Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Gaylord, MI

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FXUS63 KAPX 151529

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Gaylord MI
1029 AM EST Thu Feb 15 2018

Issued at 1029 AM EST Thu Feb 15 2018

Complex area of low pressure continues to develop to the lee of
the Central Rockies...while another more established area of low
pressure is centered just north of Michigan attm. Area of mainly
light rain showers is developing along and north of the warm front
associated with the Central Plains low...the northern edge of
which has reached our far SW CWA late this morning. MBL is
reporting rain actually reaching the ground...and expect this
trend will continue as the northern edge of moisture north of the
warm front spreads along our southern CWA border into the
afternoon hours. Have made some upward adjustments to POPs in this
area as a result. Some light precip is also possible across
portions of Eastern Upper Michigan as we head into the afternoon
as the cold front associated with the low to our north slowly sags
southward. Precip should initially start as rain in this area and
will then gradually switch over to snow as colder air behind the
cold front begins to ooze into our CWA. Any new snow amounts in
this region will be minor (well under an inch).

UPDATE Issued at 635 AM EST Thu Feb 15 2018

Some break in the low clouds have (unsteadily) pushed into nw
lower MI. A marine layer held stratus in longer at MBL/Frankfort
(though it is now breaking down), even while TVC scattered out.
Cirrus/mid clouds will be pushing into southern sections this
morning from the sw, but overall have tweaked the forecast toward
a little less cloud cover in some spots. No other changes of note.


.NEAR TERM...(Today through Tonight)
Issued at 331 AM EST Thu Feb 15 2018

...Cold air returns tonight...

High impact weather potential: outside chance for some freezing
drizzle in eastern upper MI today.

998mb surface low is crossing s central Superior early this morning.
An initial, weak cold front is advancing east into central upper
MI and eastern WI. A sharper secondary cold front extends across
central MN and ne SD. Stratus now covers most of northern MI. Some
light advection fog as well (vsbys generally at or above 2SM), as
surface dew points in the 30s make inroads over extensive snow
cover. Temp and precip trends are the main concerns.

Surface low will move east of Superior this morning, and will
already reach Quebec by early afternoon. Initial cold front will
cross northern MI this morning, with the secondary front arriving
this afternoon. There is presently very little cloud cover behind
the initial front. It is interesting to see guidance produce very
little in the way of clearing, keeping stratus trapped below the
persistent 2.5k ft inversion. Am going to cautiously keep this
morning on the cloudy side, but might need an itchy trigger finger
to make adjustments. No real signs of drizzle out there on radar
(will be hard to tell in surface obs given the general light fog).
Might still keep a mention for part of today, including fzdz north
of the bridge, but will remove any mention from the HWO.

This afternoon, a weak wave spins up along the initial front, along
the MI/OH border. Most of the precip will be well downstate, but a
few showers could work into southern portions of the forecast area.
Cold air will not have gotten that far south yet, and this will be
just rain if we see anything. Meanwhile, 850mb temps will be
dropping to around -8C in eastern upper MI by late in the day. And,
a couple of weak but fast-moving shortwave will be zipping across
Superior and environs. Any lingering drizzle/fzdz will eventually
morph to spotty light snow late in the day, though with no accums of

Max temps mid 30s to lower 40s.

Nnw post-frontal winds will lower 850mb temps to -10C (near Saginaw
Bay) to -20C (eastern upper MI) by morning. There`s also still a
passing wave or two (and the associated moisture) to help lake
effect along, as least into the early overnight hours. (More
substantial drying arrives late in the overnight). But we maintain a
very shallow inversion, just 2-3k ft. That will drastically limit
vertical motions in lake-generated cloud cover, and correspondingly
lake effect snow. Sct to numerous snow showers will still develop,
especially in far western Chip/Mack Cos (accums around an inch) and
the Gd Trav Bay region (less than an inch). But intensity and accums
will be limited.

Min temps in the teens in northern lower MI, 5 to 10 above zero in
eastern upper.


.SHORT TERM...(Friday through Saturday)
Issued at 331 AM EST Thu Feb 15 2018

...Colder Friday then Moderating Temperatures Saturday...

Primary Forecast Concern...Chances for snow showers.

Winds back from northwesterly to westerly Friday through the day. In
addition, moisture wanes as we get into ridging at the surface and
aloft. Despite this it`s cold enough for lake processes to continue
to produce some lake response. Not expecting a whole lot of snow
accumulation though. As the ridge shifts off to the east, over lake
instability decreases so activity should shut off Friday night. A
short wave moving through the flow Saturday should increase moisture
and over lake instability restarting lake effect. Could even see an
inch or two of accumulation if things come together right. Highs
Friday in the upper teens to middle 20s. Lows Friday night mainly in
the single digits above zero. Highs Saturday in the milder upper 20s
to lower 30s.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday night through Wednesday)
Issued at 331 AM EST Thu Feb 15 2018

...Oh No, Here Comes More Warm Air...

It`s a real shame for winter enthusiasts that our snowpack which
took a hit yesterday (and will again today) looks like it`s going to
really be impacted negatively early next week. This is because
extended models continue to agree that warm air will surge northward
into much if not all of northern Michigan Monday into Tuesday
(eastern upper may try to stay in cooler air) as a trough digs into
the intermountain west. In addition, low pressure crossing the
region will likely bring mainly rain (perhaps some snow eastern
upper) which would only exasperate matters. Still hoping for a full
pattern change with troughing across the Great Lakes to take shape
in March, though in reality trying to rebuild the snow pack in March
is usually a daunting task. In the meantime...northwest flow lake
effect snow showers likely to develop Saturday night and linger into
Sunday (though moisture wanes). Increasing chances for warm
advection driven light snow Sunday night before the likely
changeover to rain across northern lower Monday morning.


.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Friday morning)
Issued at 635 AM EST Thu Feb 15 2018

Stratus and light fog is tending to lift this morning, as low
pressure passes just to north, swinging an initial weak cold front
across northern lower MI. Conditions will be somewhat
variable/unsteady, especially this morning, but expect improvement
to VFR for at least a portion of the midday/afternoon hours. As
a secondary, stronger cold front arrives from the nw late today,
MVFR cigs will return, and some SHSN could develop tonight in the
TVC area.

Sw winds will become w this afternoon, and abruptly nw-n tonight.
Winds will be somewhat gusty at times.




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