Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 230456

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
956 PM MST Wed Feb 22 2017

.SYNOPSIS...Much colder temperatures are forecast for Thursday
behind a cold front moving through the area overnight. Gusty winds
are expected along the front, with a few light showers possible
north of Interstate 40. An unsettled pattern will develop late in
the weekend and early next week, with better chances for rain and


.DISCUSSION...Current observations indicate that a cold front has
moved into far northwest Arizona. Some light precipitation has
formed ahead of the front along the Kaibab Plateau. This front is
forecast to push across the area from west to east overnight,
exiting the region by mid-morning. A brief period of gusty
southwest winds may develop just ahead of the front, but the
strongest winds are expected to the northeast of high terrain
features. Mostly light precipitation is expected to accompany the
front, forming over higher terrain primarily north of Interstate


.PREV DISCUSSION /356 PM MST/...Expect largely zonal flow from
late Thursday through the early part of the weekend with dry
conditions and temperatures near to slightly below average.
Ensemble forecast systems have led us to become more confident in
a precipitation/winter weather event occurring in the late
weekend-early next week time frame. Diagrams showing solutions
from individual members indicate a fair amount of agreement in the
large-scale pattern from Sunday through Tuesday, which brings a
trough across northern Arizona the axis of which crosses the state
on Tuesday. Products from the NAEFS ensemble mean show that there
is increasing ensemble agreement on high-end moisture transport
through the Sunday-Monday window as well as successive periods of
precip accumulation from Monday into Tuesday.

Currently, we expect a light precip event on Sunday with the
initial fast-moving short wave trough. A much greater proportion
of the precip would fall from Monday into Tuesday. There is still
some spread in the precise speed/depth of these features so it
will take some time to work out the details of precip/snow
amounts/snow levels, but early next week is certainly a time
period to keep an eye on.


.AVIATION...For the 06Z package...VFR conditions will prevail for
the next 24 hours. A passing cold front will lead to increased
winds across much of northern Arizona tonight. Most areas will
experience wind speeds between 10 to 20 knots. However, isolated
gusts above 35 knots will be possible along the front and just
northeast of higher terrain. Wind speeds may weaken during the
mid-morning hours, but another round of breezy westerly winds are
expected to develop after 17Z Thursday. Aviation discussion not
updated for TAF amendments.






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