FXUS65 KGJT 232331

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Junction CO
531 PM MDT Wed May 23 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Tonight through Thursday night)
Issued at 349 PM MDT Wed May 23 2018

As expected, scattered showers and thunderstorms developed across
the northern tier of eastern Utah and western Colorado this
afternoon in response to trailing moisture from a departing storm
system. Most of these showers have been of the "pop-and-drop"
variety but there was a stronger thunderstorm that developed just
south of Randlett, Utah around 1400 that picked up a nice hail
signature on radar. Shower activity will wind down after sunset
with the loss of daytime heating, resulting in a quiet and mild
night. A ridge of high pressure will begin to amplify across the
southwestern CONUS on Thursday with the drying and warming trend
continuing through the end of the work week. The presence of
residual moisture trapped underneath the ridge will fuel some
isolated to scattered convection over the higher terrain Thursday
afternoon. Otherwise, expect mostly sunny skies to prevail with
temperatures climbing back to well above seasonal norms.

.LONG TERM...(Friday through Wednesday)
Issued at 349 PM MDT Wed May 23 2018

The ridge will remain in place on Friday and into Saturday,
allowing for the benign weather to continue. Many lower valleys
will jump back into the upper 80s and low 90s as the higher
elevations climb into the upper 60s and low 70s. The next Pacific
low will push into the western CONUS Friday night and progress
into the Great Basin throughout the day Saturday. The
southwesterly wind gradient will tighten across eastern Utah and
western Colorado in response to this approaching system with
breezy conditions developing across much of the area. Given the
increased confidence of the arrival of this system and the
persistent dry conditions across much of western Colorado, have
gone ahead and issued Fire Weather Watches for Saturday for
portions of the state where fuels have been deemed critical. More
on that in the Fire Weather section below.

The low pressure system looks to stall on Sunday and into the new
work week with not much precipitation associated with this system
reaching our forecast area. However, we should at least see some
increased cloud cover and cooler temperatures as this system sits
to our west. Extended models are trending towards transitioning
the closed low to an open wave by mid next week as it is finally
allowed to lift out of its nearly stationary position, which may
bring some showers to our region. Given how far out this system
is, however, forecast confidence is low as we head into next week.


.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Thursday evening)
Issued at 519 PM MDT Wed May 23 2018

Isolated showers and thunderstorms will linger through 03Z this
evening, generally north of Interstate 70. KVEL and KHDN may see a
brief lowering of CIGS early this evening as showers decay with
brief gusty winds. Otherwise, VFR conditions are expected across
all of eastern Utah and western Colorado through Thursday evening.


Issued at 349 PM MDT Wed May 23 2018

A strong ridge of high pressure will begin to build over the
southwestern U.S. on Thursday and remain overhead into Saturday,
resulting in a drying and warming trend through the weekend. The
next Pacific low pressure system will move into the Great Basin
on Saturday resulting in increased southwest flow as well as the
potential for critical fire weather conditions to develop across
portions of western Colorado. As a result, Fire Weather Watches
were issued this afternoon for much of western Colorado for
Saturday where fuels have been deemed critical. However, recent
rainfall over the past several days may have changed some fuels to
not critical, especially in northwestern Colorado. If so, would
encourage our partners to update their respective zones as soon as


CO...Fire Weather Watch from Saturday morning through Saturday
evening for COZ200-202-207-290-294.



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