Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Hastings, NE

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FXUS63 KGID 230024
AFDGID

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Hastings NE
624 PM CST Mon Jan 22 2018

.UPDATE...
Issued at 622 PM CST Mon Jan 22 2018

Snow is gradually coming to an end in the eastern part of the
forecast area. The winds are still gusty but should continue to
subside through the evening and overnight hours. The wind could
cause some blowing snow mainly to the east of Highway 281 through
the evening.

&&

.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Tuesday night)
Issued at 449 PM CST Mon Jan 22 2018

By far the greatest weather concerns of these next 36 hours are:
1) The final few hours of our much-anticipated Winter
Storm/Blizzard event before it finally departs our far eastern
coverage area (CWA)...2) The first of several days of tricky
temperature forecasts (especially highs) thanks to a fresh blanket
of snow cover that most models/guidance have not yet accounted
for.

Taking a recap of the past 12 hours:
Needless to say, what an interesting winter storm, as depending on
what portion of our CWA you were in, you either thought it was a
"pretty good" forecast or perhaps an "overblown" one. Before going
on, please note that it will be tomorrow morning before we have a
complete list of OFFICIAL storm-total/final snowfall totals from
our network of NWS coop observers, so for this evening we will
mostly only have official Tri Cities totals (Kearney reported 3.8"
and Hastings 3.6", and we should have a total from GI by 6 PM).
However, based on known ground-truth reports at this time, it
appears that the heaviest snow clearly targeted counties north of
I-80, with widespread amounts of generally 9 to perhaps 15".
Meanwhile, slightly lesser amounts of generally 5-8" will be
common across several I-80 corridor counties, along with far
western counties such as Dawson/Furnas/Rooks. Meanwhile, roughly
the southeast quadrant of the CWA (especially from near Hastings
and Minden southward and southeastward), ended up falling several
inches short of expectations from 24 hours ago, with most places
likely ending up in the 2-5" range at most. To put it in the
simplest explanation possible, these lower amounts were mainly due
to a later-than-expected onset of snow thanks to mid-level dry air
wrapping into the heart of the parent upper low pressure system
last night. All that being said, even in the majority of areas
that received less snow than expected, at least a few hours of
true blizzard /white-out conditions (visibility 1/4 mile or less)
occurred today thanks to strong north-northwest winds sustained at
generally 30-40 MPH and gusting 50+ MPH in some spots. So, in
summary, this storm did not work out quite as expected 24 hours
ago for ALL areas, but it was far from being a "complete bust"
either. Again though, perceptions will vary depending on location.

As for the current/recent meteorological setup:
Afternoon water vapor imagery and short term model data clearly
depict the center of the powerful mid-level low pressure center
churning across north central MO, with a classic deformation snow
band wrapping back around its northwest quadrant into the eastern
halves of NE/KS. At the surface, a roughly 996 millibar low
pressure was centered over the MO/IA border as of 21Z/3PM, with a
tight pressure gradient on its backside driving our still-common
35-45 MPH wind gusts.

Now looking ahead through the next 3 day/night forecast
periods...

Late this afternoon/early evening:
As outlined in previous "update" discussions this afternoon, will
continue a Blizzard Warning through 00Z/6PM for Polk/York/Fillmore
counties, and a Winter Weather Advisory for most other counties
along/east of Highway 281 to account mainly for lingering blowing
snow. Headlines have already been dropped for the western half of
the CWA, although at least patchy blowing snow is undoubtedly
still occurring, especially in rural areas. At this time, we do
not anticipate extending any headlines beyond 6 PM, especially
given that actual falling snow should be all but over by then,
even in our extreme east.

Tonight: (after 6 PM):
While at least patchy blowing snow will surely continue into this
evening, all falling/accumulating snow should be over with by
sunset. The best news of all is that winds will slowly-but-surely
subside as the night goes on, with gusts generally easing into the
20-35 MPH range by 9 PM (highest east/lowest west), 15-25 MPH
range by midnight, and only 10-20 MPH by 3 AM and beyond. In the
mid-upper levels, the parent low will steadily depart to near the
WI/IL border area by sunrise. In tandem, the associated surface
low will follow a similar, albeit slightly northward route. Skies
should largely clear from west-to-east this evening and overnight,
although there are hints that especially our far northeastern
zones could remain at least partly cloudy. Although wind speeds
will remain elevated enough to preclude ideal radiational cooling,
did nudge down lows a few degrees to account for the clearing
skies/fresh snow cover, with most areas aimed 14-18 degrees.

Tuesday daytime:
Needless to say, a much less-eventful day. A much-weaker mid level
disturbance will track into the region from the northwest as the
day goes on. Although this wave will certainly result in enhanced
cloud cover (especially northern half of the CWA) during the day,
do not currently expect any precipitation and the forecast remains
dry. That being said, a few rogue flurries may not be completely
out of the question, especially in our west. Otherwise, MUCH
lighter winds than today, generally 10-15 MPH from the west-
northwest with some slightly higher gusts possible. Thanks to our
new snow cover (not to mention highly variable depths of it), this
will be first of several tricky temperature days, as most
models/guidance are not accounting for this snow. Took a best stab
though by aiming from low 30s northeast to upper 30s/near 40 far
south. Obviously no big surge of Arctic cold behind this system,
for a change.

Tuesday night:
A quiet/precipitation-free night with clearing skies behind the
aforementioned weak disturbance. Breezes westerly at generally
5-10 MPH. If not for these light-but-steady breezes, we`d probably
need to go colder on lows, but for now have them pretty similar to
tonight`s values, mainly 13-18 degrees.

.LONG TERM...(Wednesday daytime through Monday)
Issued at 449 PM CST Mon Jan 22 2018

General overview of this 6-day period:
With so much focus on the immediate short-term, will be keeping
this section shorter-than usual. Fortunately from a weather
perspective, there just isn`t a whole lot to talk about. The
bottom line is that this entire 6-day period continues to feature
a dry forecast, and temperatures should average near-to-slightly
above normal throughout.

Precipitation:
While confidence remains high in the going dry forecast for
especially Wednesday-Friday and again Sunday-Monday thanks to
upper level ridging, we will need to keep an eye on the roughly
Friday night-Saturday night time frame just in case some small
rain/snow chances eventually weasel their way into the forecast.
During that time, the next mid level system is slated to cross the
region, but unlike the one we are currently dealing with, it
appears to be much weaker and moisture- starved for our area, with
better precip chances focusing at least slightly off to our
south- through-east. Still something to watch though.

Temperatures:
As mentioned in the Short Term section above, the lingering
effects of new snow cover on temps will be a challenge until we
get it melted off, probably especially for Wednesday-Thursday. All
signs point to a decent warm-up, but have intentionally undercut
raw guidance by several degrees to account for snow cover. Still,
we are shooting for highs in the upper 30s-upper 40s Wed and mid
40s to mid 50s Thurs, so plenty of snow will be melting mid-week.
A very slight cool-down is expected Fri-Sun, but still highs
mainly mid 30s to mid 40s range, and probably some 50s south. Very
preliminarily, next Monday shows a slight warm-up back into more
widespread 40s north to 50s south.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 00Z KGRI/KEAR TAFS through 00Z Tuesday)
Issued at 526 PM CST Mon Jan 22 2018

There could be a little blowing snow lingering at KGRI this
evening, but it should be ending rather early. The clouds will be
moving out during the night, but some mid level clouds will move
back in during the day on Tuesday.


&&

.GID WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NE...None.
KS...None.
&&

$$

UPDATE...JCB
SHORT TERM...Pfannkuch
LONG TERM...Pfannkuch
AVIATION...JCB



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