Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 251056

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
356 AM MST Sun Feb 25 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 347 AM MST Sun Feb 25 2018

Current water vapor imagery and upper air analysis is indicating
moderate west to southwest flow aloft across the region, as another
broad upper trough is translating across the Northern and Central
Rockies at this time. GOES 16 IR imagery is indicating best cloud
enhancement moving across Southwestern Colorado, though cloud tops
have been warming over the past few hours. Regional radar data and
surface observations have been indicating scattered light snow
showers across the ContDvd through the overnight hours. Further
east, relatively cold temperatures under mainly clear skies are
being reported, with current readings in the single digits and teens
across the plains, along with a few readings in the mid to upper 20s
across the Southern I-25 Corridor, where westerly winds of have
stayed up overnight.

Today and Tonight...No big changes in the ongoing forecast, as the
broad upper trough continues to lift north and east into the
Northern High Plains through the morning, with moderate west to
northwest flow developing across the area this afternoon and
evening. Ongoing light snow across the ContDvd will wind down
through the morning, with additional accumulations of 1 to 2 inches
possible across the higher peaks. Breezy westerly winds to continue
across the higher terrain, with gusty westerly winds of 15 to 25 mph
expected to mix down across the lower elevations late this morning
and afternoon, with the strongest winds expected along and west of
the I-25 Corridor this afternoon. Cool air aloft behind the passing
system will keep highs below seasonal levels once again, with highs
in the mid 30s to mid 40s expected across the lower elevations, and
mainly in the teens and 20s across the higher terrain. Dry
conditions to prevail tonight, with overnight lows remaining below
seasonal levels, mainly in the single digits and teens area wide.
There could be some warming over the lower eastern slopes west of
the I-25 Corridor into early Monday morning, as westerly winds
increase aloft ahead of another system moving into the Great Basin.

.LONG TERM...(Monday through Saturday)
Issued at 347 AM MST Sun Feb 25 2018

...Critical Fire Weather conditions possible Monday for the
southeast mountains and portions of the southern and eastern

Flow aloft transitions to southwesterly as the next upper trof digs
across the west coast into southern CA by Tuesday.  This will mean
dry and unseasonably warm conditions will return to much of southern
and southeast Colorado. Temperatures across the plains will
return to the 50s to mid 60s, with 40s to lower 50s for the
valleys, and a mix of 20s and 30s for the mountains. Lee troffing
on the plains will help mix gusty southwest winds to the surface
with critical fire weather conditions possible across the
southeast mountains and southern and eastern portions of the
plains on Monday. Will have to watch El Paso county closely as
this area could see some spotty critical fire weather conditions.
RHs will certainly be dry enough but winds look to come up just
shy as the area is north of the surface low which should pull the
wind direction more southeasterly and limit wind speeds.

Northern stream portion of the upper trof will cross the Rockies
into the central plains sending a weak cold front into southeast
Colorado on Tuesday.  Initial surge looks fairly weak and not
looking for much cooling behind it.  However it should help hold the
winds down some on Tuesday limiting the potential for returned
critical fire weather conditions.  Area to watch this day will be
southern Las Animas county, south of the front where breezy
southwest to west winds may materialize in the afternoon. For now,
coverage doesn`t look great enough to warrant a fire weather

Snow will start to ramp up for the Continental Divide Tuesday night
as the upper low across southern CA fills and begins to lift east
northeastward towards the 4 corners region.  ECMWF has trended
towards the GFS/Canadian solution...though does still suggest a
slower and slightly farther south track across NM on Wednesday.
For now, appears best chance of snow will be across the southwest
mountains where some light to moderate accumulations will be
possible given southwesterly orographics and more favorable
proximity to dynamics as system skirts by to the south. Snowfall
amounts may stay below advisory limits, but this system is still a
ways off and suspect there will be further model fluctuations with
the storm track.  The cold front will drop through the plains early
Wednesday bringing the potential for some light snow to the
southeast mountains and adjacent plains on Wednesday. For now any
snow accumulation looks to stay on the light side and if storm
weakens further or passes too far south, then potential could be
lower than forecast suggests.  For now will maintain some isolated
to scattered pops for these areas.

This system will exit the area Wednesday night with extended models
developing a broad trof/upper low across the northwest US through
the weekend.  Friday could be another critical fire weather day for
portions of the southeast mountains and plains due to increasing
southwest flow aloft and lee troughing.  Mountains along the
Continental Divide will see off and on snow showers with embedded
disturbances into next weekend. Next cold front arrives on Sunday.


.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Monday morning)
Issued at 347 AM MST Sun Feb 25 2018

VFR conditions are expected at COS, PUB and ALS over the next 24
hours. Will continue to breezy winds in the afternoon, mainly at COS
and PUB, though the winds are not expected to be as strong as
yesterday with westerly gusts up 25 kts possible.


Fire Weather Watch from Monday morning through Monday afternoon
for COZ225-229-230-233>237.



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