Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 132238

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
338 PM MST Tue Feb 13 2018

.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Wednesday)
Issued at 328 PM MST Tue Feb 13 2018

...Near Critical Fire Weather Conditions Return to Parts of the
Area Wednesday...

Although snow showers continue along the Continental Divide this
afternoon, they are gradually decreasing.  Upper high pressure is
building in from the south.  This will cause most of the remaining
snow showers to retreat to the central mountains overnight into
Wednesday.  Any additional accumulations will be local and
light, generally only amounting to 1 or possibly 2 inches.

Tonight winds will begin to crank up in the high country as a belt
of stronger westerly winds move across the state.  On Wednesday,
those winds will mix down to the valleys and plains, resulting in a
gusty afternoon.  Gusts up to 45 mph will be possible along the
Continental Divide at places like Monarch and Cottonwood Passes by
Wednesday morning.  Those gusts will increase to around 50 mph on
Wednesday.  For the valleys and plains, it may get a little breezy
around the edges toward Wednesday morning but the stronger winds
will hold off until the late morning and afternoon hours.  For areas
along and near the mountains, gusts could reach upwards of 35 mph
Wednesday afternoon. Farther from the mountains, gusts will top out
around 25 mph. More west wind means more downslope mixing.  More
downslope mixing means warmer temperatures.  Highs will be well
above average across the area.  The plains, in particular, will be
very mild Wednesday with highs anywhere from 15 to 20 degrees above
average.  Over the mountains and valleys, anomalies will be
more like 10 to 15 degrees above average.

The breezy and mild conditions will lower relative humidities across
the area Wednesday afternoon.  This will result in areas of near
critical fire weather conditions across parts of the plains.  This
is most likely to occur across the plains south of the Highway 50
corridor.  This may not impact the plains near I-25 as much as it
will the plains farther east where snowfall from the last storm was
pretty limited.  Anyway, not enough coverage or duration to warrant
fire weather highlights but still enough to be careful.  Outdoor
burning or any other activity that could accidentally start a
wildfire should be postponed.

.LONG TERM...(Wednesday night through Tuesday)
Issued at 328 PM MST Tue Feb 13 2018

At the upper-levels starting early Thursday, a shortwave trough will
approach Colorado from the northwest. Meanwhile, a closed upper low
off the southern California coast will shift northeast into the four
corners region and merge with the previously mentioned shortwave.
These features along with a southwest to northeast oriented upper-
level pacific jet driving moisture into the region will bring snow
showers to the mountains late Wednesday night through Friday
morning. The greatest snowfall totals will occur across the Sawatch
and San Juan mountain ranges, where 4-8 inches can be expected with
locally higher amounts. Snow totals in the eastern mountains will
generally be in the 1-4 inch range. Snow will end from west to east
across the mountains Friday morning.

For the plains on Thursday, temps will rise into the lower 60s,
while westerly winds will be quite breezy. Fortunately, RH values
look like they will stay just above critical levels. The fast-moving
trough will send a cold front down the eastern Colorado plains late
Thursday evening. Along and behind the front, expect gusty northeast
winds and isolated snow showers with little to no accumulations
across the plains. Low clouds can also be expected behind the front
across the plains Thursday night into Friday morning.

Behind the storm system, conditions will remain dry across southern
Colorado Friday through Sunday. Temperatures on Friday will be
cooler with highs in the mid 40s across the plains and mountain
valleys. Winds will become southerly as surface high pressure builds
east of the state. A weak and fast moving shortwave will bring very
isolated precip chances to the central mountains Friday night.
Height rises on Saturday will give way to rising temperatures across
the plains, with highs forecast to be near 60. Sunday temperatures
are forecast to be even warmer with highs into the low/mid 60s. With
the approach of another upper level trough, strengthening westerly
downslope flow will increase fire danger across the plains Sunday.

Beyond Sunday, numerical model solutions differ in the approach of a
slow-moving upper level trough that has the potential to bring
precip to Colorado early/mid week. The GFS and ECMWF have shown
inconsistencies with each other and run-to-run. Additionally, GEFS
members show substantial spread in the 500 mb height field.
Therefore, little confidence exists in the forecast beyond Sunday at
this time.


.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Wednesday evening)
Issued at 328 PM MST Tue Feb 13 2018

Snow showers will gradually decrease along the Continental Divide
overnight and retreat mainly to areas north of Monarch Pass by
morning.  Dry conditions are expected elsewhere.  Winds will begin
to ramp up in the high country overnight as a belt of stronger winds
moves across the region.  These winds will mix down to the valleys
and plains on Wednesday.  In the mountains, gusts to 40 mph will be
possible by Wednesday morning.  Those gusts could reach 50 mph on
Wednesday.  Across the lower elevations, most of the wind will hold
off until late Wednesday morning and afternoon.  Gusts to 35 mph
will be possible near the mountains.  Farther from the mountains,
gusts will top out at about 25 mph.

The KCOS, KPUB and KALS terminals are expected to remain VFR for
the next 24 hours. Concerns will include developing gusty winds
in the high country overnight, spreading to the valleys and plains
late tomorrow morning through the afternoon. This will likely
impact all 3 terminals. KCOS could see some LLWS tomorrow morning
until the stronger winds from aloft mix down to the surface.




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