Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Forks, ND

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FXUS63 KFGF 191843

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
1243 PM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

Issued at 1243 PM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

Some showers have developed along mid level warm advection lifting
across northwestern MN, with fairly healthy radar returns. There
is still a decent dew point depression, however, and no surface
obs or web cams have shown much reaching the ground. Put in an
isolated sprinkle mention for the next few hours in case something
manages to reach the ground but no QPF.

A few spots have been slower to rise than yesterday thanks to
cloud cover, so adjusted temperatures a bit. The southern counties
should still get well into the 50s with sunshine but the cloudier
north will stay in the 40s with upper 30s in the far northwest.


.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 314 AM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

It looks like another early morning with unseasonably mild
overnight minimum temperatures remaining near or above freezing
across most of the area. Light and variable winds across central
and north central Minnesota have allowed for some patchy fog or
freezing fog in places... though a thin layer of mid to high level
clouds has reduced the overall fog threat.

Expect increasing clouds through the day today with light and
variable winds early... increasing from the east-southeast through
the day. All of this in response to the approach of a low
pressure system which is just beginning to develop off the front
range of the rockies.

A warm frontal cloud band of mainly mid to upper level clouds
should thicken in over the area through midday... with fairly
robust H8 warming below the cloud deck through 00z this evening.
even with somewhat mottled sunshine... daytime highs should
respond to the warming aloft and mixing southeasterly winds...
resulting in near record to record high temperatures across much
of the area again today.

The approaching low pressure system and overall increasing warm
and moist advection today should produce increasing lower clouds
this evening... with scattered rain showers possible during the
overnight and more widespread shower activity on monday.

.LONG TERM...(Monday through Saturday)
Issued at 314 AM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

By Monday morning... expect low pressure to dig into the central
Dakotas...with rain showers likely across the eastern Dakotas and
western Minnesota. Through the afternoon... patchy elevated
instability should lift across the southern Red River Valley and
push into central Minnesota... with an isolated thunderstorm
possible. Widespread rainfall amounts of a quarter of an inch or
more are possible through Monday night.

Showers push east of the area late Monday night... with some
residuals clouds early on Tuesday but otherwise fair skies...
westerly winds and continued near record warmth.

A weak short wave tracks through the Northern Plains on Wednesday in
the zonal flow regime. Models not in very good agreement on the
strength, placement or timing of pcpn associated with this feature.
Yesterday`s model solutions had it a little further north, closer to
the Canadian border. The latest 00Z runs now have it a tad further
south, or roughly along the highway 2 corridor. 925mb temperatures
are warmest at 12Z, with north winds and falling temps thru the
afternoon. Therefore pcpn type for this event looks like a mix,
changing to light snow.

The flow then starts to shift more to the southwest at 500mb with
850mb temps steadily falling. Have been watching a storm system in
the Thursday night through Friday night time frame. Yesterday`s
model runs had this system brushing the southern third of the FA,
with the latest 00Z runs now more variable. The GFS is entirely dry
for the FA, the ECMWF brushes our far southern FA, and the Canadian
looks similar to yesterday`s runs. However, like yesterday, the main
event looks to be south of this FA, so the main question will be
whether any light snow will affect our southern FA. Guidance did
maintain some low snow chances along and south of a Valley City to
Bemidji line, and will keep them as is.

The most differences between the models come into play by Saturday,
as the 500mb flow turns back to the west-northwest. Looks like
another short wave will rotate down into the FA, with the ECMWF
being the strongest. The ECMWF actually generates a surface low over
the northern FA associated with this feature by 00Z Sunday, along
with a broader area of light snow. Due to the spread between the
models, guidance does not show much of anything yet for Saturday, so
will continue to watch and see what later runs have in store.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Monday afternoon)
Issued at 1243 PM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

All TAF sites are VFR with mid and high clouds over everyone but
KFAR which is seeing some sunshine. South to southeasterly winds
will continue at 10 to 20 kts into this evening and will bring
more moisture northward. The surface trough will move eastward
into the Red River Valley tonight, and think there will be some
pooling of moisture along the trough axis late tonight and
tomorrow morning. Have ceilings and visibilities coming down,
although kept true fog out for the time being. Ceilings should
drop into the MVFR and then IFR range as moisture comes in later
tonight and continues through tomorrow morning. Visibilities will
be down to 2-5SM with some areas down to 1SM or lower as winds
decrease along the trough axis. Rain showers will be moving across
the area and will improve visibility at times, but there is
enough uncertainty in placement to just include VCSH at the
current time. Winds will begin shifting to the west at the end and
after the TAF period.


Issued at 314 AM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

Streams and tributaries across the southern Red River Basin are
beginning to show response to local melting and runoff. Expect
slow rises to those tributaries and the Red River upstream from
Fargo through the coming week. Check RVSFGF for details on the
Red River at Fargo and the Buffalo River near Sabin and Dilworth.




LONG TERM...Godon/Gust
HYDROLOGY...Gust is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.