Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Gaylord, MI

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000
FXUS63 KAPX 160838
AFDAPX

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Gaylord MI
338 AM EST Mon Jan 16 2017

.NEAR TERM...(Today and Tonight)
Issued at 338 AM EST Mon Jan 16 2017

...A mix of wintry precipitation tonight...

High Impact Weather Potential...some light snow/sleet and ice
accumulation tonight into Tuesday.

Pattern Synopsis/Forecast...Surface high pressure stretches from
the lower lakes region to the mid Atlantic coast with low pressure
running across Ontario and Quebec. Quiet weather for northern
Michigan at the moment with some high thin clouds streaming across
lower Michigan. A bit of gradient over across northern Michigan
has kept temperatures a bit warmer as compared to last night...with
the exception of Grayling who has managed to drop to 2F. So a few
cold pockets are out there.

Upstream, much talked about southern branch shortwave now rounding
the bend and swinging across northern Texas this early A.M. with a
developing area of surface low pressure over Oklahoma. This system
will swing up into the midwest by evening and cross lower Michigan
late tonight through Tuesday morning bringing a wintry mix of
precipitation to the region.

Primary Forecast Concerns...Mixed precipitation tonight and winter
weather headline potential.

No issues through most of today with high pressure and wedge of
dry air holding on. We will see increasing cloud cover S-N
particularly during the afternoon hours ahead of approaching
system.

Gets more interesting late in the afternoon and tonight however.
Aforementioned upstream low pressure system will lift into the
midwest this evening and cross southern lower Michigan late
tonight through Tuesday morning. Nice surge of warm/moist air into
the region will bring quickly increasing precip chances to
northern lower Michigan this evening, with precip just getting
into eastern upper Michigan overnight.

Biggest forecast problem continues to be precip type. Guidance
has gradually trended a little further south with this system and
consequently slower with pushing elevated warm layer up into
northern Michigan. Forecast thermal profiles suggest precip across
northern lower Michigan initially starts as mainly snow in the
early before becoming a bit more mixy (sleet/freezing rain) later
in the evening and overnight. This would keep icing accumulations
down and lessen the impact. However, given the uncertainties in
these mixed precip events, and any kind of wintry mix and modest
snow/sleet/ice accumulations will have some impact, plan on
hoisting a winter weather advisory for all of northern lower
Michigan. Will start first with the S/SW counties this evening and
the rest of northern lower Michigan after midnight. Eastern upper
Michigan now looks to remain mainly snow with minor accumulations.
No headline planned there.

&&

.SHORT TERM...(Tuesday through Wednesday Night)
Issued at 338 AM EST Mon Jan 16 2017

...Icy Tuesday Morning Commute...

High Impact Weather Potential: Freezing rain/sleet Tuesday morning
especially interior areas, resulting in slick travel.

Pattern Synopsis/Forecast: Shortwave embedded within 500mb longwave
trough, will swing through the Great Lakes on Tuesday, with surface
low sliding across the southern half of Michigan.  Heaviest
precipitation will be through Tuesday morning associated with the
strongest isentropic ascent with the warm surge aloft.  Surface
temperatures will likely be near or just below freezing across
interior northern lower/higher terrain early Tuesday morning, with
ongoing freezing rain/sleet and some slick roads/hazardous travel
problems.  Even in areas where surface temperatures will be above
freezing (i.e. west of US-131), rain on snow-covered side roads will
still result in slick spots.  Pockets of sleet and snow also likely
during the early morning, especially in areas where precipitation
intensity is sufficient to dynamically cool the mid layers and erode
the warm nose.  Boundary layer temperatures will be slow to rise
over northeast lower into upper Michigan given cool easterly flow,
only slowly reaching the middle 30s (but enough to improve slick
travel).  Still some question about how far north the main
precipitation shield will push north of the bridge, with quite a bit
of low level dry air and the strongest ascent remaining to the
south.  Believe a majority of the precipitation will be south of the
bridge, with just some lighter mixed precipitation possible over
eastern upper.  Precipitation may end as a little drizzle Tuesday
afternoon as mid level moisture strips out.

Slightly cooler boundary layer conditions Tuesday night behind
departing surface wave.  With plenty of low level moisture and weak
forcing Tuesday evening, some potential for patchy drizzle (or
freezing drizzle?).  Anything that falls would be quite light, but
slick spots certainly possible as temperatures dip below freezing.
Another weak moisture starved shortwave slides across upper Michigan
later Wednesday, possibly producing a few light rain or snow showers
near Lake Superior.  Otherwise, nothing significant weatherwise
through this time with highs generally in the 30s to around 40, and
lows in the 20s to around 30.

&&

.LONG TERM...(Thursday through Sunday)
Issued at 338 AM EST Mon Jan 16 2017

Broad and extended January thaw for the eastern CONUS through this
weekend (into early next week) with deepening trough over the inter-
mountain west, undercutting downstream high amplitude ridging
extending northward toward Hudson Bay (Rex block).  Several pieces
of energy will eject out of the developing western trough but will
be shunted northward by strong downstream ridging.  So Michigan will
remain firmly in the warm sector with gradually increasing boundary
layer temperatures and moisture.  With a solid snowpack across much
of the area, always have to be concerned with fog/stratus potential
with the arrival of above freezing dewpoints.  And this may become
an issue this weekend.   Also some rain chances into the weekend,
although models continue to struggle resolving the details with this
blocky pattern.  Steady snowmelt through the weekend into early next
week with the arrival of the higher "snow eating" dewpoints, which
will unfortunately temporarily slow or shut down much of the outdoor
winter recreation across northern Michigan.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Monday night)
Issued at 1153 PM EST Sun Jan 15 2017

VFR conditions under some passing high level overcast for the
remainder of tonight into today gives way to IFR producing low
clouds and a light rain/snow/freezing rain mixture spreading from
south to north this evening. Visibility will also be reduced this
evening with light precipitation and increasing low level
moisture. Light winds are expected through this taf duration.


&&

.MARINE...
Issued at 338 AM EST Mon Jan 16 2017

Nearshore forecast has ended for Lake Superior for the winter
season.

Some stronger westerly winds today although winds/waves will
remain below small craft advisory criteria. Winds back more
easterly/southeasterly tonight into Tuesday and a few small craft
advisories may be needed.

&&

.APX WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
MI...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY from 7 PM this evening to noon EST
     Tuesday for MIZ020-025-026-031>036-041-042.
     WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY from midnight tonight to noon EST
     Tuesday for MIZ016>019-021>024-027>030.
LH...NONE.
LM...NONE.
LS...NONE.
&&

$$

NEAR TERM...TBA
SHORT TERM...JRK
LONG TERM...JRK
AVIATION...MSB
MARINE...TBA


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