Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 022200
AFDPUB

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
300 PM MST Tue Mar 2 2021

.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Wednesday)
Issued at 300 PM MST Tue Mar 2 2021

Currently...

A picture perfect day across the region this afternoon. Skies were
clear and temperatures were generally in the 60s across the plains,
with upper 40s in most of the valleys. Even the passes were
relatively mild with temps in the 20s.

Tonight and Tomorrow...

Not much change from the last 24 hours. Expect pretty much of a
repeat although tonight`s mins will be a warmer, especially along
the mtns/plains interface were downslope will allow for some
additional warming ("banana belt region"). Expect mainly 20s
across the plains with 30s along the interface. Valleys will be in
the single digits and teens under clear skies.

Tomorrow will be similar to today. The NBM max temp guidance
appeared a bit too cool considering there isn`t going to be much
change from today, and for this reason added a few degrees to
tomorrows max temp readings. Skies will be mostly sunny although we
will see a bit more high clouds across the region. Overall tomorrow
should be just like today but maybe 2-3 degrees cooler. Surface wind
flow will be light and diurnally driven. /Hodanish

.LONG TERM...(Wednesday night through Tuesday)
Issued at 300 PM MST Tue Mar 2 2021

Overview:

1)High snowfall rates and high snowfall accumulations expected from
late Wednesday night through Thursday afternoon over the eastern San
Juan Mountains, including Wolf Creek Pass. Snow is expected to be
wet and heavy. The western San Luis Valley tends to have higher
accumulations in this set up. Confidence: High

2)During the early afternoon, wind driven snow is expected over the
Palmer Divide. Snow levels around 6200-6500 feet, which is the most
uncertain part. Similarly later Thursday night, wind
driven snow is possible over the Raton Mesa. Confidence: Medium

3)Isolated thunderstorms are possible over the far eastern plains on
Thursday afternoon. No severe storm are expected, but gusty winds
are. Confidence: Medium

Discussion:

Wednesday through Friday Morning:

An upper level Pacific based storm will begin to impact the region
late Wednesday evening and into Thursday morning. The trajectory of
the upper low and the location of the low and upper level jet
indicates that ample amounts of Pacific based moisture will advect
towards the eastern San Juan Mountains, which is expected to lead to
high snowfall rates and amounts through Thursday afternoon. The snow
will spread from west to east, with snow starting over the Sawatch
and Mosquito mountains during the early morning on Thursday, then to
the Sangres during the mid morning. In storms like these, the
western San Luis Valley, in places like Del Norte and South Fork,
tend to do pretty well with snowfall amounts as well, whereas the
rest of the San Luis Valley tend to have less.

The associated surface cyclone is expected to spin up near the New
Mexico border over the southeastern plains by the early afternoon.
The majority of the eastern plains will be above freezing during
this period and looking at model soundings over the eastern plains,
isolated thunderstorm are not out of the question. The thunderstorms
will not be strong, with 200 J/kg located between the 600hPa to
400hPa layer. The Palmer Divide will be straddling around freezing
during the mid afternoon, but the outcome should be all snow. There
will, however, be a stark transition zone between frozen
precipitation and liquid over El Paso County, with snow levels
hovering around 6200-6500`, which is still one of the most uncertain
parts of this storm. Depending on the storm track, snow levels could
increase or decrease, which would put snow further north or south.
The storm wraps up pretty quickly after reaching the plains, which
will create wrap around precipitation (isentropic lift, warm
conveyor belt) around the eastern plains through the overnight.
Overnight low temperatures will remain fairly warm over the plains,
keeping the majority of the plains rain throughout the night.

Friday through Sunday:

A ridge will develop over the region and will stay in place on
Friday and most of Saturday. Warm and dry conditions are expected
both days. A quick moving shortwave trough is expected to pass
overhead either Saturday afternoon or early Sunday morning, timing
is still uncertain. The shortwave trough will bring gusty winds
across the lower elevations, which may lead to critical fire weather
conditions, depending on when it passes by. Precipitation that
develops will be snow over the mountains, currently no
precipitation is expected to fall over the lower elevations.

Monday and Tuesday:

The synoptic pattern on Monday and Tuesday is expected to include a
neutral trough over the West Coast and a ridge over the High Plains,
which will funnel southwesterly flow over Colorado. This pattern
looks like a critical fire weather pattern, but stay tuned on if the
the wind speeds and relative humidity values reach threshold.

There could be another round of heavy snow next Tuesday over the
eastern San Juan Mountains, it is still much too early to tell,
though.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Wednesday evening)
Issued at 300 PM MST Tue Mar 2 2021

VFR conditions are anticipated during the next 24 hours at all 3 taf
sites; KPUB; KALS and KCOS. Winds will be quite light and diurnally
driven.

&&

.PUB WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NONE.
&&

$$

SHORT TERM...HODANISH
LONG TERM...SKELLY
AVIATION...HODANISH



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