Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Great Falls, MT

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FXUS65 KTFX 301630

1030 AM MDT Sat Aug 30 2014


Area of showers/weak convection continues to move toward the east
this morning. Update consisted primarily of removing PoPs over the
northwestern portion of the forecast area for the remainder of the
morning. Balance of forecast in the near-term is essentially on
track. Foltz


/ISSUED 525 AM MDT Sat Aug 30 2014/

Upper trough and mid-level cold front is moving in as advertised
and below average temps are anticipated into next week. SPC
mesoanalysis shows that a 700 mb thermal ridge is already moving
into eastern MT with cold air advection occurring to the west. Sct
showers with a few isolated t`storms have developed over western
and southwestern MT. This region of precip is coincident with
upper-level divergence aloft due to curvature of the trough and a
localized right entrance region...weak 700 mb frontogenesis was
also analyzed.

Today...Previously mentioned forcings for ascent will slide from W
to E across the forecast area this morning. Best chance for
measurable rain is SE of a roughly GTF-to-HVR line. Left exit region
of a stronger jet across Idaho will act to enhance/sustain precip
over the SW into tonight. Additionally, a defined area of 700 mb
frontogenesis will linger into the evening over the SW. 1000-500 mb
column-average RH nicely depicts the cold frontal structure moving
through this morning, the tail end of the boundary stalling out over
the SW late this aftn, and the potential for rejuvenation of the
showers and embedded storms after 00z/Sunday as the strong Idaho jet
influences the area.

PWAT values will be near 0.75 inches, close to 2 standard deviations
above the mean over the SW, which means plenty of moisture for
moderate to heavy rain producing showers. Precip forecast best
follows the SREF but with a tenth or two less at lower elevations.
This method produced 0.15 to 0.30 inch amounts in the SW valleys
with up to 0.85 inches in the mountains of Madison and Gallatin
Counties. The EC is lower with total QPF values, while the GFS is

Sunday and Monday...Mid-level trough axis will move eastward out of
Montana. Heights will rise slightly and breezy west winds will bring
in much drier air with dewpoints falling into the 30s and PWATS
falling to around 0.50 inches. Highs will be in the 60s; chances
or showers will be low. Uttech

Monday Night through Saturday...Quiet weather conditions expected at
the start of this period, as transient high pressure ridging will
result in mostly fair skies, no precipitation, and comfortable early
autumn temperatures on Tues and Wed. By Wed night, a shortwave trof
is expected to move through southwest Canada and the Northern
Rockies and push a cold front across our region, but frontal
passage looks to be mostly dry with just a minimal chance of a
shower or two near Glacier NP and portions of the Hiline counties.

From Thurs onward, latest forecast model solutions made significant
changes from solutions seen the previous couple of days.  The most
notable changes are seen in the ECMWF and GEM models which give a
new prediction of much drier conditions over central and southwest
MT. Meanwhile, the GFS kept closer to its earlier runs in showing
periods of widespread showers and thunderstorms from late Thurs
night through Sat evening.  The disparate forecasts hinge on the
placement and evolution of an upper-level trof that will extend from
Alberta/Saskatchewan to central California beginning Thurs.  The
drier ECMWF/GEM models bring the trof axis into western MT which
keeps a re-developing monsoonal moisture flow well southeast of our
forecast area.  The GFS, on the other hand, holds the trof axis much
further west over WA/OR, allowing a steady flow of combined Pacific
and monsoonal moisture to generate the aforementioned
precipitation.  However, there are some inconsistencies in the GFS
solution, mainly that is doesn`t develop any precipitation upstream
in eastern Oregon or southern Idaho as we often see with a Pacific
moisture stream in this type of weather pattern.  Given all these
differences, confidence is low at this point that any of the models
has an accurate read on conditions for the latter half of next
week.  The current extended period precipitation grids are a very
rough compromise between the solutions, and rely heavily on
climatological probabilities of precipitation (about 20-25% for the
region during early Sept). Further, and possibly significant,
changes in the forecast are likely, but those will have to wait for
signs of increased model run consistency/agreement in the days ahead.


A broad upper level low pressure trof will keep Central Montana
unsettled through Sunday. The air mass is slightly unstable across
Southwest Montana and a chance for thunderstorms will continue into
this evening. The chance of showers and thunderstorms will decrease
during the evening. Local MVFR is possible near showers and
thunderstorms. Elsewhere VFR conditions will prevail through the
next 24 hours.


GTF  74  49  68  46 /  30  20  10  10
CTB  72  47  67  46 /  10  10  10  10
HLN  74  48  69  46 /  40  20  20  10
BZN  70  45  65  41 /  70  50  20  20
WEY  61  35  56  31 /  60  50  20  20
DLN  69  45  63  43 /  60  40  20  20
HVR  77  50  73  47 /  30  20  10  10
LWT  72  49  67  46 /  60  30  10  10



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