Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 161021

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
321 AM MST Fri Mar 16 2018

.SYNOPSIS...Expect dry and breezy conditions through early
Saturday, ahead of the next storm due Saturday night. This next
system will bring more rain and snow Saturday night and early
Sunday. Accumulating snow is possible for elevations above 5,000
feet, so be prepared for winter driving. Drying and warming
conditons return to the area early next week.


.DISCUSSION...Southwesterly flow aloft over Arizona will bring a
somewhat cool, mid March day today with variable cloud cover.
High temperatures will top out just a few degrees below averages.

Attention quickly turns toward the Pacific trough passage over the
weekend that will bring another round of winter weather to
northern Arizona. Expect a cool and breezy day Saturday with
increasing clouds through the day as the trough approaches.
Scattered light shower activity is possible Saturday afternoon
and early evening, while the main precipitation event will unfold
Saturday night through Sunday morning. Forecast precipitation
amounts have trended up a bit in the past 24 hours. This system is
fast moving but colder than the Thursday system. Given this, and
the timing of precipitation coming through during the overnight
and early morning hours, there is better potential for snow
accumulation with this storm than there was on Thursday. General
forecast accumulations are 1 to 4 inches above 5,000 feet. This
includes areas south of the rim such as Prescott and Payson who
could see light accumulation up to an inch. Be prepared for winter
conditions if traveling in northern Arizona this weekend.

A period of quiet and mild weather will ensue the first half of
next week while high pressure returns to the desert southwest. The
active pattern looks to resume by Thursday of next week when
another series of troughs begins to move through the western
states. Expect breezy conditions, cooling temperatures, and a
chance for showers from Thursday into next weekend.


.AVIATION...For the 12Z package...Mostly VFR for the next 24 hours.
The exception is areas of patchy MVFR ceilings until about 16z Fri
and again Sat. Sfc winds Friday afternoon S-SW 12-25kt. Aviation
discussion not updated for TAF amendments.


.FIRE WEATHER...Expect cool weather with gusty southwest winds in
the afternoon and early evening Friday and Saturday ahead of the
next trough. Rain and snow showers move in to the area northwest to
southeast Saturday afternoon and evening bringing more wetting

.Sunday through Tuesday...Snow showers continue Sunday morning
before clearing in the afternoon. Gusty southwest winds will remain
through Sunday afternoon. High pressure will bring a return to
warmer and drier weather Monday and Tuesday.






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