Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Gaylord, MI

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000
FXUS63 KAPX 211109
AFDAPX

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GAYLORD MI
609 AM EST SUN DEC 21 2014

.NEAR TERM...(TODAY THROUGH TONIGHT)
ISSUED AT 231 AM EST SUN DEC 21 2014

...STRATUS ISSUES CONTINUE AND NOW LIGHT SNOW...

SYNOPTIC PATTERN AND OBSERVATIONS:

EARLY THIS MORNING...STILL IN A WAITING GAME FOR A MAJOR PATTERN
CHANGE. WE HAVE WEAK FLOW ALOFT...WITH A MINOR UPPER TROUGH AXIS
DRAPED ACROSS THE FAR WESTERN LAKES AND LITTLE TO NO FORCING. THERE
IS ANOTHER WEAK WAVE SEEN WORKING ACROSS NORTH DAKOTA...ASSOCIATED
WITH A BAND OF LIGHT MIXED PRECIPITATION...WELL NORTH OF A WARM
FRONT STRETCHED FROM THE DAKOTAS DOWN THROUGH THE HEART OF THE
COUNTRY. ALONG THIS FRONTAL BOUNDARY....WIDESPREAD STRATUS IS
UNFLINCHED. THE BAND OF LIGHT PRECIPITATION IS TRYING TO WORK WITH
DEEPER MOISTURE LIFTING NORTH IN INCREASING SRLY LOW LEVEL
WINDS...BUT HASN`T QUITE CAPTURED MUCH OF IT JUST YET. MEANWHILE
WELL UPSTREAM...THE NOSE OF A STRONG UPPER LEVEL JET IS PUNCHING THE
INITIAL STRONG SHORTWAVE ENERGY AND PRECIPITATION THROUGH THE PAC
NW. OVER NRN MICHIGAN...QUITE A BIT OF MISBEHAVING STRATUS REMAINS
DIFFICULT TO GET UNDER CONTROL. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE WITH SUDDEN
BURST/EROSION OF LOW CLOUDS ACROSS EASTERN UPPER YESTERDAY
AFTERNOON...WHICH RAPIDLY BLEW THROUGH FAR NRN LAKE HURON/NE LOWER
COASTLINE. A LITTLE BIT BETTER SW FLOW HAS HOWEVER DRAWN MORE
STRATUS INTO THE REGION FROM LAKE MICHIGAN...WHICH ALSO COVERED MUCH
OF NW LOWER. ACROSS NE LOWER...JUST SOME PATCHY STRATUS WITH MORE
HIGHER CLOUD THAN ANYTHING...THIS IS ASSOCIATED WITH THE
AFOREMENTIONED FIRST TROUGH AXIS ACROSS THE WESTERN GREAT LAKES.
FINALLY...A POCKET OF DEEPER LOW LEVEL MOISTURE ACROSS FAR SE WI/SW
LOWER...WAS BEING DRAGGED UP TOWARDS OUR SRN CWA (M-55). THIS AREAS
WAS SEEING SOME FLURRIES/POSSIBLE LIGHT FREEZING DRIZZLE. SO...ONE
CAN SEE THE COMPLEXITIES OF WHAT IS SEEMINGLY A RATHER UNEVENTFUL
WEATHER PERIOD FOR NRN MICHIGAN. THERE`S ALWAYS SOMETHING GOING ON.

FORECAST CHALLENGE: STRATUS EVOLUTION...YET AGAIN. PLUS...DEALING
WITH THE UPSTREAM LIGHT MIXED PRECIPITATION AND THE CHANCE FOR OUR
NRN AREAS (MAINLY EASTERN UPPER) SEEING SOME PRECIP TONIGHT.

SYNOPTIC PATTERN EVOLUTION AND ASSOCIATED WEATHER:

