Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Flagstaff, AZ

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FXUS65 KFGZ 220358

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Flagstaff AZ
858 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 week.


The forecast of increasing chances for showers by tomorrow night
looks good. No major updates anticipated tonight.


.PREV DISCUSSION /230 PM MST/...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

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 06Z package...Predominantly VFR conditions
under increasing mid-to-upper level clouds. Scattered rain showers
possible over the Kaibab plateau after 18Z and extending southeast
across northern AZ Thursday night. MVFR and IFR conditions
possible with showers. Winds southwest at 20-30 kts gusting 30-40
kts Thursday afternoon. Aviation discussion not updated for TAF


.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 Thursday night through
early Friday. Snow level about 8000 feet. Expect strong gusty
southwest winds Thursday afternoon becoming lighter on Friday.
Near normal temperatures.

Saturday through Monday...Fair weather Saturday and Sunday with
gusty southwest winds both days. There is a slight chance of
showers Sunday afternoon and evening. Much cooler weather Monday
with isolated showers and possible thunderstorms. High
temperatures 10 to 15 degrees lower than on Saturday and Sunday.






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