Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Bismarck, ND

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FXUS63 KBIS 161830

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Bismarck ND
1230 PM CST Thu Feb 16 2017


Issued at 1230 PM CST Thu Feb 16 2017

No changes to the forecast with this product issuance.

Temperatures are slow to warm some areas, and are ahead of pace
others. Will leave things be and see how temperatures trend over
the next hour or two before making any updates to highs. Other
forecast elements in good shape.

Issued at 935 AM CST Thu Feb 16 2017

Updated sky cover with BKN upper level clouds over my north. Will
maintain forecast highs as inherited for this update. Lack of
decent mixing winds some locations may require cooling highs
slightly, though still very mild today.

UPDATE Issued at 638 AM CST Thu Feb 16 2017

Main adjustment to the forecast for this update was to blend in
current temperature trends. Took a quick glance at the 12z upper
air sounding for Bismarck and as expected it shows a strong
inversion in place this morning. Things are still lining up for a
very mild day, with a few record highs potentially being within


.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 323 AM CST Thu Feb 16 2017

Very mild temperatures today highlight the short term forecast.

Currently, an upper level ridge axis was moving eastward into the
western Dakotas with warm air well established off the
surface...with H850 temperatures of +10C to +12C over western and
central ND. This very mild air is forecast to remain over our area
today as the apex of the upper level ridge moves over the state this

The Bismarck 00z sounding (Wednesday evening) recorded 50F at around
1600 feet above the surface. Temperatures on Wednesday in
southwestern ND did not reach into the 50s (except at Bowman) as
forecast. A very shallow inversion was apparently maintained through
the day. Therefore, even though h850 temperatures of +12 to +14 are
forecast over western and central ND today, suspect the low level
inversion will be maintained again today. With that said, it appears
temperatures may fall short of records, yet still be very mild for
mid February. It appears that not enough bare ground has appeared to
realize the full heating potential for Thursday.

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

Dickinson...59 1981.......57
Williston...54 1981.......52
Bismarck....57 1981.......50
Minot.......51 1913.......49
Jamestown...52 1981.......45

Another mild night tonight with the warm air aloft in place. Expect
lows from the mid and upper 20s over eastern portions of central
ND...and lows in the low to mid 30s over western ND.

.LONG TERM...(Friday through Wednesday)
Issued at 323 AM CST Thu Feb 16 2017

Continued above average temperatures highlight the extended
forecast, with the next chance of precipitation beginning Sunday

The global models are in agreement on continued above average
temperatures throughout the forecast period. However, a relative
cool down is expected Friday and Saturday as the upper level ridge
propagates east and a shortwave in the westerlies moves across our
area Friday bringing some increasing cloudiness. However, widespread
highs the 30s and 40s are still expected as 10 to 20 mph winds allow
mixing the mid levels down to the surface.

On Sunday a longwave trough over the Rockies with an embedded
shortwave trough moves into the Plains and develops a surface low
pressure system that emerges into the Front Range of the Rockies
during the day Sunday. The potential for highs in the 50s in the
southwest and James Valley as our area will be in the warm sector of
the surface low. The system deepens and continues lifting northeast
across North Dakota Sunday night and Monday, and will bring chances
of rain and snow to the state.

Another shortwave in the westerlies will bring chances of
precipitation Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday. High temperatures
in the 30s and 40s will continue through Wednesday.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Friday afternoon)

Issued at 1230 PM CST Thu Feb 16 2017

VFR conditions are expected through the period. Winds will be
from the west to southwest at 5 to 15 kts.


Issued at 220 PM CST Wed Feb 15 2017

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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