Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Chicago, IL
FXUS63 KLOT 212327 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville, IL
627 PM CDT THU JUL 21 2016
625 PM CDT
Forecast updated to reflect thunderstorms moving south-southeast
into northern Illinois. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch has been
issued for the entire forecast area until midnight CDT.
Next MCS in the "Ring of Fire" pattern is evolving south-southeast
in southern Wisconsin. Satellite has shown continued cooling
cloud tops with as cool as -76C recently. Radar trends show
fingers of severe winds, including a gradually more defined rear
inflow jet approaching kmkx with 80 kt at 2000 ft. On the western
edge this area has not been as progressive, probably due to
capping present on the 00Z DVN sounding. However other slow-moving
cells have been developing and likely will continue to as a 25 kt
southwesterly low-level jet continues to feed into that area.
Overall expect this MCS to progress southward into high MUCAPE air
(2500-4000 J/kg) with at least a scattered severe wind threat as
well as some flash flooding threat in the CWA. The wind threat
will be maximized in any bowing segments and there is some
uncertainty on whether one bow will prevail or if occasional
small-scale bows will be more favored. Such segments may be more
favored to bow due south by the time this area of storms gets into
northern Illinois, as the instability axis is sloped more north-
south due heavily to earlier afternoon storms and associated
outflow. The QLCS threat looks pretty limited but will have to
watch storm propagation relative to the shear vectors and any
ingesting cell interactions. Heavy rainfall rates will be a
definite and most problematic in the western side of this bow
where propagation vectors are weakest. Already saw a quick two to
four inches with a storm earlier in Jasper County, Indiana within
this air mass.
The timing of the storms into downtown Chicago seems most favored
within the 815 pm to 1000 pm window.
340 PM CDT
Will continue the heat headlines as is for the area with an
Excessive Heat Warning for northern Illinois and a Heat Advisory
for northwest Indiana.
Immediate subsidence in the wake of the now re-strengthened MCS
across northern Indiana should keep much of the CWA dry through
sunset outside of Jasper and Benton Counties Indiana which will
have a localized strong/severe threat for a couple more hours.
Residual outflow boundary is draped northwestward from the west
Chicago metro through Janesville, Wisconsin and northwest from
there to scattered convection in west central Wisconsin. There
has been some agitation of cumulus along this boundary but with
the warm thermal nose near 850mb atop northwest/north central IL
and southwest Wisconsin, the expectation is for this area to
remain slightly capped. As for the storms in western Wisconsin, a
short wave helped to instigate these and that looks to move more
east of south into eastern Wisconsin. However, steering vectors
for anything organized would bend propagation more southerly. The
next couple hours should tell if storms will become more organized
there and pose a larger potential to work their way into northern
Illinois this evening, or if in fact just continue to fester in a
scattered state along the surface boundary. Again being at the
edge of a strong heat ridge with high CAPE/PWAT air is a
precarious place to be and one of lower confidence for
thunderstorm specifics. There would be a gusty wind and heavy
rainfall threat with any storms tonight.
While outflow has cooled northeast Illinois, already quick
recovery of the low-level air mass is occurring with almost 90
degrees already observed again in Lake County, Illinois as of 330
pm. Dew points CWA-wide outside of the rain-impacted area are in
the upper 70s with a few lower 80s, and even in the rain-cooled
area remain primarily in the 70s. So certainly a very muggy and
warm evening is in store. It is somewhat uncertain how much
downtown Chicago will recover late this afternoon with still winds
off the lake, but temperatures may actually warm this evening.
Below will note some of the uncertainty regarding tomorrow (which
will be similar to today), but feel the best message is to
continue the heat headlines as is.