FIRST WEAK TROUGH ALOFT SLOWLY EXITS EAST TODAY...WITH THE SECONDARY
WEAK WAVE FROM THE DAKOTAS WILL GET LIFTED NE...AND THROUGH LAKE
SUPERIOR TONIGHT. LOW LEVEL FLOW DOES INCREASE ENOUGH TO WHERE
STRATUS (SHOULD) CONTINUE TO STREAM UP ACROSS NW LOWER AND EASTERN
UPPER. GOTTA BELIEVE THAT THE DEEPER LOW LEVEL MOISTURE FROM SW
LOWER ALSO EVENTUALLY MAKES IT INTO NRN LOWER...NOT ONLY
SUBSTANTIATING THAT STRATUS CLAIM...BUT WHICH MAY ALSO BRING A BRIEF
FLURRY OR LIGHT SPRINKLE/FREEZING RAIN TODAY (ESPECIALLY IN THE
HIGHER TERRAIN DUE TO UPSLOPE). WHILE WE DO SEE INCREASES IN OVERALL
ATMOSPHERIC WIND SPEEDS...THE MAIN INCREASES WILL CONTINUE TO BE OUT
TO OUR WEST. THIS IS DUE TO BACKING FLOW FROM WEAKER DAKOTAS WAVE
LIFTING NE...AND STRONG PACIFIC ENERGY CRASHING INTO THE NRN
ROCKIES. THIS BACKS THE OVERALL FLOW AND STRENGTHENS IT...FOCUSING
THE STRONGER FORCING (WARM AND MOISTURE ADVECTION) FURTHER WEST.
THIS RESULTS IN THE BETTER CHANCES FOR SEEING PRECIPITATION OUT WEST
OF US. ALL THAT SAID...THERE IS A BRIEF WINDOW (FEW HOURS) WHERE THE
ATMOSPHERIC COLUMN IS SATURATED FOR WHAT FCST THERMAL PROFILES
SUGGEST WILL BE A LIGHT SNOW AND MINIMAL ACCUMULATIONS IN EASTERN
UPPER OF UNDER AN INCH...PROBABLY LESS...ESPECIALLY WESTERN AREAS
OF CHIP/MACK COUNTIES. COULD ALSO SEE THE CONTINUATION OF FLURRIES
OR DRIZZLE/FREEZING DRIZZLE SOUTH OF EASTERN UPPER...ALONG JUST NW
LOWER (DUE TO THE BACKING LOW LEVEL WINDS MORE OUT OF THE
SOUTH...AND LEAVING NE LOWER OUT OF THE WEATHER PICTURE. IN
FACT...THERE IS A CHANCE THAT WHATEVER STRATUS GETS IN THERE TODAY
AND THIS EVENING...COULD BE SWEPT AWAY OVERNIGHT.

HIGHS IN THE 30 TO 35F RANGE FOR MOST TODAY...WITH LOWS TONIGHT IN
THE LOWER 30S TO AS LOW AS THE MIDDLE 20S IN NE LOWER.

&&

.SHORT TERM...(MONDAY THROUGH TUESDAY)
ISSUED AT 231 AM EST SUN DEC 21 2014

HIGH IMPACT WEATHER POTENTIAL: SMALL RISK FOR SOME LOCALIZED
FREEZING RAIN IN SPOTS AT THE ONSET OF PRECIP MONDAY
NIGHT...OTHERWISE NOTHING OF NOTE.

PART 1 OF OUR WEEK-LONG STORM SYSTEM OF INTEREST IS SET TO ARRIVE
FOR THE START OF THE CHRISTMAS WEEK WITH THINGS ALREADY WELL SET IN
MOTION UPSTREAM. EARLY MORNING ANALYSIS REVEALS A DEEPENING CLOSED
LOW OVER EASTERN RUSSIA WITH DOWNSTREAM ADDITIONAL DEEP TROUGHING
SOUTH OF THE ALEUTIANS...DRIVING QUITE THE NOTABLY STRONG JET CORE
(GOES WINDS ESTIMATED AROUND 180 KNOTS) TOWARD THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
COAST. FIRST "PIECE" OF THIS JET IS COMING ASHORE AT THE MOMENT AND
WILL INTERACT WITH EXISTING WEAKISH NORTHERN STREAM TROUGHING FROM
SOUTH CENTRAL CANADA DOWN THROUGH THE NORTHERN PLAINS TO CARVE OUT A
MODEST MID LEVEL CLOSED CYCLONE OVER THE UPPER MISSISSIPPI VALLEY
INTO MONDAY NIGHT. THIS FEATURE IS WELL AGREED-UPON BY JUST ABOUT
ALL AVAILABLE GUIDANCE...WITH LITTLE IN THE WAY OF ANY DISCERNIBLE
TRENDS NOTED THE PAST 36 HOURS. AS SUCH...CONFIDENCE IS RATHER HIGH
REGARDING THE EVOLUTION OF OUR LOCAL WEATHER INTO TUESDAY NIGHT
(SOMETHING THAT CANNOT BE SAID INTO MIDWEEK).

