Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Junction, CO

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FXUS65 KGJT 252326

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Junction CO
526 PM MDT Mon Mar 25 2019

.SHORT TERM...(Tonight through Tuesday night)
Issued at 345 PM MDT Mon Mar 25 2019

Almost a bluebird day across eastern Utah and western Colorado
this afternoon under a strong ridge of high pressure aloft.
Temperatures have climbed in response to the ample sunshine with
current readings generally sitting 3 to 6 degrees warmer than
this time yesterday and up to 13 degrees warmer at the Montrose
Regional Airport. As usual, Gunnison is an exception to the norm
by currently sitting right at 34 degrees...2 degrees cooler than
Sunday afternoon. Overnight lows will also begin to make their
gradual trend upwards tonight, mostly across the southern and
central regions, but more-so tomorrow night when lows will jump
to 4 to 8 degrees above the seasonal norm.

The ridge will remain overhead through Tuesday, though the axis
will shift east to the Front Range tomorrow afternoon. This shift
of the axis will put our forecast area on the backside of the
ridge with upper level flow shifting to the southwest as a broad
upper level trough elongates off the west coast. In response we
will begin to see some high cirrus pass overhead with potentially
some mid level clouds across the southern tier Tuesday evening.
Otherwise, the dry and benign weather will continue through the
short term period.

.LONG TERM...(Wednesday through Monday)
Issued at 345 PM MDT Mon Mar 25 2019

Southwest flow aloft will persist Wednesday and Thursday as the
Pacific low slowly pushes inland across the western CONUS.
Temperatures will continue to climb under mostly to partly sunny
skies with highs potentially reaching the low 70s in some of the
southern and central valleys. Overnight lows will continue to be
well above seasonal. The warmer weather will increase the melting
of our snowpack as detailed in the Hydrology section below.
Conditions are expected to remain dry until Thursday evening when
the low will have migrated into the Intermountain West. Showers
will first develop over the eastern Uinta Mountains before
spreading east overnight. Even though the GFS is a bit further
south in the track of the low compared to other model solutions,
the overall trend is for activity to favor areas north of I-70.
That doesn`t mean all hope is lost further south; the San Juan
Mountains and Uncompahgre Plateau look to receive at least
isolated showers during the latter half of the storm Friday
afternoon as another ripple drags across the south. Showers will
continue across the region late Friday before tapering off. Snow
levels are always fun with these Spring systems and the Thursday
night/Friday storm is no exception. 700mb temperatures will
generally be between 1 to 6 degrees C at the onset of the event
with the colder air not arriving until Friday morning when they
drop to -3 to -9 degrees C. We`ll be able to hone in on projected
snowfall totals within the next day or so.

Lower heights will continue to dominate the western CONUS through
Saturday, and even into Sunday if the GFS and Canadian are to be
believed. However, there are still significant differences in the
intensity and track of the various shortwaves set to drop into the
region. Therefore, extended PoPs remain conservative with this
afternoon`s package. Temperatures will drop back to below seasonal
normals on Friday with the arrival of the colder air as well as
under the influence of increased clouds and showers. If the
current forecast remains on track, however, we could see
temperatures warm back to normal by Monday.


.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Tuesday evening)
Issued at 520 PM MDT Mon Mar 25 2019

VFR conditions will persist over the next 24 hours with passing
high clouds. Gusty winds will develop after 18Z Tuesday with
speeds up to 30 kts possible.


Issued at 345 PM MDT Mon Mar 25 2019

Temperatures are expected to climb above seasonal normals tomorrow
through Thursday. The warmer weather will help to compact the
snowpack and increase melting, especially along south facing
slopes. This in turn may lead to an increase in water flows on
area creeks, streams and smaller rivers. The mainstem rivers will
be slower to react, but an uptick in volume should be expected
over the next few days. Temperatures are expected to cool back
down by the end of the week and into the weekend with snowmelt




HYDROLOGY...TGJT is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.