415 PM CDT
Friday through Thursday...For Friday and through the weekend,
forecast concerns will remain the potential for excessive heat, at
least for portions of the CWA, and chances for thunderstorms. For
Friday, confidence is relatively high that much of the CWA will once
again see heat index values reach warning criteria of heat index
greater than or equal to 110 F. There is some lingering concern
about early day convection which could, once again, significantly
impact temperatures, particularly over nern IL. Have opted to
maintain the going excessive heat warning for IL and the heat
advisory for nwrn IN, though there is some concern that either far
nern IL might not reach warning criteria or nwrn IN may rise above
advisory criteria,105-109 F and reach warning criteria. Another fly-
in-the-ointment is that even with early day convection lowering
temperatures, there is the potential that temperatures could quickly
rebound high enough to reach Excessive Heat Watch or Warning
criteria since convection would likely have little impact on
prevailing dewpoints and temperatures could quickly rise is sky
cover clears out quickly. A weak cold front is expected to push
down the length of Lake Michigan by Friday evening and then stall
out somewhere over nrn IL/IN. This would bring some cooler, drier
air into the nrn portions of the CWA, particularly locations
experiencing onshore flow from Lake Michigan. This should limit
temperatures and dewpoints over the nrn locations, though the
greater impact should be on dewpoints. So, with upper ridging still
impacting the upper midwest, max temps for the weekend should still
be arnd 90 F, the upper 70s dewpoints should be limited to the
southern portions of the CWA while dewpoints over the northern
location should be a bit lower, perhaps only the lower 70s. So,
heat index values may only exceed 100 F for locations south of the I-
80 corridor. Convective potential will also largely focus on the
location of the weak frontal boundary. The latest guidance suggests
that the boundary should hang up over the Upper Mississippi Valley
through central IL. With pwats expected to remain well in excess of
2 inches through this period, locally heavy rainfall will be
possible and focused the highest PoPs and QPF generally along a
corridor from Rockford to Watseka. The best model continuity is in
a relatively short period of Friday afternoon through Friday night,
so have highlighted this period with the highest QPF and likely
PoPs, with greater uncertainty before and after this period.
By early next week, the general model consensus is that a weak cold
front should push across the region as a series of northern stream
shortwaves suppress the upper ridge to the south, and the main
vorticity track shifts across the Upper Mississippi Valley and Great
Lakes regions. The general trend for early next week should be for
lower temperatures, closer to seasonal normal levels, highs in the
middle 80s with periodic slight chance PoPs.
For the 18Z TAFs...
The concerns with the Chicago area TAF sites are the northeast
winds and how long they will last this afternoon before shifting
back southerly, along with a small chance of thunderstorms through
the rest of this afternoon and tonight and a slightly better
chance Friday morning. Also there is potential for a wind shift to
north-northeast again on Friday afternoon.
The primary storm activity is east of the Chicago area TAF sites
as of 1830Z, with outflow having shifted winds north or northeast.
Based on behavior of the winds upstream, expect the winds to
slowly veer east and then southeast before turning south. How
quick the shift from east to south happens is low confidence and
may take an hour or two longer than in current TAF.
With weak forcing in place and somewhat of a worked over air mass,
am not anticipating much for redeveloping storms through sundown.
Tonight forcing improves to the north of the area along an
approaching front. Some storms may evolve southward into the area
Friday morning, but this is low confidence. The more storm
activity along the boundary the more likely it will help nudge the
front and bring a wind shift to north-northeast.
415 PM CDT
Brisk south to southwest winds will persist across Lake Michigan
tonight as strong sfc high pressure slowly moves off the Mid
Atlantic coast and a sfc trough and weak cold front slowly move
east across the northern plains. Late tonight into Friday, the
weak cold front will gradually move down the lake with showers
and thunderstorms expected along the front. High pressure will
briefly build across the region Friday night into early Saturday,
then low pressure will move across the Canadian Prairies with a
warm front lifting back north keeping chances of thunderstorms
over the lake through Sunday or Sunday night. The low will
continue to Hudson Bay late Sunday with another trailing cold
front pushing down the lake Sunday Night. High pressure will then
build across the Great Lakes Monday and Tuesday.
IL...Excessive Heat Warning...ILZ003-ILZ004-ILZ005-ILZ006-ILZ011-
ILZ012-ILZ013-ILZ014-ILZ020-ILZ022 UNTIL 7 PM Friday.
Excessive Heat Warning...ILZ008-ILZ010-ILZ019-ILZ021-ILZ023-
ILZ032-ILZ033-ILZ039 UNTIL 7 PM Saturday.
IN...Heat Advisory...INZ001-INZ002-INZ010-INZ011-INZ019 UNTIL 7 PM
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