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FXUS65 KPUB 050317

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
817 PM MST Fri Mar 4 2022

Issued at 803 PM MST Fri Mar 4 2022

Updated forecast to expire RED FLAG warning which was in effect
over the plains. 

Also, gusty winds being amplified by strong disturbance moving
across the region and virga showers. KPUB gusted to 51 knts around
8 pm this evening. 


.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Saturday)
Issued at 325 PM MST Fri Mar 4 2022

Key messages:

1) Snow, heavy at times across the ContDvd tonight.
2) Red Flag Conditions expected to continue across the plains this 
   evening and redevelop across the southern tier tomorrow.  

Current water vapor imagery is indicating deep southwest flow aloft 
across the state as a strong jet core is rounding the base of an 
upper low spinning across the southern Great Basin. Clouds and 
isolated showers/virga associated with an embedded wave this morning 
across the plains have cleared with associated lee troughing on the 
plains leading to gusty south to southwest winds developing across 
the plains this afternoon, with a few areas hitting red flag 
criteria attm. Further west, satellite imagery and regional radars 
indicating cloud top cooling and scattered showers and isolated 
thunderstorms moving across eastern Utah and into western Colorado 

With the expected strong southwest flow aloft and deepening lee 
trough across the plains tonight, expecting breezy south to 
southwest winds to continue/develop across the plains and will keep 
current Red Flag Warning ongoing through the evening hours. Latest 
models continue to indicate the upper low to weaken as it lifts out 
across south central Colorado tonight and into northeastern Colorado 
tomorrow morning. This will keep scattered to numerous showers in 
place across the ContDvd, along with the potential for a few 
thunderstorms through the evening, leading to expected snow 
accumulations of 4 to 8 inches across the eastern San Juan Mts 
tonight, where a winter storm warning remains in place. Snow 
accumulations of 1 to 4 inches remain possible across the rest of 
the higher terrain, with the highest amounts across the central mts.

Latest higher res models keep the plains dry tonight, with most 
models indicating the best wraparound moisture late tonight and into 
early Saturday morning remaining north of area into northeastern 
Colorado. With that said, have kept scattered pops across the Teller 
County and along with Palmer Dvd tonight. Passing wave sends a front 
across the plains late tomorrow morning and early afternoon. Breezy 
northerly winds develop in its wake, leading to possible showers 
along the Palmer Dvd and cooling temperatures through afternoon. 
Currently, there looks to be strong westerly developing across the 
southern tier ahead of the front to develop critical fire weather 
conditions across Las Animas and Baca Counties to support a Red Flag 
Warning from 10 AM to 5 PM Saturday, however a faster timing of the 
front could bring an earlier end to the warning. Increasing 
southwesterly flow ahead of the next wave moving across the Great 
Basin will lead to increasing showers spreading into the higher of 
the ContDvd through the late morning and early afternoon.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday night through Friday)
Issued at 325 PM MST Fri Mar 4 2022

KEY Messages:

1) An active period of weather is expected through next week, with 
multiple shots of wintry precipitation throughout southern Colorado.

Sunday... The long term period has multiple chances of inclement 
weather, starting with Sunday. Multiple ensemble models, such as the 
SREF, GEFS, and EPS, are in good agreement about the evolution of 
the atmosphere in the long term period. This agreement between 
models leads to greater confidence in the forecast. A short wave 
trough will be digging southward over the Nevada and Arizona state 
line early Sunday, and will then push eastward over Colorado during 
the day. This system will likely be more compact as compared to the 
previous systems impacting southern Colorado late in the previous 
week, which means the system will, overall, be stronger. As this 
short wave trough pushes over the region, synoptic level support and 
dynamics, such as isentropic ascent, will increase, which will aid 
in precipitation development and maintenance. Upper level winds will 
also increase as the system treks eastward, and strong westerly 
winds will favor robust orographic lift over the mountains, 
especially the central and western mountains. Given the tighter 
nature of this wave, mid level winds around 700mb may take on a more 
easterly component during the day, which would aid in stronger 
orographic forcing over the eastern mountains. Winds at the surface 
will take on a more easterly component behind a cold front, and will 
induce modest surface upsloping along the eastern mountains. Given 
the strong system, and therefore stronger synoptics, along with the 
orographics, more widespread precipitation in the form of snow is 
expected across the forecast area. Snow will start along the 
mountains earlier in the day, especially the central and western 
mountains, and will increase in coverage eastward as the 
precipitation follows the system eastward. The heaviest snow will be 
along the mountains, but light to moderate snow is likely at lower 
elevations. By late Sunday into Sunday night, the short wave trough 
will be exiting the southern Colorado region. As this takes place, 
precipitation will mostly dissipate from the west to east during the 
overnight hours.

Monday - Tuesday... The start of the work week brings another chance 
of inclement weather to southern Colorado. Another, slower moving, 
short wave trough will dig southward over the region. This wave will 
start digging southward Monday and will push out of the area by late 
Tuesday. This system is more "stringed" out and open and will be 
weaker, but will still increase synoptic support and dynamics as it 
passes over the forecast area. Moisture will also be lacking more, 
given its the third system to impact the area in a short time frame. 
Regardless though, given the uptick in synoptics and winds aloft 
inducing orographic forcing, precipitation in the form of snow is 
expected. The weaker system and less moisture will limit the 
coverage and intensity of precipitation that develops, and is 
expected be confined to the higher mountains. It is possible though 
that isolated pockets of lighter snow push off of the mountains as 
the system drops southward. Later in the day Tuesday, the system 
will push out the region, and with that, precipitation will diminish 
from the northwest to the southeast during the day Tuesday.

Wednesday - Friday... Models remain in agreement that the end of the 
long term period will have a short lived break before becoming 
active again. Wednesday, upper level flow becomes more flat/zonal 
across Colorado. This will keep most of the area dry, with the 
exception along the central and western mountains where some 
precipitation may materialize given the westerly winds. Temperatures 
will also slightly warm to near average values. Thursday into 
Friday, another large trough is likely to dig southward across 
Colorado. This pattern would increase precipitation chances for the 
forecast area, especially for the mountains. Temperatures would also 
be expected to cool down, to possibly below average values.


.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Saturday evening)
Issued at 325 PM MST Fri Mar 4 2022

VFR conditions expected at COS and PUB over the next 24 hours, with 
breezy west to southwest winds of 15-25kts expected to continue 
through the early evenings. Could see a few showers over the higher 
terrain west of the terminals this evening, though should not effect 
the terminals. Cold front looks to move across northeastern Colorado 
early tomorrow morning, which should reach COS around 12Z, with 
breezy northerly winds in its wake. Could also see a few showers 
along the Palmer Dvd early tomorrow morning. 

Mainly VFR conditions expected at ALS over the next 24 hours, with 
breezy southerly winds of 15-25kts to continue through the evening. 
Scattered showers expected across the higher terrain west and east 
of the terminal this afternoon, with the potential for seeing a 
brief shra/shsn at the terminal through the evening, which could 
produce brief MVFR conditions.


Winter Storm Warning until 5 PM MST Sunday for COZ068.

Red Flag Warning from 10 AM to 5 PM MST Saturday for COZ230-233-

Winter Weather Advisory until 5 PM MST Sunday for COZ058-060.

Winter Weather Advisory from 11 PM Saturday to 11 PM MST Sunday 
for COZ073-075.