Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 281743

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
1143 AM MDT Tue Mar 28 2017

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 446 AM MDT Tue Mar 28 2017

...Good Amounts of Snow and Rain Headed for Southern Colorado

Large, moist upper low pressure area over northeast Arizona at this
hour is making steady progress eastward.  Models have it tracking
into west central New Mexico today and then into east central New
Mexico by Wednesday morning.  This track will be favorable for good
amounts of precipitation across the eastern mountains and plains,
with more modest amounts over the western mountain areas.  Due to a
combination of good storm dynamics, good moisture, embedded
convection (thunderstorms) and upslope, the eastern mountains and
plains should do well with this storm with general precipitation
amounts ranging from around 0.50 inches up to about 1.25 inches for
many areas.  The southern plains, closer to the dynamics, moisture
and best convection could do even better with amounts up to around
1.75 inches.  Western areas will see less precipitation overall but
still should manage 0.25 to .50 inches in a lot of places.

Storm is still in the organizing stages.  Precipitation will be
rather scattered and showery into the afternoon, favoring the far
eastern plains and the mountains.  Then, late in the day, as the
upper low moves into position over central New Mexico, everything
should get organized and s tart forcing up against the mountains,
developing widespread precipitation along and near the eastern
slopes.  This will continue through the night, also developing
eastward across the plains as the upper low tracks into east central
New Mexico.  This system will favor the eastern mountains and plains
since all the moisture and upslope forcing will come in from the
east.  The western mountain areas and valleys will see generally
less precipitation.

Snow levels are challenging with this storm.  It is not a
particularly cold system.  There is not a good push of cold air
coming down from the north nor is there much cold air with the
system itself.  So, snow levels will be relatively high for this
time of year by eastern Colorado standards.  Significant, heavy
accumulations will generally be confined to areas above 6500 feet.
However, there will be some light accumulations down to about 6000
feet, and possibly even lower, maybe down to about 4500 feet by late
tonight.  Anything accumulations down that low should be fairly
light and confined mainly to off-pavement areas.  The eastern
mountains and particularly the Sangre De Cristo Mountains, the Wet
Mountains, Spanish Peaks Region and southern foothills along the
southern I-25 corridor should see the most snow with this system.
Around a foot of snow is expected in these areas as a generalization
with up to 2 or 3 feet for the Sangres, Wets, and Spanish Peaks.
The Palmer Divide and Raton Mesa could also do well with this storm
with up to around a foot of snow.  For southern El Paso County,
there will be the usual large variability in snowfall amounts with
maybe and inch or 2 for southern parts of the Springs and up to a
half foot or so for elevations above 6500 feet over northern and
western parts of the city.  Pueblo and Canon City will see mostly
rain with this event but there could be a brief period of wet snow
late tonight resulting in light accumulations mainly on off-pavement

Winds, yes there will be winds tonight as the system intensifies.
However, they will not be anywhere near the caliber of last week`s
storm.  Top speeds will only be in the 20-40 mph range rather than
the 60-75 mph speeds we saw last week.  So there could be some areas
of blowing snow and poor visibilities where it is snowing but
nothing too extreme.

.LONG TERM...(Wednesday through Monday)
Issued at 446 AM MDT Tue Mar 28 2017

Wednesday-Wednesday night...Latest models are in fairly good
agreement of the upper low in the vicinity of the Western Texas
Panhandle early Wednesday morning, which then lifts east north east
into Central Oklahoma through Wednesday afternoon. The projected
location and movement of the system keeps the strongest uvv and
upglide across the southeast mountains through the southeast plains
early Wednesday morning, with the precipitation shield sliding east
across the far southeast plains through the afternoon. Should see
precipitation diminishing across the Pikes Peak Region through the
late morning, especially across southern portions of El Paso County
and northern portions of Pueblo County, as gusty downslope northerly
winds of 20 to 35 mph carve out the "brown hole" through the morning.
Precipitation across the Southern Sangre de Cristo and Southern
I-25 corridor lingers through the late morning before diminishing
through the afternoon. Snow levels look to drop to around 6000
feet Wednesday morning, though sounding data continue to suggest
the strong dynamical system developing isothermal profiles with
snow possibly mixing down to 5000 feet through the early morning
hours of Wednesday.

At any rate, the Eastern Mountains and Plains look to be the "big
winners" with 1 to 2 inches of storm total qpf projected with this
system. Winter storm warnings issued for Teller and Northern El Paso
Counties will continue through Wednesday morning, while the Winter
Storm Warnings for the Southeast Mountains, the Wet Mountain Valley
and the Southern I-25 Corridor will pare back through the afternoon.
Further west, precipitation wanes through the early morning hours,
with Winter Weather Advisories for the higher terrain of the ContDvd
ending through the morning. Storm total snow fall in the order of 1
to 2 feet looks to be in order across the Eastern Mountains,
greatest across the Southern Sangres, with 6 to 12 inches possible
across the Palmer Divide, the Raton Mesa and the higher terrain
along and west of the Southern I-25 corridor.

Warmer and drier weather expected across the area on Thursday before
another system takes aim on the Rockies for the weekend. The latest
ECMWF and Canadian models take this system on a very similar track
of the Tuesday/Wednesday system, with the operational GFS and the
GFS ensembles similar through early Saturday, before dropping south
into Southern New Mexico later Saturday and Sunday. With that said,
should see good chances of precipitation areawide Friday night and
Saturday, with the potential for heavy snowfall once again across
the eastern mountains and higher adjacent plains. The unsettled
weather pattern looks to continue into April as models suggest more
systems digging across the region into the middle of next week.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Wednesday afternoon)
Issued at 1133 AM MDT Tue Mar 28 2017

MVFR to IFR conditions will spread into the TAF sites this
afternoon through widespread rain and mountain snows
develop over the region. Widespread mountain obscurations are
expected after 21z which will linger overnight before clearing
from northwest to southeast on Wednesday. The rain to snow switch
over should occur at KCOS and KALS between 03z-06z tonight...and
a brief rain/snow mix will be possible at KPUB during the 12z-15z
window. Northeast to east winds will pull around to the northeast
tonight with gusts up to 30 kts possible through Wedensday
morning. Conditions at the taf sites will improve to MVFR after
08z-11z at all three terminals as the system pulls away.
Snowfall amounts of 1-3 inches will be possible at the KCOS and
KALS terminals...though given warm temperatures this may be
confined mainly to grassy surfaces with surfaces getting slushy at
times during the heavier snow. -KT


Winter Storm Warning from midnight tonight to 6 PM MDT Wednesday
for COZ087-088.

Winter Storm Warning from 6 PM this evening to noon MDT
Wednesday for COZ072-076-078-079-081-084.

Winter Weather Advisory until noon MDT Wednesday for COZ058-060-

Winter Storm Warning until noon MDT Wednesday for COZ073-080-082.

Winter Storm Warning until 6 PM MDT Wednesday for COZ075.

Winter Storm Warning from 6 PM this evening to 6 PM MDT
Wednesday for COZ074.



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