Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Riverton, WY

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FXUS65 KRIW 251650

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Riverton WY
950 AM MST Sat Feb 25 2017

.SHORT TERM...Saturday through Monday night

It looks like winter has made a return and will stick around for a
few days. However, since it is late February and not late December,
we do not expect the extreme temperatures of January. However,
temperatures will continue to be below normal, especially in areas
that received the heavy snow over the past couple of days. As a
result, we kept temperatures well below MOS guidance. In addition, a
trough will be swinging across the area. There is not a ton of
moisture to work with, but it will be enough to keep some snow
showers going. This will especially be the case in the west where
some steep lapse rates may bring some locally heavy snow showers. It
is hard to pinpoint the location however. In addition, there could
be enough lift for a bit of snow in the Cody. Given the history of
under doing precipitation in that area, we added some POPS for this
afternoon. Most of the showers should end at night except for the
northwest. In addition, with gusty wind developing ahead of the
trough, some blowing snow may develop. We will continue to Special
Weather Statement for today.

We should be in between systems on Sunday with only a few mainly
orographic showers across the west. Temperatures will be tricky in
the basins with the inversions. Again, we kept numbers below MOS
guidance. Gusty winds will also continue across the normally wind
prone areas as well. Snow will increase across the west late Sunday
and especially Sunday night as another trough approaches along with
the support of some modest jet dynamics. This system does not appear
really strong though and does not have a ton of moisture to work
with some heavy snow is not expected at this time.

On Monday another piece of energy will move into the west with
another chance of light to moderate snow. There is some disagreement
East of the Divide however. The GFS is showing some moisture moving
into central Wyoming with some upper level divergence providing some
lift and actually breaks out some light snow on Monday afternoon.
The NAM has a drier solution however. For now, we bumped up POPS a
bit, especially near Natrona County but kept them in the slight
category for now but they may need to be bumped up a bit if the
trend continues.

.LONG TERM...Tuesday through Saturday

A weather system passes through the region on Tuesday with snow
for most mountains and scattered light snow for the lower
elevations. A northwest flow aloft is the weather pattern
Wednesday through Friday. Moisture in the northwest flow will keep
some light snow going in the NW WY mountains and in the northern
Bighorn mountains. There will be periods when the snow picks up in
intensity and may require a highlight. The rest of the area will
be dry Wed through Fri. Next Saturday the long range models differ
on the weather pattern. The GFS has a strong weather system
diving through the area in the northwest flow aloft. This would
lead to a chance of precipitation over much of the area. The ECMWF
model has a west flow aloft and keeps precip in NW WY. Have
blended the solutions for now and have a chance of precip in the
west and north zones. Breezy to windy areas Wed through Fri and
possibly next Saturday as well. Temps will be on the cold side
Tuesday, then gradual warming through Friday. Next Saturday was
blended as the GFS was colder and the ECMWF model was mild. End
result was near seasonal highs. Low temps will vary widely each
night. The snow covered basins with little or no wind will be
fairly cold. The places that have a breeze will be much milder.




A weak upper level disturbance will bring a few snow showers to the
western mountains and vicinity KJAC today, with mountains becoming
frequently obscured and prevailing MVFR conditions expected near
KJAC through the early evening. A gusty west wind 15-30 knots will
prevail across the southwest near the I-80 corridor this afternoon.
LLWS will be possible at some locations beginning this evening as
winds decouple. Snow showers will decrease in coverage across the
western mountains later this evening, perhaps lingering across
northwest WY through Sunday morning.


VFR conditions to prevail through the forecast period. A lee side
surface trough will strengthen today with southwest wind 15-25 knots
and gusts near 35 knots at times prevailing from vicinity 50SM NE
KRKS-KCPR through early this evening. Gusty west winds are also
expected to develop along the eastern foothills from vicinity KCOD-
KDUB-KLND. Areas of blowing snow and partial terrain obscurations
will be possible with these winds. LLWS will be possible at some
locations beginning this evening as winds decouple. An upper level
disturbance will spread isolated to scattered snow showers north of
a KCOD-KBYG line this afternoon with the Bighorn Mountains becoming
mostly obscured north of U.S. Highway 16. This activity should clear
3z-6z Sunday.



Fire Danger should remain low for all of Wyoming through the
weekend as a good existing snow pack combines with seasonal to
below seasonal temperatures. Gusty west to southwest can be
expected at times across portions of central and southern WY as
well as the Lee of the Absarokas. Smoke dispersion will be fair to
very good across most of the forecast area each afternoon through
at least Monday. The exception would be some of the deeper basins
and valleys which had heavy snow where inversions may linger
through the day.





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