Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Des Moines, IA

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FXUS63 KDMX 170522

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Des Moines IA
1222 AM CDT Wed May 17 2017

.SHORT TERM.../Tonight through Wednesday/
Issued at 344 PM CDT Tue May 16 2017

It will be an active 24 hours for Iowa.  For this afternoon into
very early evening, storms will fester across northern into western
Iowa due to a couple a bands of weaker theta-e advection moving
across the area.  However not expecting much out of these storms.

The overall pattern shows a broad south to southwest flow across the
state with a deep trough over the southwest United States that will
slowly lift into western Kansas and develop into a closed low by
Wednesday morning. Meanwhile at the surface a frontal boundary
extends from a surface low over Kansas northeastward through NE and
MN.  Out of the upper trough, waves of energy will get ejected from
the base of the trough across the Plains and into the Upper Midwest.
This will help in developing waves along the surface boundary which
will help to initiate storms...some of which are already developing
in KS and NE which will become more widespread as the trough begins
to lift this evening.

Storms are expected to become widespread this evening across the
west into north central Iowa with initiation along the frontal
boundary.  Instability and shear will be sufficient for severe
storms...initially over eastern KS and NE but spreading into
western/northern Iowa between 00Z and 03Z and persisting into
Wednesday morning.  Mesoanalysis already showing signs of a
weakening cap and 2500 to 3000 j/kg of CAPE over the west into north
central Iowa.  Once storms initiate and if the low level jet
develops as models prog it to...robust storms capable of large hail
and damaging wind should push into the state.  There may be a narrow
window for tornadoes but this should mainly be west of the state.
PWAT`s are around 1.3 to 1.5 inches so heavy rainfall appears
likely with the strong storms. Not thinking about a flash flood
watch at this time because much of the area missed out on the
heavy rain from last night so I believe we can take any heavy
rainfall tonight. North of Iowa not so much but we will be
monitoring the heavy rain potential.

On Wednesday the upper low will pivot northeast lifting across Iowa
through the day.  Through this time the surface low will be pivoting
across northwest Iowa dragging a cold front into the state from late
afternoon through the evening.  This will put much of our forecast
area in the warm sector through the day.  The big question for
Wednesday is whether the morning convection and expected cloud cover
through the day will allow us to realize all of the instability that
will be in place across the eastern two thirds or so of the state
(areas ahead of the frontal boundary).  If we get an hour or so of
sun, storms will rapidly develop and if that can happen they will quickly
go severe with all modes of severe weather possible...including a
few tornadoes. Currently it does look like there will be a lull
in the morning activity before the front moves in and the
afternoon activity begins so if we can recover and get some sun,
it`s going to be an active day. For now the hazardous weather
outlook will be beefed up to include a slight risk and the
appropriate threats.

.LONG TERM.../Wednesday night through Tuesday/
Issued at 344 PM CDT Tue May 16 2017

The pattern looks to remain quite active into the weekend, but later
portions likely not as significant as what has occurred recently.
There will be a pronounced cool down as well with a period of
cooler, drier air anticipated.

Severe weather could be in progress at onset or on the downward
trend with a fairly stacked low pressure system moving through the
Missouri Valley and into NW Iowa.  Both the GFS and NAM still depict
strong deep shear in the newly upgraded Slight Risk area, but
instability will be off its peak with MLCAPEs decreasing from 1-2K
j/kg down into the hundreds. This will be more due to the loss of
low level moisture rather than cooling as the remnants of the Plains
dryline pass through the state. The true cold front still appears to
be north of Iowa through 06z. Some scattered showers may linger
north into Thursday morning but this is mainly driven by lingering
deep moisture rather than forcing, which is neutral to subsident 06-

Thursday will exit summer-like temperatures with a cooler, drier
period until rain chances increase once again. Attention will turn
to the current WA upper system as it makes its way through the
Rockies and into the central Plains into Friday and early Saturday.
This will spread fairly strongly phased thermodynamic and kinematic
forcing through the Missouri Valley into Iowa late Thursday Night
into Friday morning. The baroclinic zone aloft will reach Iowa with
strong theta-e advection and frontogenetic forcing which will
diminish slightly during the day into Saturday but still be more
than sufficient to sustain precip. Thus have a prolonged period with
likely PoPs. Initially the instability will be rather low and any
convection elevated, however the warm sector does briefly get into
southern and eastern Iowa during the day with strong deep shear so
this window will need to be watched for severe potential.

The system should exit into the end of the weekend, but precip
chances will return once again into Tuesday. The broad mean trough
that will settle into the region after this system will still be in
place with both the GFS and ECMWF showing a short wave dropping from
the Canadian provinces into the northern Plains. There are timing
and strength differences at this range of course, but there is
enough consensus for high end chance PoPs Mon Night into Tue. With
the cool mean trough still in place, much of the forcing will be
kinematic with only weak warm advection and low instability.


.AVIATION.../For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Wednesday night/
Issued at 1221 AM CDT Wed May 17 2017

Periods of ongoing convection the main challenges. MCS over the
region will continue overnight with VCTS over most of the region
through 09z...then east southeast through 14z. More convection
will move across the region...confidence somewhat low on timing.
Then from ~ 19z through 03z another round of more significant
convection will move rapidly northeast with strong upper level
wave tracking into the region. Later TAF packages will highlight
threats/impacts/timing of potentially significant winds/hail. /rev




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