As this high vacates the PacNW region today...a low pressure circulation will be forced out of southern New Mexico and across the 4 Corners into the Great Basin over the next 24 to 48 hours. The result of this shift will be deep southerly flow across the Southern to Central Rockies. This flow is tapping into Gulf and SubTrop moisture which is already being advected into the 4 Corners early this morning. This shows up well in the 305-310K surfaces and was hinted at in the GOES ALPW imagery late early this morning. PWAT at GJT was 0.6 on the 29/00Z sounding and we look to add around another 1/3 of inch to that today as mositure continues to advect northward. This moisture will come in handy as broad forcing for ascent arrives with shifting low pressure aloft. Ascent will also be enhanced by a branch of the SubTrop jet moving through the thermal gradient between the low and the Bermuda High building across W.Texas. Deep but skinny CAPE profiles bring the threat of moderate to heavy rainfall rates today as the lift and moisture combine to bring a noticably uptick in storm coverage this afternoon. Old school K index values in the upper 30s may be a hint at the heavier rainfall threat though surface dew points only in the 40s to near 50. Light south to southeast steering winds will also be a concern for slower moving storms with the most apparent threats to our newer burn scars. The ingredients all point to the best storm coverage over our southern mountains through the afternoon where the best moisture advection and jet aloft is present.
Unsettled weather continues into the longterm as PWATs remain above average. Climatologically, our average PWAT is right around .6 inches so we`re certainly above that. Plenty of moisture and unsettled weather means plenty of showers and storms through the period. Great news for the drought and fire weather, less so for burn scars or areas that see continued rainfall or training cells. As far as the big picture is concerned, the desert southwest looks very disorganized.
models also show an area of high pressure over Texas and this is the feature that will bring in all the moisture to our region. This high looks to retrograde through the long term and eventually set up just to our west over Utah and Arizona. This happens on Monday so until then, plenty of moisture will be worked on by daytime heating, orographic lift, or weak little disturbances that will move through from time to time. Some days will be more active than others but the general gist of afternoon and evening showers and storms, some with heavier rain, remains the case. Some other good news are that daytime highs will be below normal thanks to the precip and increased cloud cover. Heading into the weekend, temps will reach more normal values.