Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 171142

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
442 AM MST Sat Mar 17 2018

.SYNOPSIS...Expect dry and breezy conditions into this afternoon,
ahead of the next storm due tonight. This next system will bring
more rain and snow tonight, ending from west to east during the
day Sunday. Accumulating snow is expected for elevations above
5000 feet, so be prepared for winter driving. Drying and warming
conditions return to the area early to mid week.


.DISCUSSION...A vigorous low pressure system was centered over
northern California and Nevada this morning. Increasing southwest
flow has kept breezy winds going overnight in the high country,
with some upslope stratus also developing. Breezy conditions will
persist through the day, with cool temperatures and partly cloudy
skies. By early this evening, the trough and associated cold
front will begin to affect northwest Coconino County with
increasing chances for snow. By late evening, precipitation should
increase in the Flagstaff and Prescott areas then spread eastward
through the morning hours Sunday. Deep saturation, dynamic lift
ahead of the trough and moderate upslope flow suggest a period of
moderate to heavy snow for elevations above the 5000 ft level.
The heaviest accumulations are forecast for the Mogollon Rim
including the Flagstaff area, the Grand Canyon north and south
rims, and the higher elevations of northern Navajo and northeast
Coconino Counties. Winter Weather Advisories go into effect this
evening in these areas and continue through mid day Sunday.
Accumulating snow combined with gusty southwest wind will likely
produce hazardous travel conditions. By later Sunday afternoon,
showers will end from west to east. Fair weather is set to return
Monday through Wednesday, with gradually warming temperatures
reaching well above normal Tue/Wed. Towards the end of the week
models are beginning to hint at another system looking to impact
the region, but confidence remains low concerning any impacts with
this system at the moment.


.AVIATION...For the 12Z package...Patchy MVFR ceilings will persist
through about 15Z from near KFLG northwest through KGCN. Scattered
to broken ceilings should rise through the daytime. Expect scattered
light showers through early evening west of KFLG with snow levels
around 6,500 feet MSL. Rain and snow will increase with
deteriorating conditions moving west to east aft 03Z and lasting
through Sunday morning. Areas of snow will produce several hours of
IFR to LIFR conditions. Snow levels dropping to 4,000-5,000 feet by
sunrise Sunday.

Winds will remain southwest through the next 24 hrs around 15 kts
gusting to 25 kts. Aviation discussion not updated for TAF


.FIRE WEATHER...Expect cool weather and breezy southerly winds today
ahead of an approaching low pressure system. Scattered showers will
develop this afternoon across western Arizona. Rain and snow will
increase and spread east tonight bringing wetting precipitation to
most areas by Sunday morning. Showers will diminish Sunday afternoon
with cold and breezy weather continuing.

.Monday through Wednesday...High pressure will bring a return to
warmer and drier weather Monday through the middle of next week.
Breezy and unsettled conditions may return late in the week.


.FGZ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...Winter Weather Advisory from
9 PM this evening to noon MST Sunday FOR AZZ009-015-016-039.

Winter Weather Advisory from 6 PM this evening to noon MST
Sunday FOR AZZ004-006-007.




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