Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Junction, CO

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FXUS65 KGJT 250016 CCA

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service GRAND JUNCTION CO
603 PM MDT Sat Mar 24 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Tonight through Sunday night)
Issued at 333 PM MDT Sat Mar 24 2018

Plenty of high clouds are streaming across the area from the
southwest thanks to a jet streak moving overhead. Some of these
winds are mixing to the surface causing some gusty surface winds
with most being in the 25 to 30 mph neighborhood. So far, local
observations not showing any sign of precipitation yet with some
reports of virga coming from the Salt Lake City airport but
nothing much else. The NAM12 and GFS20 continue to show some very
spotty showers across much of the mountains this afternoon and
evening but this is tempered with ALL very short range models
keeping us mostly dry. A quick look at cross sections does show
some favorable orographics allowing some clouds to form just above
mountain tops so can`t rule out some showers. Forecast follows
suit but did lower PopS and coverage. The good news: even with
all the cloudiness the southwesterly winds continue to usher in
warm air keeping our temperatures on the warm side.

On Sunday, an approaching open wave trough will continue to slide
southeastward. Previous model runs showed our northern valleys and
mountainous areas receiving some precip from this system. While
that`s still the case, models have shifted this precip for much
of Wyoming with only a few showers north of I-70 through Sunday
evening. However, winds will continue to be breezy which doesn`t
rule out some orographic showers for the central mountains and San
Juans so kept some sprinkles in the forecast for those areas. All
in all, not expecting much in the way of measurable precip with
this system. The winners will likely be the eastern Uintah
mountains where a couple of inches of snow are possible at the
higher elevations. So yeah, most of us will see variable clouds
Sunday, breezy surface winds, continued warm temperatures and an
outside chance for a sprinkle.

.LONG TERM...(Monday through Saturday)
Issued at 333 PM MDT Sat Mar 24 2018

On Monday, energy will drop down the backside of the trough that
brought the clouds and rainshowers to our area. As this occurs,
the trough will slowly move across our area but even though said
trough will be the focus of some lift, upper level support will be
lacking so we`ll see a few showers across the area but nothing too
significant. The trough will cause winds to switch to northerly
causing temperatures to drop several degrees but only on the order
of 3 to 7 degrees. By Tuesday, the energy dropping south will
cause a closed low to form over Arizona and will keep dropping to
the southeast taking all the rain and snow with it. There`s a hint
of some precip near and over the Wolf Creek Pass area but this all
depends on the track of the low. Most of us will continue to see
some mid to high level clouds from time to time with little
temperature variation from day to day.

By Wednesday, another shot of energy will drop down from the
northwest but it looks like models are picking up on a strong area
of high pressure over the Pacific. This ridge will force this
energy further east than originally thought. The end result? A bit
less precip for us. Having said that, northwest flow is primetime
for the northern and central mountains and the models continue to
highlight those areas for some snow from midnight Wednesday
through noon Thursday. The European is also picking up on this so
a little bit of confidence in this solution but know, full well,
that it will change. Sounding like a broken record for those
areas outside the mountains, variable clouds will be the rule as
temperatures continue to run warm.


.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Sunday evening)
Issued at 558 PM MDT Sat Mar 24 2018

VFR conditions are expected at all terminals through the period.
Increased mid and high level clouds will continue to build in from
the west southwest through this evening. Strong southwest flow
aloft will keep these clouds around Sunday afternoon and keep
winds gusty out of the southwest. A few showers may develop around
higher terrain tonight and Sunday. Winds maybe somewhat gustier
around any showers that develop.




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