Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Bismarck, ND

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FXUS63 KBIS 160626

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Bismarck ND
1226 AM CST Thu Feb 16 2017

Issued at 1225 AM CST Thu Feb 16 2017

West to southwest winds of 5 to 10 mph expected to continue this
morning across western ND. Deeper snowpack from the Turtle Mountains
to west of the James Valley...along with lighter more southerly
winds...may allow temperatures to drop a bit and may see some fog
formation as well in the more solid snowpack. All in all, no big
changes to the ongoing forecast for the overnight hours.

UPDATE Issued at 926 PM CST Wed Feb 15 2017

West to southwest winds across western North Dakota around 10-15
mph keeping surface temperatures from falling quickly there.
Lighter winds across the east allowing temperatures to fall a bit
faster, also deeper snow cover there. Lowered min temperatures
across the east 2 to 3 degrees. Increased mid to high cloudiness
cental and east as well.

UPDATE Issued at 640 PM CST Wed Feb 15 2017

Have added some patchy fog to the weather tonight based on the
snow melt and the CONSSHORT guidance. Dis this mainly north and
east. Otherwise no other changes.


.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Thursday)
Issued at 220 PM CST Wed Feb 15 2017

Very mild temperatures through Thursday highlight the short term

Temperatures though 20 UTC have under-performed with the impacts
of snow cover apparent. However, an increasing amount of stations
across southwest North Dakota are climbing into the upper 40s and
lower 50s. Thus, did use the observed temperature pattern today
to adjust the high temperature forecast for Thursday and lower it
a bit from the previous forecast. As of now, it appears
temperatures may fall short of records, yet still be very mild for
mid February with the 00 UTC NAEFS 850mb mean temperatures near
the max of their climatology. However, it appears that not enough
bare ground has appeared to realize the full heating potential for

Location....Thu Record...Thu Forecast

Dickinson...59 1981.......55
Williston...54 1981.......52
Bismarck....57 1981.......50
Minot.......51 1913.......50
Jamestown...52 1981.......45

.LONG TERM...(Thursday night through Wednesday)
Issued at 220 PM CST Wed Feb 15 2017

Continued above normal temperatures highlight the extended

The 12 UTC global suites are in agreement on continued above
normal temperatures throughout the forecast period. However,
a relative cool down is expected Friday and Saturday as the
upper level ridge propagates east. However, widespread highs the
30s and 40s are still expected as the 00 UTC NAEFS 850 mb mean
temperatures hover around their 90th percentiles. The potential
for highs in the 50s returns on Sunday across southern North
Dakota in the warm sector of a surface low that will rapidly
propagate across the Northern Plains. Precipitation chances with
this system have largely shifted to be potentially focused across
Minnesota compared to further west with previous runs. Thereafter,
zonal upper level flow is favored through mid week along with
above normal temperatures.


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Thursday night)
Issued at 1225 AM CST Thu Feb 16 2017

VFR conditions are expected as a mild airmass remains over the
region. Some uncertainty on the potential for fog tonight...mainly
from the Turtle Mountains south through the James River Valley.
Mentioned fog in KJMS TAF this morning with 5sm visibility until
around 12z. Otherwise VFR.



No significant runoff has yet to be observed on river and stream
gages across southwest North Dakota other than minor, diurnal
rises and falls with a daily pattern of above freezing daytime
temperatures and subfreezing overnights. The majority of melt
water for now has infiltrated into unfrozen soils or is still
making pathways through the snowpack. 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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