Tuesday Afternoon Storm Update

As I started to prepare content for the Weather 101 post, I browsed through the discussions of surrounding National Weather Service offices and I was quite surprised to see that the Flagstaff area and other areas of Northern Arizona have evolved into what had looked earlier to be a primarily hydrological event, into what may be a major Winter Storm for this time of year for that area. I decided to put the educational segment on hold and concentrate on at least two storm updates per day for the rest of the week.

Arizona Update

If you are traveling to, from or through Arizona over the next 36 hours you are going to be impacted!  Here is the current Winter Storm Watch for Northern Arizona.

KAIBAB PLATEAU-WESTERN MOGOLLON RIM-EASTERN MOGOLLON RIM-
WHITE MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF JACOB LAKE, FLAGSTAFF, HAPPY JACK,
SHOW LOW, AND GREER
256 AM MST TUE MAR 17 2020

…WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY MORNING
THROUGH LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT ABOVE 6000 FEET…

* WHAT…HEAVY SNOW POSSIBLE ABOVE 6000 FEET. TOTAL SNOW
ACCUMULATION OF 8 TO 12 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS OF
16 INCHES POSSIBLE.

* WHERE…AREAS ABOVE 6000 FEET NEAR ALPINE, DONEY PARK,
FLAGSTAFF, FOREST LAKES, HEBER-OVERGAARD, JACOB LAKE, PINETOP-
LAKESIDE, SHOW LOW AND WILLIAMS.

* WHEN…FROM WEDNESDAY MORNING THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS…TRAVEL COULD BE VERY DIFFICULT TO IMPOSSIBLE. THE
HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE WEDNESDAY MORNING OR
EVENING COMMUTE.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…

SNOW FORECAST FROM 6 AM WEDNESDAY TO 6 AM THURSDAY:

ALPINE 5 TO 9 INCHES DONEY PARK 3 TO 5 INCHES
FLAGSTAFF 6 TO 10 INCHES FOREST LAKES 8 TO 12 INCHES
HEBER-OVERGAARD 3 TO 5 INCHES JACOB LAKE 4 TO 8 INCHES
PINETOP-LAKESIDE 5 TO 9 INCHES SHOW LOW 4 TO 6 INCHES
WILLIAMS 7 TO 11 INCHES.

Our Area

Models are very aligned in bringing in precipitation between 9am and 3pm Wednesday. With the last storm, things got started a little earlier, those are details that should iron themselves out before my Wednesday morning update. The Snow levels are still a bit of a mixed bag depending on which model you favor, again, this something that I will follow up with tomorrow morning after another model cycle, that being said I still expect snow levels to lower by Thursday morning and affect all areas.

To make things easier to compare, I am sharing both liquid and snow outputs for the top three models ending Saturday at 6am. I will address the chances of snow Saturday and beyond Thursday and Friday. All of the models increased precipitation in their latest runs.

Here is the very latest Euro runs

Liquid precipitation.

31712zEuroliquid

Snow

31712zEurosnow

Here are the latest Canadian model runs

Liquid

31712CMCliq

Snow

31712zCMCsnow

Here are the latest GFS model runs

Liquid

31712GFSliq

Snow

31712GFSsnow

As you can see, I have not factored in model resolution yet. In short, that means some of the lower elevations will probably receive less snow than is indicated in these models. The overnight and the morning high-resolution 3km NAM model run, which we have talked extensively about, will paint a better picture for us.

Here is the brand new Winter Weather Advisory. I think a Warning above 8,000′ is probably more appropriate for the Southwest San Juans, and I would expect that we may see the wording upgrade by tomorrow morning. Or, they may split out the three impacted areas.

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND JUNCTION CO
229 PM MDT TUE MAR 17 2020

COZ017>019-UTZ025-028-180430-
/O.NEW.KGJT.WW.Y.0013.200318T1800Z-200320T0600Z/
UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE-
NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS-
TAVAPUTS PLATEAU-LA SAL AND ABAJO MOUNTAINS-
INCLUDING THE CITIES OF TELLURIDE, OURAY, LAKE CITY, SILVERTON,
RICO, AND HESPERUS
229 PM MDT TUE MAR 17 2020

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON WEDNESDAY TO
MIDNIGHT MDT THURSDAY NIGHT ABOVE 8000 FEET…

* WHAT…SNOW EXPECTED ABOVE 8000 FEET. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS
OF 8 TO 15 INCHES WITH LOCALLY HIGHER AMOUNTS. WINDS GUSTING AS
HIGH AS 35 MPH.

* WHERE…IN UTAH, TAVAPUTS PLATEAU AND LA SAL AND ABAJO
MOUNTAINS. IN COLORADO, UNCOMPAHGRE PLATEAU AND DALLAS DIVIDE,
NORTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS AND SOUTHWEST SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS.

* WHEN…FROM NOON WEDNESDAY TO MIDNIGHT MDT THURSDAY NIGHT.

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