Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Bismarck, ND

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054
FXUS63 KBIS 082342
AFDBIS

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BISMARCK ND
542 PM CST MON FEB 8 2016

.UPDATE...
ISSUED AT 542 PM CST MON FEB 8 2016

NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGES WITH THIS UPDATE. LATE AFTERNOON 0.5 DEGREE
RADAR REFLECTIVITY DATA SHOWS A NARROW LINE OF ECHOES MOVING EAST
AND EXTENDING FROM TIOGA SOUTH TO DICKINSON AND HETTINGER AT 2330
UTC. HOWEVER...WE BELIEVE THE ECHOES REPRESENT MID-LEVEL CLOUDS
AND NOT SURFACE PRECIPITATION GIVEN SUB-20 DBZ RETURNS BASED ABOVE
5000 FT AGL. IN FACT...POPS WERE REDUCED SLIGHTLY IN NORTHWEST ND
TO GO WITH A DRY FORECAST THROUGH 03 UTC GIVEN THE DRY BOUNDARY
LAYER WITH DEWPOINTS ONLY IN THE TEENS F OVER MUCH OF WESTERN ND
LATE THIS AFTERNOON. RECENT OPERATIONAL HRRR SIMULATIONS ARE MORE
ROBUST WITH LIGHT SNOW IN WESTERN ND LATE TONIGHT THAN THE ESRL-
RUN EXPERIMENTAL HRRR...WHICH ALSO REPRESENTS UNCERTAINTY THAT IS
LIKELY RELATED TO THE DRY LOWER ATMOSPHERE AND WEAK FORCING.

&&

.SHORT TERM...(THIS EVENING THROUGH TUESDAY)
ISSUED AT 229 PM CST MON FEB 8 2016

CURRENT SURFACE ANALYSIS PLACES LOW OVER THE GREAT LAKES WITH
RIDGE RUNNING THROUGH THE WESTERN PLAINS. UPPER LEVEL ANALYSIS
PLACES RIDGE OVER THE WESTERN CONUS WITH LOW NEAR LAKE MICHIGAN
WHILE FAST NORTH-NORTHWESTERLY FLOW REMAINS OVER OUR AREA.

FOR THE REST OF THIS AFTERNOON INTO TONIGHT...QUIET WEATHER WILL
START THE EVENING WITH BREEZY WINDS DIMINISHING AS PRESSURE
GRADIENT CONTINUES TO GRADUALLY RELAX OVER THE REGION. LATER THIS
EVENING WEAK WARM AIR ADVECTION ALOFT DEVELOPS RESULTING IN MODEST
ISENTROPIC LIFT DEVELOPING OVER WESTERN LOCATIONS...BRINGING A
LOW CHANCE FOR SNOW.

ON TUESDAY...STRONG TEMPERATURE GRADIENT WILL BE SET UP OVER THE
AREA WITH TEENS OVER THE EASTERN PART OF THE FORECAST AREA...AND
AROUND 40 OVER THE FAR SOUTHWEST. MODEST CHANCES FOR PRECIPITATION WILL
REMAIN IN BROAD BAROCLINIC ZONE SET UP OVER WESTERN INTO CENTRAL
PARTS OF NORTH DAKOTA. MOST AREAS MAY SEE SOME SNOW...BUT CHANCES
SWITCH TOWARDS RAIN OVER PORTIONS OF THE WEST AS WARMER AIR TRIES
TO WORK EASTERLY.

.LONG TERM...(TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH MONDAY)
ISSUED AT 229 PM CST MON FEB 8 2016

THE MAIN FOCUS FOR THE LONG TERM IS THE POTENTIAL FOR FREEZING
RAIN AND SNOW TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY.

A VERY TIGHT BAROCLINIC ZONE WILL SET UP ACROSS THE STATE THROUGH
THE REST OF THE WEEK. NORTHWEST FLOW ALOFT WILL CARRY SEVERAL
UPPER LEVEL SHORT WAVE TROUGHS ACROSS THE NORTHERN PLAINS. AS
THESE WAVES APPROACH BRIEF PERIODS OF MID-LEVEL WARM AIR ADVECTION
WILL OCCUR ACROSS PORTIONS OF WESTERN AND CENTRAL NORTH DAKOTA.
AT THIS TIME IT APPEARS THE FIRST SUCH WAVE WILL APPROACH THE
REGION TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY. FORECAST SOUNDINGS CLEARLY
SHOW A WARM LAYER ALOFT...WITH SURFACE TEMPERATURES BELOW
FREEZING. THERE ARE SOME DISCREPANCIES BETWEEN MODELS AS TO JUST
HOW WARM THIS LAYER IS AND HOW FAR EAST IT WILL PUSH.
HOWEVER...THERE IS AT LEAST THE POSSIBILITY OF FREEZING RAIN
TUESDAY NIGHT INTO WEDNESDAY AS BELOW FREEZING SURFACE
TEMPERATURES SHOULD COINCIDE WITH THE BEST FORCING AND WARM LAYER
ALOFT. AS PRECIPITATION PUSHES FURTHER EAST IT WILL ENCOUNTER
COOLER AIR BOTH ALOFT AND AT THE SURFACE AND SHOULD TRANSITION OR
REMAIN ALL SNOW. EXACTLY WHERE THIS TRANSITION ZONE WILL SET UP
IS VERY UNCERTAIN AT THIS TIME AS THE TEMPERATURE GRADIENT WILL
LIKELY BE VERY STEEP AND A SLIGHT SHIFT IN THE BAROCLINIC ZONE
COULD MEAN VERY DIFFERENT PRECIPITATION TYPES.

&&

.AVIATION...(FOR THE 00Z TAFS THROUGH 00Z TUESDAY EVENING)
ISSUED AT 542 PM CST MON FEB 8 2016

VFR CONDITIONS WILL PREVAIL TONIGHT...BUT CLOUDS WILL THICKEN AND
CEILINGS WILL LOWER OVER WESTERN ND. ON TUESDAY...WIDESPREAD MVFR
CEILINGS ARE FORECAST ALONG AND WEST OF THE HIGHWAY 83 CORRIDOR.
A BAND OF LIGHT SNOW WITH MVFR-TYPE CEILINGS IS ALSO POSSIBLE WITH
THE PROBABILITY OF THAT HIGHEST AT KISN AND KDIK AFTER 15 UTC.

&&

.BIS WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NONE.
&&

$$

UPDATE...CJS
SHORT TERM...JJS
LONG TERM...AJ
AVIATION...CJS



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