Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Pueblo, CO

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FXUS65 KPUB 151100

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
500 AM MDT Thu Mar 15 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 500 AM MDT Thu Mar 15 2018

...High Fire Danger with Snow and Blowing Snow Mountains...

Active weather is moving into the region.  The jet stream will move
over Colorado today, allowing a Pacific weather system to move
across.  This weather system will bring strong winds, low humidity
and high fire danger to most of the area.  Wind gust potential will
be around 50 mph in the mountains today and around 40 mph across the
lower elevations.  Relative Humidity across most of the plains will
drop below 15 percent.  This combination of strong wind and low
humidity will put weather parameters into critical levels for fire
concerns.  A Red Flag Warning is in effect for most of the plains
through 8 pm today.  Outdoor burning or any other activities that
could accidentally start a wildfire should be postponed today.  Any
sitings of wildfire or smoke should be reported to local law
enforcement right away.

The mountains, mainly along the Continental Divide, will see some
snow and blowing snow with this storm.  Initially this morning,
snowfall in the mountains will be lacking organization.  Activity
will tend to be scattered and intermittent.  Then, during the
afternoon and evening, as the main upper trough pushes through,
snowfall rates should increase and become more widespread along the
Continental Divide.  For a brief period, during the late afternoon
and early evening hours, snowfall rates could become convectively
driven and heavy.  Quick accumulations and low visibilities can be
expected through the mountain passes as this occurs. Travel will be
very hazardous during this period. Accumulations are expected to be
in the 3 to 6 inch range along the Divide by noon on Friday. While
this is a little below typical advisory criteria (4-8 inches), the
combination of the snow, wind and convective snowfall intensities
during peak commuting hours will warrant a Winter Weather Advisory
along the Divide.  The Advisory will be in effect from noon today
until noon Friday. Travel will be hazardous through the mountain
passes during this time, especially late this afternoon and
this evening.

Elsewhere, some spotty passing rain or snow showers will drift
across the region but nothing too widespread or prolonged is
anticipated at this point.  The main concerns will be the wind.
Tonight, the core of the upper jet will pass over the region.  Winds
in the mid levels, roughly at mountain top level, are forecast to
reach close to 70 mph.  Because of this, and strong west to east
pressure gradients across the state, a High Wind Warning will go
into effect for the higher elevations of the eastern mountain
ranges, including Pikes Peak, the Sangre De Cristo and the Wet
Mountains, beginning at midnight and continuing through Friday
morning.  It`ll stay windy at the lower elevations, too, with gusts
of 40 to 50 mph possible at times right on through the night.

.LONG TERM...(Friday through Wednesday)
Issued at 500 AM MDT Thu Mar 15 2018

...Windy with high fire danger Friday...

Friday-Saturday...Latest models in good agreement of strong west to
northwest flow aloft across the region Friday, moderating and
becoming more southwest Friday night and Saturday, as an embedded
shortwave ejecting across the Central Rockies Thursday night
continues to translate north and east into the Upper Midwest, as
short wave ridging builds across the Great Basin and Rockies ahead
of the main system digging across the West Coast on Saturday.
Pattern supports windy conditions across the area, with the
potential for strong and damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph
across the Eastern Mountains, especially the Rampart Range and
extreme western El Paso County, early Friday morning, with west
northwest cross barrier winds progged around 50 kts and the
potential for a mountain top stable layer. At any rate, have
continued high wind watch for the higher elevations of the Eastern
Mountains through 18Z Friday, as mtn top stable layer breaks down
through the late morning. Expect to see gusty westerly winds of 20
to 40 mph mixing down across the lower elevations through the
morning, with winds expected to diminish from west to east through
the afternoon, as sfc gradient relaxes. The strong winds, combined
with expected dry subsident airmass and dry fuels, critical fire
weather conditions will be likely across most of Southeast Colorado
Friday morning and afternoon, despite the slight cooling behind the
passing system. Current Fire Weather remains in place across
Southeast Colorado on Friday. As for precipitation, could see some
wrap around showers across northern portions of the Southeast Plains
early Friday morning, with the focus shifting across the Central
Mountains through the early afternoon. Snow accumulations through
the day Friday will be generally light. Dry conditions remain in
place Friday night and Saturday, as short wave ridging builds across
the state, with temperatures at to slightly above seasonal levels.

Saturday night-Sunday night...Models in decent agreement of digging
main West Coast energy across the Southern Great Basin Saturday
night, though differ on far south the system digs before lifting out
across Southeast Colorado Sunday afternoon and then continues into
the High Plains Sunday night. The 00Z run of the GFS was the
furthest north, with the ECMWF the furthest south and the NAM in
between both solutions. All solutions bring a quick shot of the snow
the ContDvd once again late Saturday night through the day Sunday,
with the further south ECMWF owning to a colder system along with
better chances of precipitation across the Southeast Mountains and
Plains through the day Sunday, which diminishes from west to east
through Sunday night. For now, have increased 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 for wind driven snow on Sunday, especially across the
Palmer Divide and Raton Mesa, though the current projected quick
movement would limit precipitation totals.

Monday-Wednesday...Models agree on northwest flow developing behind
Sunday`s passing system, however differ on strength of secondary
energy translating across the Rockies later Monday and Tuesday.
Current blended model solution keeps only slight pops across the
higher terrain of the Central Mountains, though again will need to
see how this system evolves. Otherwise, will see temperatures
warming to above seasonal averages into the middle of next week.


.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Friday morning)
Issued at 500 AM MDT Thu Mar 15 2018

A Pacific jet stream will track across the flight area over the next
24 hours.  The jet stream will bring widespread wind and snow to the
Continental Divide later today through Friday morning.  It will also
bring scattered wind and snow to the higher elevations of the
eastern mountain ranges.  Elsewhere, the prime concern will be the
wind.  Gusts of 40-50 mph will be possible across the flight area
today.  Those gusts may reach 70 mph or greater in the mountains
later tonight through Friday morning.

The KCOS, KPUB and KALS terminals are expected to remain VFR through
the period.  There is an outside chance of a brief rain or snow
shower at each site as the main upper disturbance passes through the
region late this afternoon or this evening. However, the odds are
too low to mention in the TAFs at this time. Strong and gusty winds
will be a concern at each site this afternoon through Friday.
Southwest wind gusts up to about 40 mph will be possible at each
location today. Later tonight and Friday, west to northwest wind
gusts up to about 50 mph will be possible.


Red Flag Warning from noon today to 8 PM MDT this evening for

Fire Weather Watch from Friday morning through Friday evening
for COZ222-226>237.

High Wind Watch from late tonight through Friday morning for

Winter Weather Advisory from noon today to noon MDT Friday for



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