Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 211816

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
1216 PM MDT Tue Mar 21 2017

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 428 AM MDT Tue Mar 21 2017

Upper ridge will remain across the Rockies another day, though
cooler air mass was backing westward across the plains this morning,
as strong surface high drops south out of Canada into the upper
Midwest. Cool air will gradually deepen through the day, with weak
upslope gradient over most of the eastern mountains and plains by
afternoon. Most locations will see increased clouds today as weak
wave migrates through the ridge and across nrn CO, with some
isolated light showers over the central mountains and across the
Pikes Peak region this afternoon as well. Max temps over the plains
will fall some 10-15f versus yesterday`s numbers, while most
mountains and interior valleys see only some very minor cooling as
clouds increase. Tonight, should see some stratus along and east of
I-25 after sunset as low levels saturate with persistent upslope
flow, with perhaps some very patchy light rain or drizzle near the
KS border as upper wave brushes by to the north. Mins will remain
very mild, with almost the entire region at or above freezing
through the night.

.LONG TERM...(Wednesday through Monday)
Issued at 428 AM MDT Tue Mar 21 2017

.Wednesday...Early morning stratus deck on the eastern plains
should mix out by late morning as high pressure over the midwest
continues to move east. Winds aloft will increase during the
afternoon as the upper ridge moves east and the next trough starts
moving towards Colorado. Currently looks as if the the winds aloft
will be able to mix to the surface during the afternoon over the
southern Interstate 25 corridor. Have issued a fire weather watch
for zones 229 and 230 for the afternoon and into the early
evening. A portion of fire weather zone 225 (southeast mountains)
south of the Spanish Peaks could also see red flag criteria.
Since this is a small area of the fire weather zone, did not issue
a fire weather watch for this zone. Over the remainder of the
plains, weak upslope should keep winds humidities below red flag

.Thursday...Strong storm system approaches the region from the
west. Thursday could be a significant fire weather day over the
eastern plains. Models currently show surface low developing over
northeast Colorado with a dry line near the Kansas and Colorado
border. West of the dry line, gusty southwest winds and dry air
aloft will mix to the surface. With dry line near the border,
there could be the threat for some strong to possibly severe
thunderstorms with bulk shears around 60 knots. Still much
uncertainty with location of the dry line, amount of CAPE and the
amount of CIN. NAM has the dry line in Colorado while the GFS has
it well into Kansas. The southwest flow aloft will bring moisture
to the Continental Divide region with the best orographics over
the eastern San Juan Mountains, and winter weather highlights may
be needed for Thursday into Friday.

.Thursday night and Friday...Models and ensembles are coming into
agreement for a strong, vertically stacked low to develop
somewhere over east central or southeast Colorado. As the low
intensifies after midnight, strong northerly winds will develop
west of the low with the potential for significant amount of
moisture to be brought into eastern Colorado. Currently, the most
likely are to see significant moisture is the Palmer Divide and
Pikes Peak/Teller County region with QPF of an inch or more. There
is not much cold air with this system and snow levels could be
6000 to 7000 feet MSL. Will have to monitor Monument Hill/Palmer
Divide Friday morning for the potential travel difficulties due to
heavy snow and gusty winds. The southern extend of the
significant precipitation depends on the track of the low and a
100 mile difference in the track can be the difference between a
modest and significant event for the southern interstate 25
corridor and Wet mountains. Current grids are a compromise with
about 0.5 to 0.75 inches of QPF for these regions with about 0.2
to 0.6 for the eastern plains. Low will move east of Colorado by
late in the afternoon with much of the heavier precipitation
exiting the state.

.Saturday through Monday...Shortwave ridge will bring quiet
weather to the region on Saturday. On Sunday, another disturbance
will move across Colorado. This system will bring some
precipitation to the mountains. Some models also suggest the
system could briefly cut off over eastern Colorado Sunday with
some light to moderate QPF possible for potions of the eastern
mountains and plains. The next, stronger system, could move into
the region by Monday afternoon with precipitation for the
mountains. Some precipitation could also reach the eastern
mountains and plains by late in the day. Models hint that this
system could bring another round of moderate to significant
precipitation to the mountains and plains on Tuesday and
Wednesday. --PGW--


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Wednesday afternoon)
Issued at 1208 PM MDT Tue Mar 21 2017

A limited amount of moisture and instability may squeeze out a
few isolated showers over or near the mountains this afternoon
and evening 22z-02z...but coverage should be pretty spotty.
Could be a local MVFR condition and gusty winds to around 40 mph
associated with this activity. Otherwise...VFR across the flight
area next 24 hours, including the KCOS, KPUB and KALS TAF sites.


Fire Weather Watch from Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday
evening for COZ229-230.



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