Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Tucson, AZ
FXUS65 KTWC 171620
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Tucson AZ
920 AM MST Fri Mar 17 2017
.SYNOPSIS...Near record high temperatures will continue through
the weekend and into early next week. A storm system is expected
to move across the region during the middle of the new week,
which will result in cooler temperatures, gusty winds and a chance
.DISCUSSION...Continued sunny, hot and dusty pretty much sums it
up through the weekend and into early next week. Current temps
running right about where they were 24 hours ago so afternoon
highs should be within a degree or so of yesterday as is in the
current forecast. Dewpoints are up 3-6 degrees so you should have
a little less static buildup shuffling across the carpet today and
we will see a few cumulus buildups over the mountains, mainly to
the southeast. No changes needed to the current forecast at this
time so no morning update anticipated.
.AVIATION...AVIATION...Valid through 18/12Z.
No weather concerns with patches of thin cirrus level clouds at
times and some cumulus clouds around 10-12k ft over the mountains
this afternoon. SFC wind generally less than 12 kts, with just a
few afternoon gusts to 15-20 kts. Aviation discussion not updated
for TAF amendments.
.FIRE WEATHER...Dry conditions and well above normal temperatures
will occur into early next week. 20-foot winds will mainly be
terrain driven at less than 15 mph today. Thereafter, expect
generally south to southwest winds with afternoon gusts to near 20
mph Saturday through next Monday. A storm system moving into the
area is expected to bring gusty winds, though still probably
below critical thresholds, along with low RH levels Tuesday. As
the storm moves just north of our area Wednesday, moisture will
increase with a chance of showers and continued windy conditions.
CLIMATE...The average monthly temperature for Tucson (TIA)
through March 16th ranks as the warmest to date (and at this point
it looks like a sure thing to end the month still in the lead).
We`ve had a total of 5 - 90 degree days so far, with 4 in a row
through Thursday. The current high temperature forecast for Tucson
has a run of 90+ highs continuing through at least Monday. Record
for consecutive March days with 90+ highs is 5 days, first set in
1910 then later tied in 1989 and 2015. All-time March record for
the number of 90+ days is 8 set in 1910. If the forecast holds
through Monday, that would be 8 consecutive days and 9 total (with
one more possible on Tuesday). The forecast of 95 for Saturday
would be the first of the year, and tie for 4th earliest
occurrence of 95.
.PREV DISCUSSION... /issued 301 AM MST Fri Mar 17 2017/
A strong ridge of high pressure over the desert southwest will
keep near record high temperatures as the main story through the
weekend and even into early next week. Daily and monthly records
as well as records involving 90 and 95 degree days at TIA are
discussed in the climate section below.
Less significant for our area but no less interesting, we continue
to monitor a moisture increase from central Mexico into Chihuahua
that was manifest as a complex of thunderstorms in southern
Chihuahua last night. The associated 700hPa theta-e ridge should
nose a little further northward, wrapping into the back side of
the high pressure system. Convection should spread deeper into
Chihuahua and eastern Sonora early in the weekend. We will
probably see no more than a few cu fields and maybe a buildup or
two near far southern mountains Saturday or Sunday afternoon.
As the ridge axis phases eastward and builds through the southern
and central plains late in the weekend, a chaotic picture out in
the Pacific begins to consolidate into a large scale mean trough
position near and off the Pacific coast. With a more amplified
pattern, some of the energy currently south of the Aleutian
Islands should make it into Southern California as part of a
consolidated 3 impulse system that extends from southeast Alaska
all the way down the west coast.
We`ll see gusty southwesterly winds develop ahead of this system
as early as late Tuesday afternoon, with strongest winds Wednesday
into Wednesday evening for our part of the state. Best chance of
precip will be north of our area, but we should see a few showers
later Wednesday afternoon and/or Wednesday evening. Temperatures
will drop around 20 degrees with the system, back to near or a
little below seasonal averages for late March. Temperatures will
be slow to recover as another system pushes through the region
north of us next weekend.
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