Wednesday, January 13, 2021

High Winds For Much of Northwest US

This morning's NWS hazards map (above) indicates a very large portion of the Northwest and western High Plains are under high wind watches or warnings. Graphic below is from the NWS Forecast Office at Great Falls, Montana. Down at bottom is Denver view pre-sunrise, showing heavy clouds hanging along the foothills.

Surface plot above from about 6:30 MST indicates many stations were already reporting strong winds before sunrise. The 12 UTC sounding below is from Spokane, Washington - note the 75 kt winds down at 800 mb!

The wind situation occurs as a 500 mb short wave, currently over the Northwest coast (above), amplifies and digs east-southeastward to become a closed low over Iowa (below) by 00 UTC on the 15th. This feature may also bring significant snows to areas west of the Great Lakes. A very active pattern for the rest of the week, but one that mostly leaves Arizona away from the weather action - although, some strong winds may affect parts of state by the weekend. 

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