Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Tucson Arizona
215 PM MST Thursday Mar 15 2014
Synopsis...a low pressure system over Arizona will move off to the
east tonight. This system will produce a few showers across northern
parts of the area into tonight with gusty westerly winds this
evening. A second upper low will drop south across New Mexico
Saturday resulting in gusty northwest winds Saturday afternoon.
Beyond that an upper level ridge will maintain its influence over
the region into next week with dry weather and warmer than normal
Discussion...a low pressure system continued bring light showers to
areas mainly north and northeast of Tucson this afternoon. A lot of
virga around too...so cannot rule out a drop or two reaching the
ground but not measurable. This system will track through the rest
of the state tonight and east of the area by daybreak tomorrow.
Models showed another system dropping south right behind it.
This second low pressure system will stay east of the area as a
ridge of high pressure builds off the Southern California coast.
However...another round of strong and gusty winds can be anticipated
by this system Saturday...especially in the upper Gila River valley
around Safford. Thereafter...models were depicting a low pressure
system passing through The Rockies Monday night into Tuesday. This
system will be too far north for any chance of showers...but more
gusty winds likely by Monday evening. In general...dry conditions
with above normal daytime temperatures can be expected next week.
Aviation...VFR conditions to persist into Saturday. Scattered-broken clouds
above 10k feet above ground level and scattered -shra mainly north of the terminals
tapering off after 14/02z. Surface westerly winds at 12-18 kts with
gusts of up to 25 to 30 kts...then diminishing to 10 kts or less
through 18z Saturday before increasing again Sat afternoon especially east
of ktus. The strongest winds this afternoon will occur mainly from
Tucson eastward to the New Mexico border and near -shra activity.
Fire weather...scattered showers mainly north and east of Tucson
will taper off early this evening. Thereafter...dry conditions will
then prevail this weekend and into the middle of next week. The
20-foot wind speeds and relative humidities may briefly approach
critical fire weather thresholds this afternoon over far southeast
Cochise County. A weather system dropping across New Mexico Saturday
will result in gusty winds...especially across the upper Gila River
valley. Red flag wind thresholds are likely to be met for at least a
limited time Saturday right down the Gila River valley including
Safford. However...given the limited geographical coverage and
considering fuel moisture is expected to be sufficiently high to
preclude fire growth from occurring...will not issue red flag
products at this time. However...fire crews should continue to use
caution as winds will be gusty with minimum relative humidity values near 10
percent across the valleys of Southeast Arizona.
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