Scientific Forecaster Discussion

000 fxus65 kpub 191114 afdpub Area forecast discussion National Weather Service Pueblo Colorado 414 am MST Tue Feb 19 2019 Short term...(today and tonight) issued at 349 am MST Tue Feb 19 2019 ..occasional snow showers to persist today and this evening... Currently, still a good deal of light snow across the area as of 10z, with long radar loop suggesting crests of the nrn sangres and nern Pueblo County/sern El Paso County picking up the heaviest accumulations through the overnight hours. Also suspect areas farther west along the Continental Divide have see substantial snow overnight given persistent colder cloud tops evident on satellite imagery. For today, upper trough near the 4 corners this morning will gradually lift newrd across Colorado through the afternoon, then push into the Central High plains tonight. Still enough lift ahead of the low for widespread light snow over the mountains today and this evening, with perhaps a brief increase in coverage/intensity of snow showers this afternoon as lapse rates steepen under the upper trough. Additional accums of 3-6 inches likely over the higher peaks of most ranges, while interior valleys will see on/off light snow through the day with another inch or two possible. For the I-25 corridor and eastern plains, patchy light snow this morning will fade to flurries by this afternoon, before last piece of energy rotating through the upper trough brings a brief renewal of snow shower activity this evening, especially along and north of the Arkansas River. Not expecting much more than an inch of additional accumulation, with many areas only seeing a trace or dusting. Snow should then taper to flurries or end completely after midnight as trough departs. For highlights, left areas and expiration times of current set unchanged, though may need to drop advisories for the I-25 corridor and eastern plains a little early as snow fades away fairly quickly after sunrise. Stuck fairly close to blended guidance for temps today/tonight, though nudged min temps down a few degf over usually cold wrn valleys as clouds may clear toward morning. Long term...(wednesday through monday) issued at 349 am MST Tue Feb 19 2019 Wednesday... The previously discussed upper level trough is forecast to exit Colorado to the east, with upper level flow becoming westerly and dry air briefly returning to the forecast area. Lingering isolated snow showers in association with the trough will be possible over the far eastern plains, but will come to an end by noon. Otherwise, expect dry and pleasant weather across the forecast area with slightly warmer temperatures. Highs across the plains should near 40 degrees, with 20s expected in the high valleys, and mid 30s in Colorado Springs. Wednesday night - Saturday... Attention then turns to the next trough that will slowly dig south across the western US during this period. As the trough digs, a southwesterly 100+ knot 300 mb jet will become increasingly amplified across Colorado. The combination of qg forcing and favorable orographic lift associated with the trough and jet, and moisture tap from the Pacific, will lead to a prolonged period of snowfall across the Continental Divide. It currently looks like widespread snowfall totals of at least a foot should be possible over the two day period, with values nearing or exceeding two feet across the eastern San Juans where orographics will be most favorable. The eastern mountains could also see at least a few inches, with the high valleys experiencing scattered snow showers and light accumulations. The wave accelerates east across/south of Colorado Friday night, lifting northeast across New Mexico and into Kansas Saturday, and driving a cold front down the eastern Colorado plains during the day Saturday. Deterministic model guidance through Friday evening has been very consistent, both in time and between models. Further, ensembles have shown little spread. This degree of model agreement leads to high confidence in the forecast of prolonged heavy snow over the mountains. Guidance begins to diverge as the trough advances east across The Rockies and into the Great Plains late Friday into Saturday. The last day or so of GFS and European model (ecmwf) model runs consistently dig the trough into northern New Mexico (sometimes developing a closed upper low), a favorable position for precipitation over the plains. However, given this is still 3-4 days out, models have only become more consistent in the last day, and ensembles still show notable spread developing, confidence is low-moderate, but increasing, in the precise evolution of the upper system beyond Friday, and the impact it will have on the plains. For Thursday and Friday across the lower elevations, temperatures will continue to warm, and conditions dry. Highs are expected to be in the mid 40s on Thursday and around 50 on Friday across the plains, and upper 20s on Thursday and mid 30s on Friday in the high valleys. Depending on the timing of the cold front, temperatures should be slightly cooler on Saturday. With high pressure over the middle of the country and daily Lee troughing over Colorado, winds are expected to become breezy across the plains (especially far southeast) Thursday and Friday, with winds increasing out of the north on Saturday behind the front. Relative humidities will stay above critical thresholds. Sunday - Monday... Behind the upper level system, upper flow becomes westerly and the atmosphere dries out, leading to mainly dry, tranquil conditions across the forecast area. The exception may be in the central mountains, where increased and disturbed flow aloft could bring periodic snow showers with only light accumulations. && Aviation...(for the 12z tafs through 12z Wednesday morning) issued at 349 am MST Tue Feb 19 2019 Occasional -shsn through the morning will bring periods of IFR cigs/vis to all terminals until 16z-18z, before snow tapers to flurries and conditions improve to VFR in the afternoon. May see a brief period of snow showers redevelop at kcos and kpub after 23z, with brief MVFR/IFR until 05z-07z, then clearing after 07z as upper system departs. && Pub watches/warnings/advisories... Winter Weather Advisory until 11 am MST this morning for coz064- 065-069>071-076>078-081>089-095-096. Winter Storm Warning until 5 PM MST this afternoon for coz068- 072>075-079-080. Winter Weather Advisory until 5 PM MST this afternoon for coz058- 060-061-063-066-067. && $$

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