Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 212130

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
230 PM MST Wed Mar 21 2018

.SYNOPSIS...Above normal temperatures will continue through
Thursday. An approaching low pressure system will bring gusty
southwest winds and mainly rain showers from Thursday afternoon
through midday Friday. Fair weather will return for the weekend
before another round of unsettled weather returns early next


.DISCUSSION...For tonight, expect quiet weather with increasing
mid and high level clouds. Low temperatures should be warmer than
the previous night, with temperatures dropping into the 30s and
40s across the majority of Arizona`s High Country.

On Thursday, southwest gradients tighten between an east Pacific
trough and a central United States ridge. Both ensemble and
operational model data suggest 40+ knots at 700 mb during the day
time hours. This will lead to a round of strong southwest winds
during the afternoon, with strong downslope winds continuing
during the overnight hours to the northeast of higher terrain.

Thursday afternoon through midday Friday, an upper level
shortwave trough and surface cold front will sweep across the area
bringing good chances for showers - best along and south of the
Kaibab Plateau and Mogollon Rim. A relatively warm airmass behind
the front means snow levels are expected to remain above
population centers. Similar to previous forecasts, predicted
rainfall amounts are in the 0.25"-0.50" range over higher terrain
with lesser amounts over the lower elevations. This is a fast
moving system, so little to no shower activity is expected after
midday Friday.

For the weekend, a broad trough over the western United States
will cause breezy winds both days. Longer range model guidance
suggests a closed low will develop over the southwest United
States on Monday leading to a prolonged period of increased cloud
cover, below normal temperatures and slight chances for showers
through at least the middle of next week.


.AVIATION...For the 00Z package...Look for VFR conditions under
increasing mid- to upper-level clouds through 17Z Thursday. A few
sprinkles possible over the Kaibab plateau. After 17Z
Thursday...scattered showers with areas of MVFR ceilings forming
along and northwest of a KPRC-KFLG-KPGA line. Winds southwest at 20-
30 kts gusting to near 40 kts by Thursday afternoon. Aviation
discussion not updated for TAF amendments.


.FIRE WEATHER...A storm system and associated chance of showers
will move across northern Arizona from Midday Thursday into Friday.
The best chance for wetting rain will be Thursday night through
early Friday. The snow level around 8000 feet. In addition, strong
and gusty southwest winds will develop on Thursday becoming lighter
on Friday. Near normal temperatures.

.Saturday through Monday...Fair weather will return for Saturday
and Sunday with gusty southwest winds both days. There will be just
a slight chance of showers Sunday afternoon and evening. On Monday,
much cooler weather will arrive in the form of a low pressure
system. Look for isolated showers and perhaps even a thunderstorm.
High temperatures 10 to 15 degrees lower than on Saturday and Sunday.






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