Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 260958
AFDPUB

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
358 AM MDT Wed Apr 26 2017

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 340 AM MDT Wed Apr 26 2017

Currently...radar indicates light precipitation is rapidly
decreasing in coverage over the Eastern Plains from north to south.
Snow levels have been running around 6 kft near Trinidad with only
minor accumulations expected through sunrise over the southern
Sangre de Cristo range.  Model guidance has precipitation shifting
south into New Mexico by 8 to 9 am.  Elsewhere, northerly winds have
brought cool morning temperatures with most of the Plains in the mid
30s to near 40 degrees.

Today and Tonight...the upper system that brought yesterdays
precipitation to the area will continue southeast into Texas, while
the next upper disturbance in the northwest flow aloft moves into
the area by tonight.  Once the light precipitation near the New
Mexico border clears to the south this morning, expect generally dry
conditions to prevail across the Plains through this evening.  Over
the mountains, expect snowfall to increase along the Continental
Divide by this afternoon, with periods of moderate snowfall through
tonight over the Central Mountains.  Snow accumulations of 1 to 4
inches are possible through Thursday morning over the Central
Mountains.  Precipitation is forecast to spread east into the
Eastern Mountains and Palmer Divide region later tonight, with an
inch or two of snow possible on areas peaks.

Several of the high-res model solutions do develop isolated showers
this afternoon over the Eastern Mountains, and spread them east into
the I-25 corridor through this evening.  Given the inconsistencies
from run to run and that not all models are showing this, did not
spread pops east into the I-25 corridor for this afternoon and
evening.  If they do develop, the showers will produce spotty light
rain.

Temperatures today will be on the cooler side with mid to upper 50s
for highs across most of the lower elevations.  Lows tonight will
fall into the upper 30s to lower 40s.  Mozley

.LONG TERM...(Thursday through Tuesday)
Issued at 340 AM MDT Wed Apr 26 2017

...Potent Storm possible for Friday night-Saturday for southern
CO...

Upper trof shifts eastward on Thursday with strong winds and snow
continuing across the central mountains through at least the
morning. Drier air and downward forcing spreads in during the
afternoon...however soundings are showing sufficient residual
moisture and instability for snow showers to continue into the
afternoon. Winter Weather Advisory will carry through until 00z
Fri but suspect precipitation will be on the decline across the
central mountains by late afternoon. Meanwhile...cold front will
drop through the southeast plains Thursday afternoon and will
become the focus for scattered afternoon showers and
thunderstorms.

Thursday night could see pockets of freezing temperatures along the
I-25 corridor though its not clear just how widespread this will be
given that westerly winds may help to keep temperatures up a bit.
May end up being a brief period of freezing temperatures towards
sunrise if winds decouple for long enough.

All attention then turns to the next storm system which models are
in remarkable agreement on for Friday-Saturday.  All are painting a
heavy precipitation event for southern CO with temperatures cold
enough Friday night/Saturday morning for a change over to snow
across the plains as well.  Energy digging along the western fringe
of the broad trof positioned across the western U.S. closes off an
upper low over the 4 corners region by Friday evening.  This system
then drops southeastward into northern/central NM through Saturday
morning then lifts back northeastward into the TX/OK panhandles into
western KS by Saturday evening.  This is a prime track for southern
CO to get widespread precipitation.  Friday will still be relatively
mild ahead of the storm...but should see deteriorating conditions
from north to south late Friday afternoon through Friday night.
Models show some decent cold air with this system...with a change
over to snow along the Palmer divide between by 03z spreading down
into the COS area by 06z...with a change over to snow across all
of the southern I-25 corridor and southeast plains by 12z-15z Sat.
Best forcing appears to be between 06z through 18z Saturday as
area comes under strong difluence aloft. H7 winds in both NAM and
GFS become E then NE at 30-40 kts providing strong upslope flow
for the southeast mountains as well. And with H7 temperatures
dropping to between -8 and -11C by Saturday morning...this would
support a switch over to snow across all of the plains by Saturday
morning. Given the latest trends towards a stronger system have
increased pops across southern CO through this period. Cooled off
max temps for Sat a few degrees as well.  Hardest hit should be
the southeast mountains and I-25 corridor. Impacts across the
southeast plains will be determined by the timing of the switch
over to snow and snowfall rates as the ground is carrying some
residual heat. Winter weather highlights will likely become
necessary for portions or all of southern CO Friday night through
Saturday evening if forecast models stay consistent so stay
tuned. Its still too early to pin down snowfall amounts just yet
but confidence is increasing that this could be a high impact
event for the mountains and adjacent plains.

System pulls away from the area Saturday night with drier weather
spreading in for Sunday.  Will have to watch for freezing
temperatures again Sunday night.  Weather remains fairly quiet
through Monday...though central mountains will see periodic
showers in NW flow. Another storm system will be looming on the
horizon for Tuesday/Wednesday. -KT

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Thursday morning)
Issued at 340 AM MDT Wed Apr 26 2017

VFR conditions at all three terminals through this afternoon.  An
upper disturbance will bring an increase in mid and high clouds for
late this afternoon and tonight.  KALS may see light rain or snow
towards Thursday morning.  There is a very low possibility of a
shower or two near KCOS and KPUB this afternoon, but confidence is
not high enough to include in the 12z TAF. Mozley

&&

.PUB WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Weather Advisory from 6 PM this evening to 6 PM MDT
Thursday for COZ058-060.

&&

$$

SHORT TERM...MOZLEY
LONG TERM...KT
AVIATION...MOZLEY


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