NORTHERN MICHIGAN SORT OF SITS IN NO MAN`S LAND FOR MOST OF MONDAY
AS WE SEE MODEST DRYING IN THE WAKE OF SUNDAY NIGHT`S WEAK SHORTWAVE
PASSING THROUGH THE U.P....ALL WHILE WE AWAIT STRONGER UPSTREAM
HEIGHT FALLS UNDERWAY TO OUR WEST. AS SUCH...JUST CAN`T SEE MUCH IN
THE WAY OF ANY PRECIP THREAT FOR ANY AREA...SAVE FOR MAYBE A FEW
LINGERING FLURRIES NORTH OF THE STRAITS VERY EARLY ON. INSTEAD THERE
MAY ACTUALLY BE A LITTLE FILTERED SUN AS THE DEEPER LOW LEVEL
MOISTURE GETS PUNTED NORTH WHILE WEE ONLY SOME THICKER MID/HIGH
CLOUDS ROLL OVERHEAD.

THAT WILL ALL CHANGE MONDAY EVENING AND NIGHT AS THE CLOSING SYSTEM
TO OUR WEST NUDGES EAST...WITH ENHANCED MID LEVEL DIFLUENCE
COMPLIMENTED BY A NICE SLUG OF DEEPER LAYER WARM ADVECTION ASCENT
AND EVEN SOME EXIT REGION JET SUPPORT TO DRIVE A BAND OF PRECIP FROM
THE MID MISS VALLEY NORTH INTO OUR NECK OF THE WOODS. DEEPENING GULF
TAP WILL HELP MATTERS TO SOME EXTENT...WITH PWAT VALUES CLIMBING UP
TOWARD 0.60 INCHES...THOUGH NOTHING TERRIBLY IMPRESSIVE FOR THIS
TIME OF YEAR. FROM A THERMAL REGIME/PRECIP TYPE PERSPECTIVE...
WARMING LOW LEVELS VIA STRENGTHENING WARM ADVECTION MAKE FOR A
CLASSIC "LIQUID" LOOK TO THE PRECIP...WITH A STRONG WARM NOSE OF 2-
4C FROM 800-925MB...MORE THAN SUFFICIENT TO MELT ANY SNOW ALOFT.
THAT THERMAL REGIME WILL BE INITIALLY A BIT COLDER TO THE NORTH THE
FIRST PART OF THE NIGHT...SUCH THAT EASTERN UPPER MAY GET IN ON A
PERIOD OF SOME SNOW BEFORE SAID WARM NOSE WINS THE BATTLE...BUT
DON`T FORESEE ANY BIG TIME ACCUMULATION AS BOUNDARY LAYER/SURFACE
TEMPS WILL BE MARGINAL TO BEGIN WITH. SPEAKING OF WHICH...CAN`T
TOTALLY RULE OUT A BRIEF PERIOD OF FREEZING RAIN FOR THE HIGHER
TERRAIN OF NORTHERN LOWER...WHERE SURFACE TEMPS WILL LIKELY BE RIGHT
AROUND 32F. IN ADDITION...WITH PRECIP COMING AT NIGHT AND BACK ROADS
IN MANY SPOTS SNOW COVERED...COULD BE LOOKING AT OUR CLASSIC CASE OF
FROZEN BACK ROADS WHILE SURFACE TEMPS CLIMB INTO THE 30S.

PRECIP SHOULD END FROM SOUTH TO NORTH INTO TUESDAY AS PRONOUNCED MID
LEVEL DRY SLOTTING ARRIVES WITH A LOSS OF FORCING...WITH MAYBE A
LITTLE DRIZZLE AS WE ARRIVE IN THE "WARM" SECTOR...SUCH AS IT IS.
DESPITE WARMTH ALOFT...DON`T SEE SURFACE TEMPS BEING OVERLY WARM
(MAINLY IN THE 30S) WITH A SHARP INVERSION AND LIKELY STILL A GOOD
CHUNK OF LOW CLOUDS STUCK ACROSS THE AREA. WITH DEW POINTS CLIMBING
ABOVE FREEZING THOUGH...AREAS OF OR EVEN WIDESPREAD FOG SHOULD BE
COMMON ACROSS THE AREA BOTH MONDAY NIGHT AND TUESDAY.

