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Forecast Discussion for Phoenix, AZ

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FXUS65 KPSR 092313

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Phoenix AZ
410 PM MST Fri Dec 9 2022

Updated Aviation


Mostly sunny and quiet weather will continue through much of the
weekend. A powerful early winter storm will gather over the West
late Sunday into Monday. Rain showers are expected across the area
from Sunday night through early Tuesday. Snow is likely over the
mountains east of Phoenix. Prolonged colder than normal temperatures
will follow this system. By the middle of next week, freezing
temperatures are anticipated across a large part of Southern and
Central Arizona.


Dry, quiet conditions are in place this afternoon across the region
as dry southwesterly flow aloft remains in place. Visible satellite
imagery this afternoon showed clear skies across the forecast area
with high clouds departing toward the east across New Mexico. To the
north of us, objective mesoanalysis showed a shortwave trough moving
through the Intermountain West with no impacts to our region.
Temperatures this afternoon will top out near seasonal normals as
highs peak in the mid to upper 60s. We`ll see the dry, seasonable
weather continue through much of the weekend with highs across the
lower deserts topping out in the mid to upper 60s each day.

The pattern quickly changes by late Sunday heading into Monday as a
strong low pressure system pushes south into the Desert Southwest.
As this occurs, NAEFS shows 500 mb heights falling below the 10th
percentile with this cold system. This system will bring increasing
chances for rain and snow, along with the coldest temperatures of
the season thus far. Ensemble cluster analysis shows good agreement
amongst the members with the evolution of this system. As this
system nears our region, we`ll see moisture increase ahead of it and
promote increasing rain chances. Global ensembles indicate a band
PWAT values rising upwards of 0.60-0.70" will move through
along/ahead of the cold front.

Rain chances increase across the region as the cold front moves
through with NBM PoPs across the Phoenix area climbing to around 60%
Monday morning. West of Phoenix, chances gradually decrease heading
into southwest Arizona. Little if any rainfall is expected across
southeast California where rain shadowing will inhibit shower
development. The probability of more than 1/4" rainfall is 50% - 80%
now for most of Metro Phoenix. Our latest rainfall forecast calls
for 0.3" - 0.6" around Phoenix (highest in the East Valley), with
near and over 1" still painted from the foothills eastward into Gila

Snow levels will be falling through Monday and into Tuesday morning.
The lowest snow levels (as low as 3,500 feet) will likely arrive
just as the moisture is exiting, so it still appears that the most
likely winter storm impacts will remain above 5,000 feet. Given
this, we have issued a Winter Storm Watch for elevations above 5,000
feet in southern Gila County Monday morning through Tuesday morning.
Locations in the watch include the Hilltop area, Pinal Mountains,
and Superstition Mountains.

Colder air is still expected to stick around through the rest of the
week; lower deserts will see highs in the 50s from Monday through at
least Thursday. Freeze potential across the lower deserts on Tuesday
morning could be mitigated by lingering cloud cover and mixing. The
coldest air likely comes Wednesday morning when calm/clear
conditions are expected. NBM probability of freezing temperatures
remains low (

Previous Forecast Discussions may be found at
NWS Phoenix, AZ (PSR) Office Forecast Discussions.
(Click 'Previous Version' there to view past versions successively.
Some may differ only in time posted.)

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