Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Bismarck, ND

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FXUS63 KBIS 221755

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Bismarck ND
1155 AM CST Thu Feb 22 2018

Issued at 1154 AM CST Thu Feb 22 2018

Lowered expected max temps today, as hourly observations were not
indicating the expected temp recovery. Thus highs from mainly 10 to
15 above 15 to 25 south. Otherwise current forecast on
track for the afternoon, with increasing clouds expected southeast
ahead of the initiation for light snow later this afternoon south of
the Jamestown area.

UPDATE Issued at 828 AM CST Thu Feb 22 2018

Arctic high pressure was centered over the Great Lakes with low
pressure developing over Colorado. Clear skies and light winds over
western and central ND had allowed good radiational cooling to
occur, with temperatures still mainly between 4 and 20 below zero
across our area. H850 southerly flow bringing warm and moist air
northward through the Plains states as the Colorado low continues to
develop. Some global and high res models are suggesting the light
snow that we expect across southeastern ND may be delayed by a
couple hours, but in general expect the snow to develop in the late
afternoon or possibly not until very early evening. Confidence not
yet high enough to make changes in our ongoing forecast for this,
but will monitor through the day. Otherwise made some adjustments
in hourly temperatures and blended with ongoing temperature

Bottom line, no big changes but minor tweaks may be needed later
today for expected onset of light snow southeast.

UPDATE Issued at 619 AM CST Thu Feb 22 2018

Clear skies and light winds across western and central ND this
morning. Temperatures were generally 5 to 15 below across the
forecast area, with a few areas dropping even lower. Updated early
morning temperatures to account for this and also lowered sky
cover this morning.

No significant changes for tonights snow with 06Z NAM/GFS. NAM
was a little lighter with overall qpf but GFS pulled it back
farther west compared to the previous run. Still appears to be an
area of 1-3 inches over the far south central into the southern
James River Valley. Winds are not expected to be very strong with
little blowing and drifting snow expected. We did issue a SPS to
highlight some reduced visibilities and slick roads during the
evening commute.


.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 311 AM CST Thu Feb 22 2018

The main forecast issue in the short term period will be snow
chances over the south central into the James River Valley.

Clear and cold to begin the day as weak high pressure remains over
the forecast area. A shortwave currently over the desert southwest
will bring increasing clouds this afternoon and snow to the south
central into the James River Valley late this afternoon and

The shortwave, will lift quickly through the southern and central
plains today and into the northern plains tonight. this leading
shortwave is the initial wave lifting through a digging upper
trough over the southwest U.S Thus the surface reflection with
this shortwave is weak. Synoptic scale forcing is decent, but just
brushes the far southeast portion of the forecast area, but is
strong enough to develop a weak 70H low over far southeast ND by
around 09Z Friday. FG forcing remains rather weak with the
strongest forcing, also to the south of the forecast area. There
does appear to be enough moisture/lift to produce an area of 1 to
3 inches of snow over the far south central, and into the southern
James River Valley, late this afternoon through tonight, with the
majority of the snow falling during the evening hours. The
heaviest amounts (around 3 inches) will be over easter Dickey and
Lamoure counties, with around an inch from Strasburg through
Jamestown. Little or no snow is expected west of a line from
Selfridge to Bismarck and Carrington.

.LONG TERM...(Friday through Wednesday)
Issued at 311 AM CST Thu Feb 22 2018

Another shortwave will move through the mean western trough late in
the work week, bringing another round of light snow into south
central and eastern North Dakota on Saturday. Northern stream
energy with an upper low tracking from the northern Rockies into
the northern Plains will keep a chance of light snow over the
forecast area into Sunday. Beyond Sunday, an active jet stream
remains over the continental U.S. However, through mid week most
of the energy tracks from the western U.S. across the southern
half of the country.

Temperatures through the extended period are expected to be
seasonable, with no Arctic intrusions seen through the middle of
next week.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Friday afternoon)
Issued at 1154 AM CST Thu Feb 22 2018

For this taf period, will continue VFR conditions for all terminals
except KBIS/KJMS. Expect mvfr cigs to initiate between 01z and 03z
Friday at KBIS and KJMS. Light snow will also reduce visibilities
into the mvfr/ifr range at KJMS between 01z-07z Friday. Cigs will
improve to vfr at KBIS by 08z Friday, but remain in mvfr status at
KJMS through Friday morning.




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