Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 012154

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
254 PM MST Sat Apr 1 2023

.SYNOPSIS...Tranquil conditions continue into Sunday afternoon
before an approaching system starts to ramp up winds. A High Wind
Watch is in effect for Monday with snow chances for some areas.
After a temperature plunge Tuesday, chances for warm and dry
conditions could return to the region.


.DISCUSSION...Satellite imagery shows the next big weather maker
currently stationed over the northern Gulf of Alaska with benign
conditions over all of northern Arizona. Expect warm and dry
conditions to continue into Sunday afternoon with southwesterly
winds around 15-30 mph.

Southwesterly winds will begin to ramp up Sunday afternoon as the
pressure gradient tightens with the approach of the aforementioned
low. The tightest pressure gradients, and strongest winds, look
to peak Monday afternoon between noon and 4 p.m. Expect widespread
winds gusting to 60 mph with locally stronger wind gusts up to 75
mph possible. Models are in very good agreement regarding this
strong wind event, with a 95% chance that these wind speeds will
be reached. Due to this, confidence is currently on the higher end
and a High Wind Watch remains in effect from Monday morning
through Monday evening for the Yavapai County Mountains and areas
near and northeast of the Mogollon Rim. Impacts associated with
this high wind event include dangerous travel for high-profile
vehicles, damage to property, blowing dust, power outages, downed
trees and power lines. Secure loose objects now!

Wildfire Awareness Week wraps up tonight and this is another
reminder that wildfire poses a risk, even despite all of the
rain/snow that has been received. Dead grasses from last season
are unable to absorb moisture, so they dry out quickly, and then
have the capacity to burn. This explains the recent uptick in
brush fires in these dead grasses. Keep heat sources away from
grasses because if a brush fire starts on Monday... it will spread
out of control quickly with wind gusts of 60+ mph.

Rain/snow chances are within the 15 to 50 percent range depending
on where you are in northern Arizona. The highest chances will be
for northeastern Arizona. Expect highest snowfall totals for the
Kaibab Plateau south of Jacob Lake (~4 inches) and the Chuska
Mountains (~2 inches). Areas immediately surrounding these
locations and south towards Flagstaff look to pick up another 0.5
to 1.5 inches of snow.

As winter continues to have it`s death grip on us, temperatures
will be about 10 to 20 degrees colder Tuesday morning after this
system clears out. Radiational cooling, combined with the snowpack
for days, will contribute to a drop in temperatures similar to
what was seen just a few days ago.

After this, conditions look to dry out and warm up. The newest
long-term guidance suggests the first hint of a typical warm and
breezy Spring (booo fire weather season but yay end of winter?)
with the strongest ridge of high pressure over the western United
States most of us haven`t seen in a very long time. And no, after
shoveling 162.6 inches of snow this season, we wouldn`t even joke
about this even though it`s April Fools` Day.


.AVIATION...For the 00Z TAF package...VFR conditions will
continue through the TAF period. Southwesterly winds of 10-15 kts
will become light this evening. Expect gusty southwest winds
Sunday afternoon around 25 kts. Aviation discussion not updated
for TAF amendments.


.FIRE WEATHER...Near average temperatures continue Sunday with
southwest winds 15-30 mph. Strong southwest winds are forecast on
Monday. Gusts from 45 to 60 mph are likely, with local downslope
gusts greater than 65 mph possible. Rain and snow chances increase
Monday night, but remain less than 50%.

Tuesday through Thursday...Winds weaken slightly Tuesday to around
40 mph and temperatures fall 10-20 degrees. Warmer and drier
weather returns Wednesday and Thursday with light winds.


High Wind Watch from Monday morning through Monday evening for




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