Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Junction, CO

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FXUS65 KGJT 161745

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Junction CO
1145 AM MDT Mon Apr 16 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today through Tuesday)
Issued at 351 AM MDT Mon Apr 16 2018

The Spring wind machine will be turning on once again today as a
strong cold front moves into the Great Basin. Pressure gradient
tightens with southwest winds strengthening throughout the day,
peaking early this evening across the valleys with winds staying
up much of the night over the mountains. Wind gusts for most of
the valleys will be in the 45 to 55 mph range by this afternoon
with gusts up to 60 mph expected over the mountains. Radar picking
up on some mid level clouds floating overhead with HiRes models
picking up on this. Could see some high-based virga passing
through, although this will only enhance the already anticipated
windy weather. Low levels remain quite dry with dew points
generally in the teens to mid 20s resulting in RH values ranging
from 20 to 40 percent over some valley locations. Min temps are
also up over the past few mornings. So the day will be starting
off warmer and drier with RH values dropping below 15 percent by
midday. The will keep the critical fire weather conditions in
place which are discussed in more detail below.

The above mentioned cold front will move across eastern Utah
between midnight and 6 am and then push across western Colorado
between 6 am and noon MDT Tuesday. Do expect to see scattered
rain/snow showers to accompany the front with the northern and
central mountains in western Colorado favored to pick up a few
more inches on Spring snow. No highlights planned there, but could
see a few hours of impacted travel conditions as the front passes,
including along I-70 and US Highway 40 near Rabbit Ears Pass.

Temperatures will be a solid 5 to 10 degrees above normal today
with rapid drop arriving early Tuesday resulting in daytime highs
some 15 to 20 degrees colder than today. Gotta love these big
Spring swings.

.LONG TERM...(Tuesday night through Sunday)
Issued at 351 AM MDT Mon Apr 16 2018

Snow shower activity will continue into the early evening hours
before diminishing around midnight along the Continental Divide. As
skies clear across valley locations temperatures will drop below
freezing resulting in a widespread freeze of any susceptible fruits
and vegetation Wednesday morning. A shortwave ridge will move across
the region on Wednesday with seasonably cool temperatures and dry
conditions expected.

The next in the series of storm systems will drop into the Great
Basin by Wednesday night and deepen on Thursday. As a result,
increasing southwesterly gradient winds will develop Wednesday night
across the higher terrain and spread across the entire forecast area
on Thursday with windy and warm conditions expected.

The storm system is expected to deepen as it moves across the
Great Basin to a location near the Four Corners by Friday morning.
With the current forecasted track and timing, precipitation will
begin late Thursday and continue into Saturday before moving east
of our area by late Saturday. Snow levels will start out high late
Thursday but quickly drop as colder air moves across the area
Thursday night. With the current track near the Four Corners, the
snow levels across the southern valleys and mountains will lower
to near valley locations at times by Friday morning with snow
levels dropping to near 7000 feet across the remainder of the
forecast area. Moisture with this system at this time appears to
be adequate but not abundant, which may keep QPF and resultant
snowfall amounts down. This track also has the potential to
produce windy north to northeast winds across northeastern Utah
and across the lee or west of the Continental Divide as the flow
wraps around the closed low on Friday and Friday night. As with
any closed-low system, and the fact that we are five days out,
confidence is not great with the exact timing, track and intensity
of this system. However, this storm has the potential to be a
significant spring storm, especially for the higher elevations, so
please stay tuned to later updates.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Tuesday afternoon)
Issued at 1145 AM MDT Mon Apr 16 2018

Southwest winds will continue to increase across the region today
with gusts exceeding 50 kts at times. The gusty conditions are
expected to impact all sites with the strongest winds continuing
through at least 04z this evening. Expect areas of turbulence,
especially over the mountains with LLWS possible again Tuesday
morning. Dry conditions are expected with CIGS remaining above ILS
breakpoints through tonight. A strong cold front will sweep
through the area early Tuesday with isolated to scattered showers
developing between 12-18Z. Most activity will be confined to areas
north of I-70.


Issued at 351 AM MDT Mon Apr 16 2018

Windy to very windy conditions develop by midday with RH values
tumbling below 15 percent for several hours this afternoon and
evening. In areas where fuels have been deemed critical, Red Flag
Warnings will remain in effect (Colorado zones 207, 290, 295 and
203 below 6k) until 10 pm MDT this evening. The windy conditions
will persist into the late evening hours with a strong cold front
passing through Tuesday morning. Another dry, warm and windy day
is likely on Thursday.


CO...Wind Advisory until 10 PM MDT this evening for COZ001>003-

     Red Flag Warning until 10 PM MDT this evening for COZ203-207-290-

UT...Wind Advisory until 10 PM MDT this evening for UTZ022-024-025-



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