Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Chicago, IL

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FXUS63 KLOT 140533
AFDLOT

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville, IL
1133 PM CST Wed Dec 13 2017

.UPDATE...
908 PM CST

Based on latest trends and guidance, conditions are appearing more
favorable for a longer duration of lake effect snow mainly for
Lake and Porter counties in Indiana. Over the last couple of
hours, have been monitoring lake effect snow developing further to
the north, behind quickly departing low pressure. As CAA continues
to spread south through the area, expect conditions to become
highly favorable for further lake effect snow development tonight
into Thursday morning. This will include increasing 850mb delta
Ts, increasing inversion heights, due north fetch, and increasing
low level convergence especially with a weakening surface pattern
very early Thursday morning. Guidance focusing in on the idea of
this current upstream band intensifying as if situates itself over
northwest Indiana. This will allow for up to a 6 hour window of
moderate to possibly heavy snow to setup right in and around the
Lake and Porter county line. In this setup, would not be out of
the question for hourly snowfall rates up to 1 inch. With this
likelihood, higher snowfall totals in the 3-5 inch range seemed
highly probable. This is taking into account possible fluctuations
to still occur in this location. Will still need to monitor for
possible higher amounts, especially if this band were to setup and
remain in one location. If this were to occur, would not be out
of the question for some isolated amounts to possibly reach or
exceed 6 inches. However, low confidence on this at this time.

Under the more intense snow, visibility reduced to below one half
mile at times is likely. This reduced visibility and likely snow
covered roads will make for hazardous driving conditions for the
Thursday morning commute. Conditions will become less favorable
for lake effect snow development by late morning, with snow
diminishing through midday. As this snow diminishes, it should
push away from the CWA. However, its quite possible for any
remaining snow to push back further to the west with some short
term guidance hinting at this possibility. Will need to monitor
this, as this snow could impact southeast Cook later Thursday
morning.

Have issued an Special Weather Statement for Cook and Lake IL for
the likelihood of this lake effect snow band to push through
mainly areas close to the lake tonight into early Thursday
morning. Residence time of this band in these counties will be
lower, however, still expect a brief window of more intense snow
to occur. Minor snow accumulations of around one, to possibly two
inches in some spots are possible. Reduction in visibility and
likely snow covered roads will also make for possible hazardous
driving conditions. Once again, am monitoring the possibility for
the lake effect snow to push further back to the west into Cook
county later in the morning Thursday before diminishing.

Rodriguez

&&

.SHORT TERM...
158 PM CST

Through Thursday...

This afternoon, low pressure is centered near just east of
Milwaukee, WI while a cold front stretches south-southwest across
DeKalb, IL down to near Peru. Along and ahead of the cold front,
there are a few showers moving east across the area. Temperatures
north of the I-88 corridor favor mainly snow while south of I-80
where surface temps have warmed into the upper 30s and low to mid
40s, any precip should be rain. This leaves a corridor of a rain
snow mix roughly between the I-80 and I-88 corridors this
afternoon. Dry low levels ahead of the front does appear to be
eroding some of the precip, so some of the echoes noted on radar
currently not reaching the surface while snow in some of the
heavier echoes is reducing visibility down to a mile at times.
Given the fairly short-lived nature of the precip with the fast
moving front and dry antecedent conditions, any snow accumulation
north of I-88 this afternoon should be limited to a dusting at
best but widespread accumulations are unlikely.

This evening, the low will shift into southwest Michigan with cold
air wrapping into the region late this evening and overnight. Lake
induced instability really begins to ramp up across southern Lake
Michigan after 03Z this evening as 850mb temps cool below -12C.
Guidance has been in reasonable agreement thus far indicating
scattered snow showers moving inland off of Lake Michigan around
this time over far northeastern IL and northwest IN. Some areas
could see a dusting of snowfall mid to late this evening with
these initially scattered snow showers. Meanwhile, LES parameters
should become increasingly favorable overnight into Thursday
morning as 850mb temps continue to cool. A relaxing gradient
behind the departing low should allow convergence over the lake to
strengthen with a single band of snow developing down the lake.
Trajectories initially favor this band to move onshore over SE WI
and far NE IL late this evening then transition south across the
Chicago metro into NW IN overnight. Depending on the residence
time over any given area, would expect snow totals in the half to
one inch range on the Illinois side overnight with the potential
for some very localized higher amounts. Instability appears to
peak late tonight into early Thursday with a due north fetch
favoring Lake and Porter Counties in Indiana receiving modest
accumulations. Strong subsidence behind the departing upper wave
will suppress inversion heights between 4000-5000ft and delta-Ts
peak around 14-15C. This will favor accumulations on the Indiana
side in the 1-3 inch range with again localized higher amounts
possible. This snow will likely impact the morning commute in NW
IN and plan to issue an SPS in the meantime to highlight the
potential impacts.

