Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Forks, ND

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FXUS63 KFGF 162359

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
659 PM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

Issued at 658 PM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

Adjusted POPs as rain has moved a lot further into the southern
CWA than originally expected. Mostly liquid at the current time
but as temps drop this evening some FZRA will be possible across
the north. Will keep an eye on the air and road temps as well as
road reports as we lose daytime heating for potential impacts.


.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Friday)
Issued at 244 PM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

The forecast challenge for the short term will be precipitation
type after midnight tonight. Earlier forecast updates today
addressed increasing max wet bulbs aloft and road temperatures to
force mostly rain through midnight. A couple of considerations,
however, are temps under the rain/clouds over the northern valley
limited daytime highs...however not expecting that to have a
significant impact on when temps fall back below zero tonight.

For model timing, leaning toward CONSSHORT and ECAM (blend of the
individual CAMs) for timing light precip over NW Minnesota attm
and some heavier showers currently west and north of Minot...with
a lull in activity expected in between. Cloud cover and continued
southerly flow will keep temps from dropping off too quickly even
in areas where temps are currently in the 34 to 36 F range (NW
zones). Main challenge is how much precip will be behind wind
shift/trough as temps begin to decline. Earlier High Res runs
showed precip out running the falling sfc temps...for an all rain
solution but 12Z GFS/GEM/NAM and late morning Hi Res runs slowed
precip over NW Minnesota down sufficiently that sfc temps may fall
to or just below the freezing mark. Thus, in the 06Z to 12Z
timeframe we still have a mention of a wintry mix however would
expect rain/light freezing rain to change over to
snow/drizzle/freezing drizzle rather quickly...with chance of
sleet low. NAM soundings indicate a saturated low level with a
decent dry layer aloft by expect precip to either end or
light drizzle to continue in the northern valley/northwest MN into
the mid morning hours. Total snowfall accumulations further
decreased to a couple of tenths vcnty of BDE.

Westerly winds will be enhanced with decent pressure rise couplet
and weak cold advection...with afternoon gusts tomorrow expected
to be in the 30 to 35 mph range. A breezy day to follow before the
warming trend picks up into the weekend.

.LONG TERM...(Friday night through Thursday)
Issued at 244 PM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

The main challenges in the extended forecast are 1) temperature
variations due to the active zonal pattern aloft and 2)
precipitation chances Sunday and the second half of next week.

Slight chances of light snow will clear out of the northeast zones
Friday night as the system departs to the east. The pressure
gradient should relax as well, allowing for weakening but cooler
northwest winds Friday night. Temperatures will be near normal
Friday night and Saturday.

With the next upper ridge and its associated surface low moving
through the Canadian Plains over the weekend, temperatures will warm
considerably from Saturday to Sunday. Sunday will be the warmest day
in the upcoming week with highs in the 40s and 50s. Maintained some
slight chances for rain Sunday afternoon. Could see precip chances
going either way with good forcing due to a sfc boundary but a
strong low level dry layer hinting at more increased cloud cover
than precip. On Monday, highs will still likely be in the upper 30s
to 40s. As the main upper trough swings through Monday into Tuesday,
cooler near normal temperatures return Tuesday into Wednesday.
Monday and Tuesday look to be dry but precipitation chances return
mid week as another system departs from the Rockies into the Plains.


.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Friday evening)
Issued at 658 PM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

Most ceilings are VFR, but rain will continue to move across the
area, and sometimes vis will drop down into the 3-5SM range.
Expecting some lower ceilings to move in from the west, dropping
conditions to MVFR on a more consistent basis. A heavier band of
rain moving across north central ND could impact the northern TAF
sites later on this evening and bring vis down to 2SM at times.
For now will keep all precipitation as -RA but will monitor
temperatures in case we get -FZRA further south than expected.
Some IFR ceilings will be possible towards morning after the rain
exits the area. Conditions should recover to MVFR late in the
period and a few models have KDVL clearing out in the afternoon
but will keep clouds in for now. Winds will remain out of the
south this evening then shift to the west then northwest.
Northwest winds will increase by mid day tomorrow with sustained
speeds above 20 kts and some gusts above 30 kts.




SHORT TERM...Speicher
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