley, with some brief period of gusts 15-25 kts

Over the mountains, strong west winds expected with significant
mountain wave and turbulence in the lee of most ranges through the
night and into Sat morning.




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