Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Forks, ND

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FXUS63 KFGF 161816

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
116 PM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

Issued at 111 PM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

Early afternoon update addresses changes to POPs per latest High
Res model well as turning toward more rain vs freezing
rain through midnight. Question with earlier high res model runs
was whether or not the precip would outrun the colder temps,
however the last few high res model runs have slowed down
departure of precipitation. Have increased wet bulbs aloft to
force more rain thorugh 06Z and kept the wintry mix aft 06Z
timeframe, however not expecting much in way of ice accumulation.
Will address this more at 4 PM forecast issuance.

UPDATE Issued at 939 AM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

No significant changes to ongoing forecast at this time. Made some
minor tweaks to eastward extent of morning POPs...however high res
models are bringing in precip earlier in aftn than ongoing
forecast and clearing the east by 06Z to 08Z. Prefer to see more
of the 12Z data before making any significant timing changes.
Latest NCAR ensembles strongly showing a rain event...and timing
of high res models would have precip through us before temps fall
significantly below zero. Challenges to consider as more model
data comes in.

UPDATE Issued at 700 AM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

Updated forecast to add more freezing precip for tonight...mainly
for the MN side. Radar was showing weak returns over Sargent and
Ransom counties, most likely from mid level clouds.


.SHORT TERM...(Today through Saturday night)
Issued at 355 AM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

Flow aloft remains relatively progressive. Water vapor loop
indicated an upper level ridge over the western Dakotas with an
upstream trough over the Pacific Northwest. Pacific Northwest trough
will move through the Northern Plains Fri. Trough is forecast to
intensify after it moves away from the area. Should make for gusty
winds on Fri. Adiabatic layer from below about 875 hpa expected Fri
with potential to mix down 30-35 knots.

Precipitable water was around 3/4 of an inch this morning and will
shift east across the area today. Drier air will move into the area
tonight through Fri night. Wind shift moves through Thu night and
cold front to follow on Fri.

Water vapor loop indicated more troughs in the Northern Pacific
which will approach the area at the end of this period/12Z Sun.
Precipitable water rises again to around 3/4 of an inch ahead of
next system on Sun.

Could see some freezing drizzle over parts of the southwest and
northwest this morning. Little accumulation is expected.

.LONG TERM...(Sunday through Wednesday)
Issued at 355 AM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

The warm weather will continue to end the weekend as a good push of
warm air advection continues. However, a fairly deep surface low
propagating across central Saskatchewan and Manitoba will sweep a
cold front across the area throughout the day. Therefore, the lowest
temperatures (low 40s or so) across the area on Sunday will be out
across central North Dakota and maybe the far western Devils Lake
basin as the front is progged to reach these areas by afternoon.
Areas further east will see more heating throughout the afternoon
before the cold front arrives allowing readings to reach closer to
50, maybe even pushing 60 in the southern valley. Models are in
pretty good agreement with pressure/height fields with this system
but vary considerably on the areal extent of any associated QPF (GFS
much more widespread with the ECMWF/Canadian brushing areas near the
international border). Regardless, any precipitation amounts should
be fairly light and low impact as conditions will be warm enough for
all rain.

Slightly cooler high pressure will begin to build down from central
Canada to start the new work week. Tuesday looks to be the coldest
day of the week with the center of the surface high passing nearby
and 925/850 mb temperatures in the negative teens advect into the
area again.

The attention then turns to the potential for a fairly strong upper
low to develop across the southwestern CONUS and makes its way
across the country for the second half of the week. Plenty of model
disagreement this far out on the track of this system and associated


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Friday afternoon)
Issued at 111 PM CDT Thu Mar 16 2017

Some light rain along Hwy 2 corridor this afternoon before more
rain moves across the northern valley tonight. Will see cigs lower
into the low MVFR to upper IFR range as precipitation moves
through the area, but remaining mid to upper MVFR cigs further
south at FAR. Concern with freezing precip at TVF/BJI in the 06Z
to 12Z timeframe. Will need to monitor this area in the latter
half of the TAF periods.




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