Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 161011

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
411 AM MDT Fri Mar 16 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 411 AM MDT Fri Mar 16 2018

...Some Precipitation Across the Plains but Still Red Flag
Conditions Today...

Well, the upper low ended up moving across a little farther south
than expected, bringing some wetting precipitation to parts of the
plains.  According to my quick calculations, about 0.12 inches fell
at the Colorado Springs Airport as a mixture of wet snow and rain.
And, about 0.25 inches fell at the La Junta Airport in the form of
rain.  About 0.03 inches has measured at the Springfield Airport.
It`s precipitating at the Lamar Airport, too, so far coming in with
0.08 inches.  While this may put a damper, sort of speak, on the Red
Flag Warning for some of those areas that received precipitation,
it`s not really enough to lower the warning.  While a few spots,
such as the La Junta Airport, received some truly wetting
precipitation, not all areas did.

Strong subsident flow off of the mountains behind this system will
really kick up the winds and tank the dewpoints across the area this
afternoon.  Since fuels are dry because they are dead, with no
greenup underway, the strong winds and low humidities should make
quick work of any moisture that has temporarily dampened the fuels
this morning.  Plus, not all areas saw much, if any, precipitation.
According to precipitation estimates from the radar, most of the Red
Flag Warning area saw little or no precipitation, including the San
Luis Valley, most of the eastern mountains, most of the I-25
corridor, Fremont, Las Animas and Baca Counties.  So, while the
precipitation that has fallen in some areas this morning may dampen
the surface and delay the onset of fire concerns a little, all
surface moisture should be evaporated by the afternoon with Red Flag
conditions underway.

As for the winter weather highlights, will lower them with this
morning`s forecast package.  While light snow continues along the
Divide, any additional accumulations are expected to be fairly
light, generally in the 1 to 3 inch range.

It`ll be windy across the entire area today.  Gusts to 40 mph or
more will be common.  The mountains and far eastern plains, could
even see some gusts in the 50-60 mph range this morning.  While
these are strong, it doesn`t look like they will be strong enough to
continue the High Wind Warning for the southern Sangre de Cristo
Mountains that was in effect.  Will also lower that warning with
this morning`s package.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday through Thursday)
Issued at 411 AM MDT Fri Mar 16 2018

Saturday-Saturday night...Moderate west to southwest flow aloft
across the region early Saturday gives way to increasing southwest
flow into Saturday night, as short wave ridging translates across
the Rockies ahead of a deep upper trough digging into the Southern
Great Basin. Models in agreement of dry weather across the area
through this period, with induced lee troughing across the I-25
Corridor leading to breezy south to southeast winds of 15 to 30 mph
developing across the far Southeast Plains Saturday afternoon. These
winds, combined with afternoon humidity levels falling to between 10-
15 percent, will lead to another day of critical fire weather
conditions and have issued a fire weather watch from 18Z Sat through
01Z Sunday. Highs on Saturday look to warm back to above seasonal
levels, in the 60s to low 70s across the lower elevations and in the
40s and 50s across the higher terrain.

Sunday-Monday...The 06Z NAM and 00Z ECMWF runs continue to trend
slower and further south with the evolution of the next storm
system, which brings better chances of wind driven precipitation
across the southern Colorado later Sunday afternoon through Sunday
night, with the GFS still further north with the system, keeping
the main precipitation along and north of the Palmer Divide into
Northeastern Colorado and Northwestern Kansas. Again, all solutions
bring a quick shot of the snow the ContDvd once again late Saturday
night through the day Sunday, with light to moderate accumulations
expected along and west of the ContDvd. Precipitation across the
Eastern Mountains and Plains will depend on the track of a compact
mid level circulation and if its associated deformation band sets
up before expected strong north to northwest downslope winds develop.
With that said, I have increased blended model pops across the
Eastern Mountains and portions of the I-25 Corridor, though will
need to continue to monitor the evolution of this system, as it
has the potential to produce areas of wind driven snow, along with
much needed precipitation across portions of the Plains later
Sunday and Sunday night. Time well tell. At any rate, strong
gradient winds develop across the plains behind the system Sunday
night which slowly relax Monday morning and into the afternoon.
Models continue to agree on a minor embedded wave digging across
the Rockies Monday afternoon, owning to a few showers possible
across the higher terrain.

Tuesday-Thursday...Warmer and drier conditions expected into the
middle of next week, as upper level ridging builds into the Rockies
once again.


.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Saturday morning)
Issued at 411 AM MDT Fri Mar 16 2018

A Pacific weather system has moved east across the flight area
overnight.  It is currently over eastern Colorado on it`s way into
Kansas.  The disturbance is still producing widespread MVFR/IFR and
local LIFR conditions across the far eastern Colorado plains.  This
will all transition eastward into Kansas through the morning hours
and be out of the area by the afternoon.  Lingering MVFR to LIFR
conditions will also be noted along the Continental Divide until the
system moves away in the afternoon.

Otherwise, the main concern today will be the winds.  Widespread
northwest winds 20-30 gusting over 40 mph will be common across the
entire flight area through the day, with even some gusts of 50 to 60
mph across the mountains and far eastern plains through about 18z.

VFR expected at the KCOS, KPUB and KALS terminals over the next 24
hours.  However, all 3 sites will have to deal with the gusty
northwest winds.


Red Flag Warning from 11 AM this morning to 7 PM MDT this
evening for COZ222-224>237.

Fire Weather Watch from Saturday afternoon through Saturday
evening for COZ233>237.



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