BMD

&&

.LONG TERM...
144 PM CST

Thursday night through Wednesday...

For the early portion of the long term forecast period,
Thursday Night through Saturday Night, model guidance is in
relatively good agreement on the longwave pattern, with high
amplitude ridging over the wrn CONUS and broad troughing east of the
Rockies.  A series of nrn stream shortwaves dropping through the
fast nwly flow aloft will bring some pcpn chances for much of the
CWA.  Thermal profiles will be cold enough to support snow as the
prevailing p-type, with the main concern being location and amount
of any possible accumulation.  The general shortwave track will be
through srn WI/Lake Michigan/Lower Michigan with the strongest
forcing north and east of the CWA.  However, there should be enough
upper forcing dipping into nrn IL/IN to support some light
accumulating snow, mainly for the nrn and ern portions of the CWA,
flurries more likely for the swrn portions of the CWA.  With weak
forcing and low deep layer moisture in place, any accumulation would
likely be nothing more than a dusting.

For the latter portion of the long term forecast period, from Sunday
through Wednesday, the various longer range models quickly diverge
in how they handle southern stream systems.  The various model begin
to significantly diverge as early as Friday night and Saturday for
the wrn CONUS, but these issues will likely not impact forecast
confidence and concerns until Sunday or Sunday night.  So, given the
model differences, have opted not to make any significant changes to
the going forecast, with a general trend of near to slightly above
normal temperatures.  While confidence in finer scale details is
low, the source of systems impacting the region are of pacific-
origin, thus the trend for generally higher than normal
temperatures. P-type and coverage will be most problematic on
Sunday. While the GFS and ECMWF both indicate srn stream shortwave
energy lifting out of the southwest, which would support mentionable
pcpn, but given the timing differences, will limit PoPs to slight
chance to low chance levels.  There is a chance that much or all of
the pcpn could be rain or a rain/snow mix with short periods of all
snow at more diurnally favored times around time of min temp.

&&

.AVIATION...
For the 06Z TAFs...

Lake effect snow showers will affect northeast IL and far
northwest IN terminals overnight/this morning, with MVFR cigs and
MVFR/high end IFR vis at ORD/MDW overnight, and likely more solid
IFR/LIFR at GYY into Thursday morning. Gusty north winds up to 25
kts (a little higher at GYY) will diminish and back northwest this
morning.

0530Z/1130 PM CST regional radar mosaic depicts flurries and light
snow showers along the IL/IN shores of Lake Michigan, with a more
organized plume of lake effect snow north of the terminals from
UGN-ENW-RAC. This plume of heavier snow showers will move south
down the IL shore over the next 1-2 hours, with a period of light
snow expected at ORD/MDW. Based on current surface obs and high
res model forecasts, would expect ORD to remain primarily MVFR
with snow slipping south of the area by 07-08Z. MDW, a little
further southeast, may see a brief period of IFR vis. The lake
effect plume will then likely become oriented more N-S along/just
off the IL shore into GYY, and is expected to linger for a time
past sunrise. Given MDW`s closer proximity to the shore and the
expected location of the snow band, have maintained a VCSH through
sunrise, with SHSN about 10 nm east of the field. Tougher to
determine an end time at GYY, though the band should weaken and
drift east of there by mid-morning or so.

Otherwise, winds continue to diminish and back northwest this
morning, and eventually west-southwest by Thursday evening.

Ratzer

&&

.MARINE...
144 PM CST

The wind pattern over Lake Michigan will be very complicated for
the remainder of this afternoon and evening as strong low pressure
tracks across sern Wisconsin and srn Lake Michigan and then
tracks south of Lake Erie this evening. A small Craft Advisory
remains in effect for the IL/IN nearshore waters with swly winds
to 30 kt early this afternoon then shifting to nwly by late
afternoon. Winds should remain strong and nwly through the night.
While prevailing gales are not expected, there is a chance for a
short period of Gale Force gusts early this evening when cold
advection and pressure rises behind the exiting low are strongest
and would most likely be confined to the far southern end of the
Lake. Winds should diminish through the morning on Thursday as
high pressure builds across the Middle Mississippi Valley and into
the Ohio Valley. Conditions through the weekend should be
relatively quiet. The next chance for impactful weather is not
expected until early to the middle of next week as a strong cold
front pushes across the Great Lakes region. However, the longer
range model guidance is in very poor agreement on how the pattern
evolves next week, so confidence in timing of this next system is
low.

&&

.LOT WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
IL...None.
IN...Winter Weather Advisory...INZ001-INZ002...3 AM Thursday to 11 AM
     Thursday.

LM...Gale Warning...LMZ740-LMZ741-LMZ742-LMZ743-LMZ744-LMZ745-LMZ777-
     LMZ779 until midnight Thursday.

     Small Craft Advisory...nearshore waters
     until noon Thursday.

&&

$$

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