Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Bismarck, ND

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FXUS63 KBIS 150953

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Bismarck ND
353 AM CST Wed Feb 15 2017

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 352 AM CST Wed Feb 15 2017

Warm air advection highlights the short term period with record
highs expected in the southwest, and near record highs for areas
along the Missouri River.

Currently, a strong meridional upper level ridge over the Rockies
extended northward into northwestern Canada with low pressure over
eastern Canada. A northwesterly flow aloft over ND was well
established. At the surface, a cold high pressure axis was over the
Red River Valley, with a warm front oriented north-south across
central ND. A cool moist shallow surface layer was in place along
and east of the warm front...and temperatures east of the front had
dropped to the teens. There were areas of fog around the Coteau,
mainly southeast of Minot, to Harvey and Carrington and Medina, to
Ashley. West of the front temperatures were in the 20s, with lower
30s in the far southwest.

The warm front is forecast to move east into the James Valley later
this morning, reaching the Red River Valley this evening. Thinking
the areas of fog along the Coteau will linger for much of this
morning, until more southwesterly winds behind the warm front help
dissipate the fog from west to east. Meanwhile, the upper level
ridge nudges eastward into the Front Range, and significant warm
advection at low and mid levels moves into ND from the west. We
should see +8C to +10C temps at h850 today. Kept max temps today
higher than any of the guidance, given the unusually warm temps for
this time of year. Still looking at record highs in the southwest
today, and near record highs along the Missouri River.

.LONG TERM...(Thursday through Tuesday)
Issued at 352 AM CST Wed Feb 15 2017

Thursday the upper level ridge axis continues moving east and
traverses the Dakotas. H850 temps of +10 to +13 are forecast across
much of western and central ND.

Record high temperatures are expected at Dickinson Thursday with
near record highs at Williston and Minot. Expect highs in the low
to mid 50s west and central to lower 60s southwest. The coolest
readings will occur from the Turtle Mountains south into the James
River Valley with highs in the mid 40s.

As the ridge axis shifts east Friday, the mid/upper height fields
flatten as a series of shortwaves begin to eject from the west
coast into the central/northern plains. Thus, Friday through the
extended period and beyond, we will see a return towards a west
coast trough, resulting in a more active period for western and
central ND. Today`s model runs are suggesting more of a split flow
for the Sunday night into Monday timeframe, which would have the
main shortwave and low in Canada and a southern branch of the system
over the central/southern Plains. Thus lowered precip chances quite
a bit for that time period.

Another shortwave is forecast for Tuesday night into Wednesday. High
temperatures through early next week are forecast mostly in the
lower to mid 40s most areas with upper 30s north.


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Wednesday night)
Issued at 1236 AM CST Wed Feb 15 2017

A warm front was oriented north-south across central ND and is
forecast to move east today. Low level moisture is plentiful given
the melting of snow the past few days. A very warm layer aloft was
pushing in from the west, creating a very shallow cool and moist
surface layer that will be susceptible to fog. Short term models are
suggesting that by 06z there will be widespread IFR vsbys in fog
over much of central ND. However, confidence is low in this respect,
given latest observations showing good visibilities thus
far...though Carrington northwest of KJMS has recently gone from vfr
to ifr with 1/4 mile vsby in fog. Until a trend is observed early
this morning have gone with mvfr vsbys with occasional ifr vsbys for
KBIS/KMOT/KJMS. Conditions should improve to vfr from west to east
as the warm front advances eastward this morning.

Vfr cigs/vsbys at KISN and KDIK.


Issued at 223 PM CST Tue Feb 14 2017

Unseasonably warm temperatures across the region will continue
this week and will speed the snow melt. Up to this point, the melt
rate has been very mild with water being trapped in the remaining
snow, or in the upper few inches of the ground. As warm
temperatures persist, pathways will open for meltwater to reach
streams and rivers, and levels will rise.

Overall, this early melt should be beneficial with helping
remove excess moisture from river basins in the southern and
western parts of North Dakota. Watersheds including the Knife,
Heart, and Cannonball Rivers should be on the watch for rising
water levels and an increased risk of ice related high water near
the end of the week. To a lesser extent, the Apple and Beaver
Creek basins may also see the onset of runoff this week as their
robust snowpack proves more resilient.




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