Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 201016

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
416 AM MDT Tue Mar 20 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 416 AM MDT Tue Mar 20 2018

Dry weather is expected over most of southern CO through tonight.
The exception will be across the northern portions of the Sawatch
and Mosquito ranges today where residual moisture in northwesterly
orographic flow combined with an upper jet translating eastward just
north of the area will produce some isolated snow showers at times.
Any accumulation will be spotty and light with amounts under an
inch. Temperatures will warm over yesterday`s readings...
approaching 60 on the plains...around lower 50s for the valleys and
mix of 20s and 30s and 40s for the mountains.

Only concern for this afternoon will be winds, particularly across
the mountains and valleys north of highway 50 and northern portions
of the San Luis Valley.  These areas could see some marginal
critical fire weather conditions with gusts to around 25-30 mph for
the lower elevations of fire zone 222 (Fremont county)where fuels
are considered critical.  It appears, relative humidity values could
be the limiting factor with readings just touching 15 percent for an
hour or two this afternoon.  Given the marginal and spotty nature to
the event, no fire weather highlights will be issued for the time
being. Another area where spotty critical fire weather conditions
could be met would be far northeast sections of the southeast
plains...though looks like winds will come up just shy. As the upper
jet translates eastward, another northerly surge will spread down
the plains and shift winds to the east by this evening as the
surface high drops through the plains.  Doesn`t appear to be much
cooling behind this front.

Tonight will be dry with light winds across the area.  Central
mountains will continue to see some gusty west to northwest winds
across the higher peaks tonight...though these should not be as
strong as today`s given upper ridging aloft. -KT

.LONG TERM...(Wednesday through Monday)
Issued at 416 AM MDT Tue Mar 20 2018

Wednesday and Thursday...Northwest flow across the region will relax
by Wed night as the upper ridge slides east across Colorado. There
will likely be a few snow showers over the central mts Wed, then a
break Wed night before southwest flow aloft strengthens and draws
more moisture up along the Continental Divide. Up to two inches of
new snow is expected for the higher elevations of the Divide through
Thu, while the rest of the forecast area will be going through a
warming trend. Expect highs in the mid 50s to around 60F for the
high valleys, and mid 50s to mid 60s for the plains on Wed, then 60s
for the high valleys and 70s for the plains on Thu.

Friday and Saturday...The upper ridge axis moves east of Colorado by
early Fri morning, allowing deep southwest flow to strengthen and
sweep across the state. This will bring a healthy plume of moisture
into the Continental Divide for the potential of moderate snow
accumulations for the higher terrain on Fri. These winds will also
promote very warm and dry conditions across the eastern plains Fri
aftn, and combined with the gusty downslope winds, critical fire
weather conditions are likely. If current model trends persist, then
fire weather highlights will likely be hoisted tomorrow for the Fri
aftn time frame. The first upper shortwave passes to the north and
winds will decrease by Sat morning, allowing for slightly cooler
temps and only some lingering light snow showers for the central
mts. As for maximum temps, look for mid 50s to lower 60s for the
high valleys, and mid 70s to near 90F for the plains on Fri. For Sat
expect highs in the 50s to around 60F for the high valleys, and mid
60s to upper 70s for the plains.

Sunday and Monday...Very low confidence in what will happen over Sun
and Mon, as the long range models do not agree. Therefore, stayed
with the extended procedure output with highs in the 50s for the
high valleys and 50s to mid 60s for the plains both days, but did
cut back pops to just isolated. Moore


.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Wednesday morning)
Issued at 416 AM MDT Tue Mar 20 2018

VFR conditions expected at the terminals over the next 24 hours with
some passing high cloudiness at times.  Northwest winds across the
plains during the early part of the day will transition to east to
southeasterly in the afternoon as a front drops through the plains.
Not much cooling behind this front though with mainly a wind shift
and speeds in the 10-15 kt range in the afternoon. Winds will
decrease in the evening with speeds under 10 kts overnight.  KALS
will also see a period of northwest winds this afternoon with speeds
around 10-15 kts before winds diminish this evening. -KT




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