Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 190005
AFDPUB

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
605 PM MDT Wed May 18 2022

.UPDATE...
Issued at 600 PM MDT Wed May 18 2022

A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for Teller and Northern El
Paso Counties from Noon on Friday until 6PM on Saturday. There
could be the potential of broken tree limbs due to heavy and rapid
accumulating snow.

El Paso and Pueblo Counties have been removed from the Severe
Thunderstorm Watch.

&&

.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Thursday)
Issued at 244 PM MDT Wed May 18 2022

Key Messages:

1) Severe Thunderstorms possible southeast plains this evening

2) Critical Fire Weather Conditions area-wide on Thursday

Currently, upper level wave and moderately unstable air mass (ML
CAPE near 1000 J/KG on the plains) over the area were combining to
produce isolated to scattered thunderstorms this afternoon, with
severe watch and a couple warnings already issued for the plains as
of 3 pm. Given high DCAPE (1000 J/KG) east of I-25, but rather
modest shear (0-6km values 30 kts or less), strong/damaging winds
will be the main threat, and a few CAMs show an organized gust
front/cold pool developing toward 00z with more widespread strong
winds possible. Farther west, activity has been high based and weak,
though just enough lightning was occuring to raise the risk of fire
starts, especially over the Sangres and nrn San Luis Valley.

Tonight, convection on the plains moves into KS by 10 pm, with areas
of gusty and erratic outflow winds gradually subsiding after sunset.
Overnight, winds become light drainage at most locations, though
ridge/mountain top winds will begin to increase toward sunrise as
winds aloft ramp up. Upper level trough then digs into the nrn
Rockies during the day on Thu, with deepening swly flow across
Colorado. Deep mixing should boost wind gusts into the 40-50 mph
range at many locations by afternoon, while RH falls below 10
percent and lower elevation temps rise into the 80s/90s. Have thus
expanded the Red Flag Warning to include the entire area for Thu
afternoon and evening, though will acknowledge rainfall this evening
on the plains may produce some localized improvement in fuel
conditions, mainly east of I-25.

.LONG TERM...(Thursday night through Wednesday)
Issued at 244 PM MDT Wed May 18 2022

Key Messages:

1) Precipitation chances will increase across our area Friday-
Saturday, especially over the eastern mountains and I-25 corridor.

2) Temperatures will decrease drastically this weekend, with the
potential for several inches of snowfall, mainly across the Palmer
Divide and Pikes Peak Region.

Our general weather pattern will be experiencing a big change
starting on Friday, as an upper-level, positively-tilted trough
moves into our area, bringing with it an influx of moisture and a
strong cold front, which will push south across the plains into
early Friday morning. Along with the front will come increased cloud
cover and colder air, and as such high temperatures Friday afternoon
will drop from Thursday by about 30 degrees. The San Luis valley
will remain largely unchanged, hanging around the mid-70s as the
cold air likely won`t make it there, while the far eastern plains
will sit in the high-60s to about 70. Meanwhile, northern I-25, the
Palmer Divide, and the Pikes Peak Region will be seeing the largest
changes, with mid-low 50s. This will be caused by an influx of more
widespread precipitation, which will begin in earnest Friday
afternoon-evening as a secondary surge of cool northerly air
upslopes into the topography in those areas. Snow levels will
quickly drop below 6kft, quickly transitioning precipitation to snow
over the higher elevations, and moving from rain to snow a bit later
in the evening on the lower elevations. Current snowfall amounts for
the weekend are still in flux, with the heaviest snowfall amounts
over the Palmer Divide and most of Teller County, as well as higher
parts of the Continental Divide. With it being so late in the
season, will be paying close attention to potential impacts, as we
move forward, with regards to potential highlights. The rain and
snow are currently expected to last through Saturday evening, thanks
to the onset of easterly surface winds resulting in some sustained
upslope flow into the mountains. High temperatures will drop even
further, barely climbing into the low-50s over the eastern half of
our area, and only the low-60s over the SLV. Any areas that manage
to get accumulating snow overnight will be even colder, potentially
in the 30s or lower as you go up in elevation on the Palmer and near
Pikes Peak.

Sunday will be more mild in comparison, with mostly zonal flow
overhead and minimal lifting mechanisms. Some easterly flow across
the surface and supportive orographics aloft could result in some
light showers over the mountains in the afternoon-evening. High
temperatures will rebound across the area, climbing back into the
60s-70s. A secondary lobe of energy in the upper-trough will pass
over us on Monday, giving us another surge of northerly winds and
additional moisture and more widespread precipitation. Precipitation
mode for Monday is more likely to be rain, as temperatures are
mostly expected to hold steady from Sunday. However, the
deterministic model solutions must be taken with a grain of salt.
Given how dry conditions have been across our area the last few
months, and with the change to spring, shortcomings in spring and
summer model parameterizations could be resulting in the newer model
solutions `overdoing it` with regards to this more winter-type
system moving through. Would not be surprised if future model runs
begin to come in a bit more dry for next week.

Model solutions begin to differ noticeably after about Monday-
Tuesday, but the general consensus is for a fairly unsettled
pattern, with a weak system moving in close to the middle of next
week. Temperatures will likely increase again, and how much
moisture, if any, will come along with it remains uncertain for now.


&&

.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Thursday evening)
Issued at 533 PM MDT Wed May 18 2022

AT KCOS.. VFR conditions are expected for the next 24 hours. Mid
level cloud cover and precipitation will continue to push out of the
area and southeasterly winds will take over through the early
evening hours. Winds will eventually become northerly and
northwesterly by tomorrow morning, and will gust up to 30kt out of
the west for most of Thursday afternoon.

At KPUB.. MVFR conditions are possible from about 09Z-13Z tomorrow
morning with the potential for fog development. If fog develops, it
should burn off quickly after sunrise. Have left it out of the TAF
for now, since confidence is low. Winds will be light and variable
for much of tonight before westerlies take over for tomorrow
afternoon, with gusts up to 30kt on Thursday afternoon. Areas of
blowing dust in the vicinity will also be possible for Thursday
afternoon as well.

At KALS.. VFR conditions are expected for the next 24 hours. Low and
midlevel cloud cover will continue to decrease, along with the
winds, over the next several hours. Winds will become light and
variable for most of tonight, before picking back up out of the west
tomorrow afternoon. Gusts up to 35kt are expected for Thursday
afternoon. Blowing dust at the terminal and within the vicinity
of KALS will be possible for Thursday afternoon as well.


&&

.PUB WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Red Flag Warning from 11 AM to 9 PM MDT Thursday for COZ220>237.

Winter Storm Watch from Friday afternoon through Saturday
afternoon for COZ081-082-084.

&&

$$

UPDATE...STEWARD
SHORT TERM...PETERSEN
LONG TERM...GARBEROGLIO
AVIATION...EHR


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