Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Junction, CO

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FXUS65 KGJT 101917

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service GRAND JUNCTION CO
1217 PM MST Sat Mar 10 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today through Sunday)
Issued at 411 AM MST Sat Mar 10 2018

Models are all in good agreement for a weak cool front to move
through the area overnight and tomorrow. As it does so, minimal
forcing and some favorable orographics will allow light snow to
fall for the West Elks and Park Ranges as well as the Flat Tops
and the Central Mountains. Cross sections and soundings continue
to indicate a rather dry atmosphere which will lead to snowfall
amounts in the 2 to 4 inch range. Higher amounts up north and less
for the central mountains. Webcams and local observations already
showing some light snow falling so the forecast looks on track.
As one would expect, more clouds up north while scattered to
occasionally broken skies are expected from about the I-70
corridor southward. Temperatures will remain right about where
they were yesterday, maybe a tad bit cooler.

While the weak front brings the light snow to the Continental
Divide, another disturbance will be approaching from the Great
Basin. Previous model runs brought this system a little further
north but, unfortunately, all model runs have shifted the system
and precipitation southward over Arizona and New Mexico where the
heaviest rain/snow will fall. We`ll get some rain and
snow...sure...starting around daybreak Sunday from the San Juans
south, including Cortez, Durango, and Pagosa Springs. The best
chances for those areas to see any precipitation will be from noon
onwards through the early evening hours. Snow levels look to be
around the 8K to 9K feet so expect some snow above those
elevations. 2 to 4 inches looks about right with possibly a bit
higher in some locations. As is always the case, if the system
stays a bit further north these amounts may change but confidence
not that high this will occur. Of course, this is Colorado we`re
talking about so we`ll see. Temperatures will run several degrees
cooler thanks to the cool front up north and the system moving
overhead down south.

Don`t forget about Daylight Savings Time. Remember to set your
clock one hour ahead when you go to sleep tonight. Spring has
almost sprung!

.LONG TERM...(Sunday night through Friday)
Issued at 411 AM MST Sat Mar 10 2018

Remnants of a weak atmospheric river event will continue to spit
out a few showers across the forecast area Sunday night and early
Monday before ending Monday afternoon. Amounts on the backside of
this system look light with air mass still relatively warm from
the influx of sub-tropical moisture. Strong ridging is then
expected to build across the Rockies through mid-week. This will
bring a dramatic spring warm-up to much of the region with the
first 70 degree days possible over a few of the lower valleys. The
good news is that this ridge should be sliding right on through
the region with the ridge axis passing late Wednesday. This allows
a weak Pacific system to ride through Wednesday night and
Thursday as a deep low digs south along the West Coast. This will
eventually send of series a waves eastward through the Great
Basin and across our neck of the woods as we close out the work
week. So, precipitation potential will be inching up a bit while
temperatures remain mild.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Sunday afternoon)
Issued at 1215 PM MST Sat Mar 10 2018

Light snow showers will linger over the northern and central
divide passes through early afternoon but no impacts to TAF sites
expected. Otherwise, mid and high level clouds will continue to
pass over the area in a scattered to broken fashion with gusty
afternoon winds. Clouds will increase across the south this
evening ahead of another weak disturbance set to bring some light
showers to the San Juans and southern valleys after 12Z Sunday.




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