Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Bismarck, ND

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FXUS63 KBIS 161824

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Bismarck ND
1224 PM CST Mon Jan 16 2017

Issued at 1218 PM CST Mon Jan 16 2017

No significant changes to the early afternoon update. We could see
the effects of the weak cold front which moved through Bismarck
recently as just a small increase in wind was able to bump up the
temperature at the airport into the teens, similar to the Mandan
airport. Meanwhile just ahead of the front, Linton remained in the
single digits above zero.

UPDATE Issued at 926 AM CST Mon Jan 16 2017

No significant changes for the morning update. 9 AM temperatures
were mainly above freezing except for the Missouri River Valley
from around Bismarck to the SD border. Populated latest sensible
weather elements and interpolated to midday temperatures. Also
tweaked sky cover a little. A thin band of mid and high level
clouds is tracking southeast through the forecast area today,
associated with a weak trough.

UPDATE Issued at 623 AM CST Mon Jan 16 2017

Temperatures ranged from 5 above to near 10 below zero this morning
where winds were light. Those areas with winds of 10 to 20 mph had
temperature values in the teens. The winds were able to mix the
surface layer with the winds a couple of hundred feet off the
surface and a very warm layer aloft. This will be the main focus of
the temperature field today. No big changes for this update.


.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 330 AM CST Mon Jan 16 2017

Temperatures will again be the main forecast challenge and
highlight in the short term period.

Currently, at upper levels, a ridge was over the Canadian Rockies
with a downstream shortwave over the Front Range. A weak surface
cold front associated with the shortwave extended northeast-
southwest across southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The upper level shortwave and cold front is forecast to enter the
northwestern corner of ND before/around daybreak and move southeast
across the state today. Warm air above the surface layer ahead of
the front was evidenced by the 00z Bismarck sounding, recording a
very steep lapse rate, with around 9F at the surface and 43F at
around 1200 feet above the surface. As the cold front sweeps
southeast across the state today, southwest/west winds ahead of the
front and northwest winds behind the front should provide enough
mixing such that we should see temperatures in the teens and 20s
again today. In fact, at 2 am CST, temperatures in southwestern ND
rose to 18-20F with west winds of around 15 mph.

Tonight the small pocket of cooler air moves southeast and is
replaced quickly with strong warm advection. The aforementioned
upper level Canadian Rockies ridge builds eastward behind the
shortwave, and mild Pacific air moves east across the Rockies and
into the western Plains, with southwest flow at low and mid-levels
expanding into central ND by daybreak Tuesday morning. Overnight
lows tonight should range from around 5-10F over eastern parts of
central ND and around 10-15F in the west.

.LONG TERM...(Tuesday through Sunday)
Issued at 330 AM CST Mon Jan 16 2017

Moderating temperatures and dry conditions through the middle of
next week, followed by what looks like an increasingly active
weather pattern along with colder temperatures late this week and
through next weekend continue to highlight the extended forecast.


Broad ridging at upper levels continues Tuesday
through Thursday, allowing the mild Pacific air to continue moving
eastward into the Northern Plains. Warm and dry west and
southwesterly winds should allow good mixing to the surface.
Forecast highs Tuesday should range from the upper 20s from the
Turtle Mountains to James the mid 30s in the southwest.
The warmest day looks to be Wednesday, with highs expected in the
mid and upper 30s north and east of the Missouri River to lower 40s
to the south and west.


The GFS and EC depict a shortwave/low in the upper
flow developing over the southern Plains coincident with our Tuesday-
Thursday warming ridge. As our ridge moves east, both the GFS and EC
depict a longwave trough over the west coast moving eastward across
the Rockies. As this occurs, the models move/develop the southern
Plains low in a northeast track towards the Great Lakes. The
longwave trough expands/broadens so as to encompass the western half
of the US/Canada. The GFS and EC then develop a shortwave in the
flow emerging out of the base of the large system (over the southern
Plains) Friday moving northward towards the Dakotas/Minnesota by
Saturday. Meanwhile the models also develop another stronger
low/shortwave in the base of the trough Saturday/Sunday that should
essentially block any moisture moving northward from the Gulf of
Mexico. The model consensus delays mention of precipitation in our
area until Saturday...with small chances of light snow Saturday and
Sunday , Sunday, and Monday. No real blasts of arctic air through
next weekend, with highs mainly in the 20s and 30s.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Tuesday afternoon)
Issued at 1218 PM CST Mon Jan 16 2017

Expect vfr cigs/vsbsy through 18z Tuesday with skc to few250
dominating. Light northwest to westerly winds begin the Taf period;
however, expect a transition to southwest and southerly winds
between 00z and 18z Tuesday.




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