&&

.LONG TERM...(TUESDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY)
ISSUED AT 413 PM EST SAT DEC 20 2014

PART 2 OF OUR STORM: WILL SANTA DELIVER FOR THE SNOW LOVERS NEAR
CHRISTMAS...OR WILL THE GRINCH WIN OUT THIS YEAR? THAT IS THE
MILLION DOLLAR QUESTION AS WE HEAD INTO MIDWEEK...WITH 00Z GUIDANCE
SUITE CONTINUING TO OFFER AN EVEN LARGER PLETHORA OF SOLUTIONS AS TO
JUST HOW THIS WILL ALL UNFOLD. THE KEY TO THIS PERIOD REMAINS THE
TRUE STRONG JET CORE AND EMBEDDED STRONG SHORTWAVE ENERGY ALREADY
WELL EVIDENT OVER THE SOUTHERN GULF OF ALASKA. THIS ENERGY WILL PLOW
ASHORE IN THE STRONG PACIFIC "FIRE HOSE" PATTERN...DIVING THROUGH
THE CENTRAL CONUS TROUGH AND HELPING FURTHER AMPLIFY THE UPPER
PATTERN ON THE HEELS OF 150+ KNOTS OF UPPER JET HELP DIVING TOWARD
NORTHERN MEXICO. HATE TO TRY TO ESTABLISH ANY TRENDS EVEN AT THIS
JUNCTURE...BUT MY GUT FEELING BASED ON HISTORY AND GUIDANCE TRENDS
IS THAT WE ARE LOOKING AT A STRONGLY DIGGING SYSTEM...SUFFICIENT TO
SLOW THINGS DOWN QUITE A BIT AS WE PUSH TOWARD CHRISTMAS.

THE SHEER AMOUNT OF JET ENERGY STRONGLY ARGUES IN THAT DIRECTION AS
DOES HISTORY OF SUCH SETUPS... WITH MANY ANALOGS (THOUGH STILL NO
BIG MATCHES) SUGGESTING SHORTWAVE ENERGY CROSSING AS FAR SOUTH AS
THE NORTHERN GULF OF MEXICO BEFORE WRAPPING INTO THE EXISTING MID-
CONUS UPPER TROUGH. THAT SETUP ALONE HAS TO GIVE ONE PAUSE AS IT AT
LEAST OPENS THE DOOR FOR RAPIDLY DEEPENING CYCLOGENESIS SOMEWHERE
NEAR THE GULF...LIFTING NORTH AND EITHER WRAPPING BACK BENEATH THE
PRIMARY MID LEVEL CYCLONE...OR BEING SLING-SHOTTED NORTHWARD QUICKLY
INTO CANADA. AND THE ONLY DIFFERENCE IS A SLIGHT CHANGE IN TIMING!!
SHOULD THE UPPER WAVE (YET TO BE WELL MODELED ON THE UPPER AIR
NETWORK I MIGHT ADD) SLOW DOWN AND DIG BY JUST 6-12 MORE HOURS...
THIS WHOLE BOMBOGENESIS THING MAY BE AWASH...AS HAS BEEN HINTED AT
BY A NUMBER OF GEFS/EPS/NAEFS MEMBERS OVER THE PAST FEW DAYS...
THOUGH OF COURSE MANY OPERATIONAL RUNS STILL SHOW QUITE THE SLEW OF
DIFFERING OPINIONS...INCLUDING THE EURO CAVING WITH ITS CONTINUITY
RECENTLY. IN ALL HONESTY...THIS REMAINS A VERY FLUID SITUATION...
WITH CHANGES STILL TO BE EXPECTED. HOWEVER...CONFIDENCE IS BEGINNING
TO INCREASE THAT THIS SYSTEM AT LEAST HAS THE POTENTIAL TO BE A BIT
OF A DUD ACROSS THE GREAT LAKES.

WITH ALL OF THAT SAID...REALLY NOT SURE HOW TO PLAY THE TUESDAY
NIGHT/WEDNESDAY PORTION OF THE FORECAST...OR EVEN INTO CHRISTMAS DAY
FOR THAT MATTER...WITH A WHOLE SMORGASBORD OF POSSIBILITIES.
AGAIN...GUT FEELING HAS TO KICK IN SOMEWHERE...AND SUSPECT THAT THE
NORTHERN STREAM WAVE INITIALLY WILL BE IN THE STRONGER CAMP OF
POSSIBILITIES...OPENING THE DOOR THAT OUR SECONDARY WAVE MAY WELL
END UP FARTHER EAST. CURRENT FORECAST HAS CATEGORICAL POPS GOING FOR
THOSE PERIODS...AND EVEN IF WE SEE AN EASTERLY SOLUTION VERIFY...
HAVE TO BELIEVE THERE WILL BE PERIODS OF RAIN ROTATING BACK INTO THE
AREA BENEATH THE INITIAL UPPER TROUGH AS IT MEANDERS TOWARD THE
GREAT LAKES. SHOULD ENOUGH COLD AIR BLEED INTO THE DEVELOPING SYSTEM
OFF TO OUR WEST...CAN SEE A TRANSITION FROM WEST TO EAST TO SOME
SNOW INTO WEDNESDAY EVENING...BUT WITH LIMITED WRAPAROUND PRECIP FOR
CHRISTMAS MORNING AS THE FASTER DEPARTURE OF OUR SYSTEM THINS
MOISTURE QUICKLY. STILL WORTH AT LEAST A CHANCE MENTION...BUT WINDS
MAY NOT TURN OUT ALL THAT BAD WITH AN EASTWARD TREND EITHER...AS THE
TIGHTER GRADIENT ENDS UP IN ONTARIO OR QUEBEC. THIS WHOLE FORECAST
IS REALLY JUST A MESS...WITH ADDITIONAL CHANGES LIKELY OVER THE NEXT
48 HOURS...INCLUDING THE POSSIBILITY THAT PRECIP CHANCES MAY BE
YANKED ALTOGETHER INTO MIDWEEK IF MORE EASTERLY SOLUTIONS COME TO
FRUITION.

