Weather Service Report


849 
FXUS65 KPUB 301916
AFDPUB

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Pueblo CO
116 PM MDT Thu Mar 30 2017

.UPDATE...
Issued at 1054 AM MDT Thu Mar 30 2017

Updated to issue at Winter Storm Watch Friday night through
Saturday afternoon for Pikes Peak, Teller county and northern El
Paso county.

UPDATE Issued at 921 AM MDT Thu Mar 30 2017

Updated some of the POPs for tonight and Fri morning, also added
thunder to the forecast for Fri afternoon acrs the I-25 corridor
areas and westward.

&&

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 342 AM MDT Thu Mar 30 2017

Currently...Colorado sits between two upper low pressure systems. 
Increasing westerly flow aloft has kept the region dry and 
relatively cloud-free overnight, though some mt clouds were 
beginning to develop over the central mts as of 3 am. Temps have 
cooled into the 20s and 30s for most locations so far this morning.

Today and tonight...The next incoming storm system will drop down 
out of the Pacific NW and across the Great Basin today, shifting the 
flow aloft to a more southwest direction. This will draw moisture 
back up into the ContDvd area this aftn, as well as increase 
southerly flow at the surface for much of the forecast area. This 
southerly flow should help boost aftn temps across the plains and 
high valleys back into the 60s. Decided to bring isolated convection 
to the ContDvd starting at 2 pm, and added thunder as well. Tonight 
the system continues moving towards the Four Corners, with pcpn 
increasing across the ContDvd as well as spreading to the eastern 
mts and Palmer Dvd. At this time, new snow amounts for the sw and 
central mts look to be in the 1 to 3 inch range through tonight, so 
held off on any winter wx highlight issuance through the short term. 
Temps overnight tonight should be somewhat mild for the plains with 
mins in the mid to upper 30s. High valleys will drop down into the 
upper 20s. Moore

.LONG TERM...(Friday through Wednesday)
Issued at 342 AM MDT Thu Mar 30 2017

...Another Spring Storm to Cross Southern Colorado...

Models continue to bring a moist spring storm across southern
Colorado with the greatest impacts expected across the eastern
mountains and plains late Friday through late Saturday. Recently,
however, there has been some significant variability on the track
of the upper low center has it moves across New Mexico. There is
also significant variability on how cold this system will be. Some
models bring the snow down to Pueblo (4500 feet) others keep at
Springs and above (6000 feet). The variability in the track and
temperatures is concerning because these 2 things have everything
to do with who gets what.

Some of the recent model runs are trending a bit farther north 
with the upper low, which would shift the precip maxima farther 
north. The NAM12, for instance, shows this shift which results in 
parts of Pueblo getting a quarter inch of liquid versus over an 
inch in previous runs. It also cuts down precip totals for much 
of the rest of southern Colorado.

With the possible farther north track of the upper low, this could
also mean slightly warmer temperatures, less conducive to snow
down to the lowest elevations. Colorado Springs and up with likely
still see snow but elevations below that would have a harder time
turning over.

Even with the more northern track, however, this is still a large
storm system, with a lot of moisture, instability, dynamics and
upslope to work with. It can still be a big producer for a lot of
areas, primarily impacting the eastern mountains and plains. So,
no major changes to the forecast yet, just adjustments.

In general, after seeing some modest snows move across the
Continental Divide early Friday, we should see the focus for rain
and snow to take aim at the eastern mountains and plains beginning
Friday afternoon and then continuing through Saturday into
Saturday evening. Snow levels could be anywhere from 5000 to 
6000 feet. If everything comes together just right, elevations 
above 6000 feet could see storm total snowfall amounts of 6-12 
inches over a 24 hour period ending Saturday evening. The Palmer 
Divide and the eastern mountain ranges could see totals of 10-20 
inches by storm's end. Elevations above 5000 feet could see maybe
4-8 inch totals if everything works out. Below 5000 feet, it 
looks likely mostly rain but there could be some wet snow mixed in
at times.

This forecast is by no means a done deal. The recent variability 
in the model solutions is lowering confidence levels. We are 
eagerly awaiting the next model runs to try and pin this thing 
down.

After this system departs the area by early Sunday, another
storm is slated to track across the area late Monday through
Tuesday evening. This system looks progressive, moving across the
area quicker and farther to the north. But it also has some 
colder air with it. Right now, it looks like the Continental 
Divide sees the brunt, with a quick, perhaps 3-6 hour window of 
snow or snow showers elsewhere before exiting to the east after 
midnight Tuesday. Stay tuned.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Friday afternoon)
Issued at 110 PM MDT Thu Mar 30 2017

VFR conditions are expected at KALS through the forecast period.
KCOS and KPUB will see VFR conditions through this evening. Late 
tonight, after about 07-09Z, low stratus is expected to move into 
KCOS and KPUB causing MVFR conditions, maybe IFR at times for 
KCOS thru at least midday Fri. Some light showers may develop at
KCOS late Fri morning.

&&

.PUB WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Storm Watch from Friday evening through Saturday 
afternoon for COZ081-082-084.

&&

$$

UPDATE...28
SHORT TERM...MOORE
LONG TERM...LW
AVIATION...28

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Western Regional Climate Center, wrcc@dri.edu