Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Chicago, IL

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FXUS63 KLOT 251148

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville, IL
648 AM CDT Sat Mar 25 2017

303 AM CDT

Through Sunday night...

Showers and thunderstorms will continue across the region at times
throughout the weekend with a large north to south temperature
contrast expected thanks to a frontal boundary draped over the

Early morning water vapor imagery shows a closed upper low
centered over central Oklahoma with moisture from the Gulf of
Mexico streaming northward towards the Great Lakes region. Over
northern Illinois, a surface cold front stretches from near BMI
east-northeast to RZL. Temperatures north of the front have
fallen into the 30s and 40s, while to the south, temperatures have
stayed in the upper 50s and 60s overnight. The front has surged
much farther south than was originally anticipated, and
unfortunately models do not have good agreement on how much if any
the front will move through the day today. The GFS lifts the
front back to near the I-88 corridor by mid to late this
afternoon, while the NAM shows little northward progression
through the day. This results in lower than average confidence in
temperatures through the day especially across the Chicago Metro
area which will likely see a 15-20 degree temp difference from
north to south. For now, leaning towards the NAM which verified
better on frontal position yesterday and has decent agreement with
the ECMWF but has a better handle on temps near the lake.

Meanwhile, the upper low over OK is progged to lift to central MO
by mid afternoon and a corridor of more tightly packed pressure
contours on the 295-305K isentropic surfaces lifts across the
region. This should lead to an increase in shower and thunderstorm
coverage roughly 9-12Z across the south lifting towards the WI
state line by 18-21Z. Afterwards, there may be a lull in activity
or at least lower coverage in precipitation as the forcing becomes
more nebulous. Would expect to see at least some continued spotty
activity as broad ascent associated with a persistent diffluent
region aloft and continuing mid level height falls, along with low
amplitude vort maxima emanating from the upper low move into the
very moist albeit weakly unstable environment that will persist
throughout the day. Overall thunderstorm threat is not too
terribly impressive due to weak mid level lapse rates, but
guidance continues to hint at weak MUCAPE <100 J/kg that could
result in a couple isolated thunderstorms given the ample forcing.

On Sunday, upper low is expected to lift to Central Illinois by
midday then shift to northwest Indiana Sunday evening. Showers and
possibly a couple thunderstorms will continue as the upper low
traverses the area, but anticipate precipitation to begin winding
down from the west through the afternoon as the 500mb trough axis
pass through and eventually mid and upper level height
rises/modest ridging builds in during the evening. Still a little
uncertainty in surface front placement, but models in a little
better agreement with the front lifting to or close to the WI
state line through the day Monday which should allow the upper 50s
and low 60s to overspread the CWA.



303 AM CDT

Monday through Saturday...

Active weather is expected to continue through the upcoming week
and into next weekend as a series of lows push across the
Midwest and Great Lakes region. Early part of the day Monday
should be dry and mild, but precip chances increase from the
south later in the day as low pressure lifts from southern
Missouri into Indiana late Monday. Sprawling area of high pressure
will build across the Canadian Prairies into the Upper Midwest
Tuesday and Wednesday resulting in a couple days of dry weather.
Persistent north to northeast flow this time frame will result in
onshore flow and cooler temperatures near Lake Michigan. Local
climatology indicates that temperatures struggle to reach the mid
40s for downtown Chicago on late March days with persistent
onshore flow. Bumped down temperatures several degrees below
guidance near the lake...into the mid 40s but may still be too
warm. Farther inland, still anticipate temperatures well into the
50s. Another low will traverse the region Thursday into Friday but
there is considerable spread among the various models and their
ensembles. GFS races a low to the mid Atlantic Coast by Friday
morning while the GEM and ECMWF deepen the low and lift it across
Iowa and Missouri, respectively, Friday morning. Will maintain
chance PoPs late in the week, but confidence in any details is
very low at this point.



For the 12Z TAFs...

Main concerns are northeast winds/gusts today, IFR/LIFR ceilings,
periodic showers/drizzle which will likely provide reduced vis.

Ceilings continue to lower this morning with IFR ceilings now
approaching LIFR. This trend will likely continue here in the near
term with LIFR ceilings a definite possibility. Then anticipate
these low ceilings to remain in place through the end of the
forecast period. Showers have increased in coverage over much of
northern Illinois and northwest Indiana, with periodic light to
moderate showers providing reduced vis this morning. Have yet to
see any vis fall below 2SM, but still think periodic vis between
1-2SM will be a possibility this morning. Thunder is very isolated
at this time, mainly staying just to the south of the terminals.
Can`t rule out a few rumbles of thunder, especially for the GYY
terminal this morning. However, if this does occur, it will be on
the brief side.



335 AM CDT

Northerly winds in place early this morning, with speeds up to 30
KT over much of the lake. Speeds will likely remain the same with
even the north half observing these 30 KT speeds today, as low
pressure over the Plains slowly moves towards the mid Mississippi
Valley. This will provide continued hazardous conditions for small
craft today into tonight, and Sunday. As this low then tracks
north through Illinois on Sunday, do anticipate speeds to diminish
to the 15 to 25 KT range. This trend will continues Sunday night
into Monday as this low first moves across the lake, and then
departs to the east.



LM...Small Craft Advisory...IL nearshore waters until 5 PM Sunday.




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