Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 211049

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
449 AM MDT Wed Mar 21 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 448 AM MDT Wed Mar 21 2018

Upper ridge will build over the area the next 24 hours with a weak
wave back across UT projected to move through the region this
afternoon. Main influence from this system will be to spread some
mid/high clouds across the area.  Moisture increases across the
mountains and valleys ahead of this weak disturbance which could
trigger some isolated showers across the mountains this afternoon.
Overall any precipitation will be spotty and light. Temperatures
will warm back into the 60s across the plains..with mainly 50s for
the valleys and 30s and 40s mountain areas.  Overall, winds should
remain light enough to limit fire weather concerns today, though the
mountains and high valleys will get breezy once again where humidity
values are expected to remain above the 15 percent critical

Tonight will remain relatively warm across the area as the lee trof
across the plains keeps westerly downslope flow in place. Kept MinTs
on the warm side of guidance though did cool off mountain valleys
where winds are likely to decouple. -KT

.LONG TERM...(Thursday through Tuesday)
Issued at 448 AM MDT Wed Mar 21 2018

Thursday...Upper ridge will slide across the state on Thu,
bringing snow to the Continental Divide by mid-morning while
keeping the eastern plains dry. Total new snowfall across the
higher terrain through Thu night will range from 1 to 3 inches.
Expect high temps in the 60s for the high valleys, and 70s for the
plains. W-SW Winds will be on the increase by the late afternoon
as the ridge axis pushes east of the state, but should hold off
long enough to miss the prime window of heating and low RH.

Friday...Strong southwest flow across the Four Corners will bring
a healthy plume of moisture into western Colorado, while at the
same time increasing the warm downslope flow for the eastern
plains. Up to 4 inches of new snow will be possible for the
highest peaks of the Continental Divide through Fri, while the
remainder of the mts may see around an inch or so. Meanwhile,
warming temps and humidity levels in the 10 to 15 percent range
will be in place across the eastern plains, and coupled with
strong W-SW winds of 20- 30 mph with gusts as high as 45 mph,
critical fire weather conditions will be likely. Decided to go
ahead and hoist a Fire Weather Watch for the plains for Fri aftn
since models have been very consistent in painting this pattern
for the past few days. Look for highs in the upper 50s to mid 60s
for the high valleys, and 70s to lower 80s for the plains.

Saturday and Sunday...A large upper trough moves onshore across
the West Coast over the weekend, continuing brisk southwest flow
across the Four Corners. The weekend pattern is looking like it
might be a repeat of Fri, with the exception of slightly cooler
temps and just some isolated snow showers for the Continental
Divide. Maximum temps are forecast to be in the upper 50s to lower
60s for the high valleys, and mid 60s to mid 70s for the plains.
Wind strength is still a little questionable for both days, but
certainly warm and dry enough for heightened fire weather

Monday and Tuesday...The EC and GFS models agree that a closed
upper low gradually drops south across the Great Basin and into
the desert southwest for Mon and Tue. This will bring an increased
chance for pcpn to the forecast area both days, as well as
increased cloud cover and cooler temps. Expect highs in the 50s
for the high valleys and mid 50s to mid 60s for the plains on Mon,
then 50s for all areas on Tue. Moore


.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Thursday morning)
Issued at 448 AM MDT Wed Mar 21 2018

VFR conditions expected at the TAF sites over the next 24 hours with
diurnally driven winds around 10-15 kts in the afternoon.  Wind
gusts to around 20 kts will be possible at KALS during the afternoon
before winds decouple again this evening. -KT


Fire Weather Watch from Friday morning through Friday evening
for COZ226>237.



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