Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 211741
AFDPUB

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
1041 AM MST Wed Feb 21 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 459 AM MST Wed Feb 21 2018

..New System Headed this Way...

Interesting system headed this way from the south/southwest. Doesn`t
look like much now but things are coming together for another good
bout of snow along the Continental Divide and particularly the
southwest (San Juan) mountains again.  Satellite shows moisture
beginning to stream northward across eastern Arizona and New Mexico,
heading for southern Colorado.  Models/forecast soundings show a nice
overrunning pattern developing this afternoon and evening over
southern Colorado.  Should cloud up nicely through the afternoon
with snow developing over the mountains.  Looks like just clouds for
the plains but it will be close.  Models have some nice overunning
precipitation scooting by just to the east of Colorado, possibly
clipping Baca County in the afternoon.  Don`t think it will come
this far west but will have to watch it.  However, some warm
advection aloft does make it back to the east slopes of the
mountains this evening.  That, coupled with upslope flow into the
terrain and precipitation streaming northeast with the main upper
disturbance moving through the mountains might trigger some evening
snow showers along, and adjacent to, the eastern mountains late in the
afternoon through the evening.  This would mainly include Teller, El
Paso, Fremont, western Pueblo, Custer and Huerfano Counties
according to our high resolution rapid refresh.  The model also
suggests maybe some light snow across the far eastern plains by this
evening.  Snow is not currently in the forecast out that way so may
have to update things a little later depending on how everything
evolves.  In any event, snowfall looks significant across the San
Juans and, to a lesser extent, along the Continental Divide ranges
farther north.  Accumulations over the higher terrain of the eastern
mountain ranges could also be pretty good.  May need a Winter
Weather Advisory at some point.  For the lower elevations along and
near the eastern mountains, any accumulations should be pretty
light, generally in the dusting to 3 inch range.

Temperature forecasts will be tricky again today with arctic air
still in the mix, increasing clouds, and warm overunning at the mid
levels.  Believe it will remain below freezing along and north of
Highway 50 and over the far eastern plains.  El paso, Teller and
Fremont Counties may keep some of the coldest temperatures with old
arctic air still backed into those areas.  The southern I-25
corridor from Walsenburg south to Trinidad, southeastern Pueblo,
southern Otero and western Las Animas Counties may have some of the
warmest readings today as milder southerly winds try to work in.
Hard to say for sure, though.  Readings across the mountains and
high valleys should be a little warmer than yesterday but still
below average for this time of year in most cases.

.LONG TERM...(Thursday through Tuesday)
Issued at 459 AM MST Wed Feb 21 2018

Relatively active conditions anticipated over the forecast
district into the weekend as several upper disturbances impact
southern Colorado in advance of more tranquil conditions
returning by early next week.

Latest forecast model soundings, computer simulations and PV/Precipitable
Water analysis suggest that unsettled conditions(in the form of
accumulating snow and areas of blowing snow) will be ongoing over
the Continental Divide as well as select mountain locations and
will maintain the existing winter weather highlights over the
eastern San Juan mountains Thursday. Precipitation is then
expected to decrease over the winter weather highlight locations
Thursday night. Elsewhere over the forecast district from Thursday
into Thursday night, expect generally dry conditions, moderating
temperatures and gusty winds at times.

Next round of unsettled conditions(including snow...basically light
to moderate at times and gusty winds) should then be noted over
many sections of the the CWA from Friday into Saturday morning as
next system impacts the region.

Then, another in a series of relatively quick moving upper
systems should allow for additional unsettled conditions over
primarily the Continental Divide and higher terrain locations from
later Saturday into Sunday evening.

A respite in the recent active conditions as well as somewhat
warmer conditions should then be experienced over the forecast
district from Monday into at least next Tuesday morning as dry
zonal to southwesterly upper flow develops over southern Colorado.

It still appears that the highest potential for more
widespread/gusty winds over the forecast district during the
longer term should be realized from Thursday into Saturday night
and then again by next Tuesday. Also, localized/elevated fire
weather concerns(over select eastern locations) will be possible
during the afternoon hours on Thursday, Sunday, Monday and
Tuesday.

Overall, below seasonal later February longer term maximum
temperatures in combination with minimum temperatures running near
climatological averages are anticipated from Thursday into
Monday, with above seasonal temperatures projected by next
Tuesday.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Thursday afternoon)
Issued at 1029 AM MST Wed Feb 21 2018

VFR conditions are expected at KCOS thru at least 06Z tonight,
although there could be some snow showers near the mtns to the
west this evening with some lower CIGS in those areas. Late
tonight it looks like KCOS could see MVFR or even IFR conditions
develop and there could be some light snow thru midmorning.

VFR conditions are expected at KPUB thru at least late tonight.
There is a chance that some low stratus could move into the
vicinity after 06Z and remain in the area thru Thu morning, but at
this time it is too uncertain to mention in the forecast.

VFR conditions are expected at KALS until early Thu morning, when
some snow showers and lower clouds are expected to be in the area.
MVFR or even IFR conditions will then be possible at KALS in the
morning hours, especially if snow does develop. By midday
conditions are expected to improve.

&&

.PUB WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Weather Advisory from 8 PM this evening to 5 PM MST
Thursday for COZ068.

&&

$$

AVIATION...28


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