Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 191017

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
417 AM MDT Sun Mar 19 2017

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 344 AM MDT Sun Mar 19 2017

...Elevated fire danger for portions of Eastern Colorado...

Currently...a mild morning is in store across the region as high
pressure continues to move across Southern Colorado.  Winds are
generally light and skies are mostly clear early this morning.
Humidity recoveries has been around 25-35 percent so far.

Today...near record temperatures will be the main story for this
afternoon across the region.  High pressure aloft will combine with
extremely dry westerly flow across the region to push highs into the
mid to upper 80s for this afternoon.  Temperatures at Pueblo and
Colorado Springs may reach the all-time monthly records for the
month of March (Pueblo forecast of 87F/record is 86F, Colorado
Springs forecast of 80F/record is 81F).  Further east, highs will
likely approach 90F.  The other main concern for this afternoon will
be the elevated fire weather concerns for portions of the area.
While humidity values are expected to fall below 10 percent for all
of the Eastern Plains, winds look to remain below 25 mph for this
afternoon. The exceptions look to be Fremont, Pueblo and Huerfano
Counties where gap flows will help accelerate winds this afternoon
into the 25 to 30 mph range.  These areas will see the most critical
fire weather conditions and outdoor burning should be postponed.

Tonight...upper level ridging is forecast to drift eastward into the
Central Plains tonight with increasing southwesterly flow spreading
across the region by morning.  Mixing overnight should help keep
overnight lows in the lower to mid 40s.  A weak surface boundary
is forecast to drop south out near the Kansas border by morning with
slightly cooler air as far south of the Arkansas River.  Mozley

.LONG TERM...(Monday through Saturday)
Issued at 344 AM MDT Sun Mar 19 2017

Initial surge of cooler air over the plains erodes Mon morning as
lee surface trough reforms along I-25 by afternoon. Model wind
forecasts are generally below critical levels as surface gradient
isn`t particularly tight and winds aloft remain only in the 15-25
kt range. Suppose we could few gusts of 20-25 mph at times in the
afternoon along and east of I-25 with deep mixing, but coverage
and duration of stronger winds looks too low for a fire weather
highlight at this point, though fire danger will remain high with
very dry air mass still in place. Despite some minor cooling at
many locations, Mon afternoon maxes will still approach record
levels at Pueblo, Colorado Springs and Alamosa, with readings in
the 80s across the plains.

Deeper surge of cool air then sloshes back south and west late Mon
night into Tue morning, with cooler/moister air mass banked up
against the ern mountains by Tue evening. May be just enough
moisture and upslope flow to generate a few showers over the ern
mountains and Palmer Dvd Tue afternoon and evening, with some
patchy light precip spreading eastward across the plains overnight
into Wed morning. Cool air then gradually retreats Wed over the
plains, while increasing sw flow over the mountains will bring
back a chance of snow to the Continental Divide Wed afternoon and

Models still in 2 different camps regarding Thu/Fri system, with
00z GFS faster and weaker, while the 00z ECMWF continues to spin
up a rather deep low over se CO/sw KS by early Fri morning. GFS
solution would keep most precip confined to the mountains, with
only a few showers over the eastern plains Thu/Thu night as trough
passes to the north, keeping main wrap around band in nern CO/wrn
NE. European would drag the main deformation band south through
all of eastern CO Thu night into midday Fri with potential for
significant precip over the plains through the period. Various
ensembles still show significant spread, with few clues on who the
eventual winner will be. At this point, forecast is somewhat a
blend of the 2 solutions, with showers spreading from the
mountains to lower elevations Thu/Thu night, then lingering on the
plains into midday Fri. Mountains, especially along the
Continental Divide will see accumulating snow with this system,
with significant accums possible over the higher peaks by Fri
morning. No matter which solution verifies, temps with the system
look marginal at best for snow away from the higher terrain,
though suppose a brief switch over could occur under the trowal
Fri morning if EC is correct. Other issue that may arise Thu is
potential for very strong winds and high fire danger on the
eastern plains ahead of the front, especially if surface low spins
up in nern CO and plains get dry slotted as shown by the GFS.

Upper low moves east of the region by late Fri with short wave
ridge and milder temps on Sat, before next trough swings through
the Rockies on Sun, bringing a chance of showers to much of the
area by afternoon.


.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Monday morning)
Issued at 344 AM MDT Sun Mar 19 2017

VFR conditions at all three terminals through the next 24 hours.
Occasional wind gusts 20 to 25 kts are possible at KALS and KPUB
this afternoon into the early evening.  Mozley


Red Flag Warning from 11 AM this morning to 8 PM MDT this
evening for COZ222-228-229.



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