Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Bismarck, ND

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FXUS63 KBIS 170548

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Bismarck ND
1148 PM CST Fri Feb 16 2018

Issued at 1142 PM CST Fri Feb 16 2018

Forecast looks to be on track. Just blended with the latest
observations to capture recent trends. Re-issued the SPS regarding
snowfall Saturday night into Sunday morning.

UPDATE Issued at 943 PM CST Fri Feb 16 2018

Current radar observations and webcams show light snow falling across
southwest North Dakota. Light snow is expected to continue pushing
eastward from Montana and into southwest North Dakota through
tonight. Probabilities of precipitation have been increased across
the southwest to account for this.

UPDATE Issued at 646 PM CST Fri Feb 16 2018

Warm front has pushed through western and central North Dakota
with afternoon highs reaching the 20s and 30s for all but the far
northeast CWA where upper teens held on around the Turtle

For tonight, a weak cold front will drop south through the
forecast area. The frontal passage is expected to be dry except
for the southwest portion of the state where weak forcing remains
within an cyclonic upper flow. Better forcing will remain from
eastern MT into wester SD, but amounts around a half inch are
possible later this evening through Saturday morning. As mentioned
in previous discussion, this area remains within a zone of steep
lapse rates so given the possible convective nature of the snow, a
few locales could see closer to an inch or two in a fairly narrow


.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Saturday)
Issued at 139 PM CST Fri Feb 16 2018

For late tonight into Saturday morning, there is a chance of snow
across southwestern into south central North Dakota as a series
of impulses rapidly propagate across the Northern Plains. Steep
mid level lapse rates may support somewhat of a convective nature
to the snow showers. While accumulations on the whole should
remain minor...generally and inch or less...a few locations given
the possible convective nature of the snow could see closer to one
or two inches in fairly narrow zones.

Tomorrow will be mostly quiet. Breezy westerly winds will develop
ahead of the approaching storm.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday night through Friday)
Issued at 139 PM CST Fri Feb 16 2018

Widespread accumulating snow Saturday night into Sunday with
dangerous wind chills to follow highlight the extended forecast.

The 12 UTC and models continue to favor widespread accumulating
snow Saturday night into Sunday. Most models have come in line on
the timing and track of the system (minus the 12 UTC ECMWF). The
main wave arrives Sunday morning, but ahead of the wave a potent
jet streak noses into the region Saturday evening. This is when
light snow is expected to start developing across western North
Dakota. As the main wave arrives, strong low/mid level forcing
kicks in and snow will become widespread across western and
central North Dakota. At this time, it appears between two and
four inches of snow is favored between US Highway 2 and I-94
Saturday night into Sunday morning. Isolated higher accumulations
are possible where banded snow sets up. It should be noted that a
loss of ice crystals in the column south of I-94 will reduce
snowfall amounts for these locations with a glaze of ice not out
of the question in freezing drizzle.

Arctic high pressure is expected to build across western and
central North Dakota Monday and Tuesday. A period of dangerous
wind chills is expected Sunday night through Tuesday night.


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Saturday night)
Issued at 1142 PM CST Fri Feb 16 2018

VFR conditions are generally expected through the period. A period
of breezy north northwest winds will be possible early Saturday
afternoon, mainly over KDIK/KBIS/KMOT. Late in the period, lower
ceilings will be gradually entering the southwest part of the
state. MVFR conditions are not out of the question towards 06z on
Sunday, but due to uncertainty, will keep VFR ceilings in the
forecast at this time.




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