REGARDLESS OF HOW THIS WHOLE CHRISTMAS STORM THING SHAKES OUT...ONE
THING LOOKS MORE CERTAIN. ANY COLD ADVECTION IN ITS WAKE WILL BE
LIMITED AS THE REALLY COLD AIR BUILDS INTO WEST-CENTRAL CANADA AND
OUR FLOW STAYS PROGRESS. THAT MAY OPEN THE DOOR TO ANOTHER SYSTEM
EMERGING FROM THE SOUTHERN PLAINS INTO NEXT WEEKEND...BUT WITH
ANOTHER HUGE RANGE OF SOLUTIONS MODELED AT THIS POINT...ALL THE WAY
FROM ANOTHER RAIN MAKER HERE TO A SIGNIFICANT SNOW STORM. DON`T WANT
TO EVEN HAZARD A TRUE GUESS JUST YET ABOUT THAT ONE...BUT AM
BECOMING INCREASINGLY CONVINCED THAT A MORE DRAMATIC PATTERN CHANGE
WILL TAKE SHAPE BEYOND THE CURRENT FORECAST PERIOD. AS SUCH...SNOW
LOVERS - DON`T LOSE HOPE JUST YET.

&&

.AVIATION...(FOR THE 12Z TAFS THROUGH 12Z MONDAY MORNING)
ISSUED AT 603 AM EST SUN DEC 21 2014

...MORE MVFR AND SOME MORNING LIGHT FOG...

THE DIFFICULT STRATUS FORECAST CONTINUES. STRATUS HAS WORKED IT`S
WAY ACROSS ALL OF NRN MICHIGAN OVERNIGHT...WITH MAINLY VFR CIGS.
HOWEVER...DEEPER LOW LEVEL MOISTURE HAS WORKED UP INTO THE MBL
AREA...AND WILL CONTINUE PRESSING UP THROUGH NW LOWER. THIS IS
EXPECTED TO LEAD TO MAINLY MVFR CIGS THROUGH MUCH OF THE DAY. A
LITTLE BIT TOUGHER AT APN...PERTAINING TO DURATION OF MVFR AND
COVERAGE...BUT BELIEVE THEY WILL GET IN ON IT FOR AT LEAST AWHILE
BY MIDDAY/EARLY AFTERNOON. THERE COULD ALSO BE SOME BRIEF
FLURRIES AND/OR DRIZZLE/FREEZING DRIZZLE ACROSS THE NW LOWER TAFS.
LOW LEVEL DRIER AIR THEN FILLS IN THIS EVENING BEHIND A WARM
FRONT WITH ALL TAFS PROBABLY GOING TO VFR...LEAVING A DECK OF
MID/UPPER CLOUDS.

WINDS LIGHT THROUGH THE TAF PERIOD...BUT THERE COULD BE SOME LOW
END WIND SHEAR TONIGHT...AS SRLY FLOW INCREASES ABOVE THE SFC. NOT
ENTIRELY SURE OF THE STRENGTH OF THE SFC WIND..AND WILL THUS NOT
INCLUDE IT ATTM. OVERALL CONFIDENCE IN THE EVOLUTION OF STRATUS
AND WS...LOW.

&&

.APX WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
MI...NONE.
LH...NONE.
LM...NONE.
LS...NONE.
&&

$$

NEAR TERM...SMD
SHORT TERM...LAWRENCE
LONG TERM...TJL
AVIATION...SMD



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