Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Spokane, WA

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FXUS66 KOTX 231053

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Spokane WA
253 AM PST SUN NOV 23 2014

The mountains will receive another round of accumulating snow
this afternoon and evening. The lower elevations will experience a
mix of rain and wet snow today. Monday will be a relatively quiet
and chilly day. More rain and heavy mountain snow is expected
Monday night into Tuesday. A breezy and wet weather pattern will
persist for much of the week with the mountains receiving several
rounds of snow.



Today and Tonight: Another round of mountain snow is on the way
for this afternoon and evening. The mountains of the Idaho
Panhandle will likely receive additional 2 to 6 inches of snow
with amounts up to 8 inches for the ridges in southern Shoshone
county favored by northwest flow. The Cascade crest will also pick
up a quick 8 to 12 inches beginning early this morning.

The system bringing precipitation today and tonight is moving
inland at this hour (230 AM) into central British Columbia. As
the surface low tracks eastward today, Washington and north Idaho
will be in the warm sector leading to rising snow levels through
the day and increasing south winds. The primary forcing
mechanisms for precipitation will be warm/moist advection along a
warm front and vigorous westerly upslope flow into the Cascades
and Panhandle mountains. Despite the strong frontal forcing, the
models are in good agreement that the lee of the Cascades into the
Basin will be shadowed today due to mid-level, cross Cascade flow.
Places like Wenathcee, Moses Lake, and Grand Coulee probably won`t
see much (if any) precipitation today. The most significant
precipitation will likely occur this afternoon and early this
evening which isn`t good news for folks who want to see snow
accumulate. Places like Pullman, Spokane, Coeur D`Alene, and
Davenport should see precipitation in the form of snow through
early to mid afternoon. However temperatures in the mid to upper
30s will make it difficult for snow to stick except on grassy
surfaces. Places like Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry, Priest Lake and
Metaline Falls will have a better shot of 1 to 2 inch
accumulations this afternoon.

By this evening, precipitation should be confined to the Idaho
Panhandle and the Blue Mountains. Winds in the 850-700mb layer
will veer to the northwest as this system moves into Alberta. This
wind trajectory favors the mountains of Shoshone county, high
terrain of the Camas Prairie, and Blue Mountains. Elsewhere, look
for clearing skies this evening and light winds. Areas of fog
should develop in the sheltered valleys of northeast Washington
and possibly over the Palouse, West Plains, and Upper Columbia

Monday: A flat high pressure ridge on Monday should provide a
break in the active weather on Monday at least during the morning.
Another moist warm front is progged by the models to reach
southern British Columbia by Monday afternoon. There some
uncertainty with the track of this frontal system, but the
majority of eastern Washington and north Idaho should remain dry
Monday. The northern Cascades and Okanogan Highlands may
experience some light snow Monday afternoon, but the heavier
rain/snow will arrive Monday night into Tuesday. /GKoch

Monday night through Wednesday Night...Larger scale ridging builds
in the vicinity of the west coast during this time interval and
alters the storm track pattern somewhat over time. Initially the
ridging is off the coast and allows disturbances to drop down with
a northwest to southeast trajectory and dig into any moisture
streaming over the top of the amplifying ridge and steer it down
to the south and southeast. Such an occurrence is expected Monday
night into Tuesday. By late Tuesday the ridging off the coast
stops amplifying and the ridge moves west which allows the
northwest to southeast oriented storm track and jet to remain
close in proximity to the Southern British Columbia Border and
down into Northwest Montana. The resulting close proximity of the
jet stream and potential and models hinting at various shortwaves
dropping down in the northwest flow on the east side of the narrow
ridge there is good potential for some brisk gusty winds Tuesday
and Wednesday. Since there is not much if any cold air in majority
of lowland locations for disturbances to overrun a good portion of
the lowlands in the lee of the Cascades and the North Idaho
Panhandle pops are likely to remain high for mountain locations to
the north but taper down to low to no pop amounts due to rain-
shadow development for most of this forecast interval. The ridging
and mixing brought about by disturbances dropping down the edges
of the ridge allow for the bulk of forecast temperatures to remain
on the warm side of what would be considered normal for this time
of year with an exception Wednesday night when a push of cold
Canadian air starts a cooling trend and lowers snow levels.

Thanksgiving Thursday through Sunday: Once again we are faced
with the dilemma that we have seen all week and that is continued
poor model agreement in the extended forecast. For at least the
last three nights the models have flip flopped completely for the
end of the forecast. While some consistency was present for the
12Z runs and the afternoon forecast, it has all been lost with the
00Z runs. So what we have been debating for the past few days was
to buy into the warmer and drier ridge pattern for the end of the
week or take the cooler one with cold polar air dropping in from
Canada. For this forecast package I went with the cooler based on
agreement from other supporting models. The Euro today was the
cooler solution and it had good support from both the Canadian and
DGEX and even the 12Z GFS. The warmer solution this time
encompassed the 00Z and 18Z GFS along with the 12Z Euro. Funny
enough, just 24 hours ago this was exactly the opposite with the
majority in favor of the warmer solution.

The scenario that was incorporated into this forecast was a cold
polar front dropping in from Canada late Wednesday into
Thanksgiving Thursday bringing a good shot of precipitation with
moisture out ahead of the front. How to play POPs here was very
tricky and for the most part they were left unchanged until
models better agree. This would keep the mention of precip for
most throughout the extended, but if the Euro does verify we could
expect significant drying behind the cold front. Precip on
Wednesday into Thursday could lead to some less than stellar
travel conditions for turkey day mainly in the higher elevations
and far north, but due to low confidence I would hold off on
altering plans for now. Snow levels were lowered throughout and
are expected to reach most valley floors (minus the southern
valleys) by late Saturday as the cold air encompasses the region.
Temperatures were also trended lower to near normal by the
weekend, but will also need to be fine tuned once models better
agree. Overall we see a forecast full of uncertainties, but we
will expect better agreement once we get a little closer to this
timeframe. /Fliehman


06Z TAFS: The boundary layer remains saturated through this
evening. Models continue to show a low stratus deck expanding from
Idaho into eastern WA. Confidence is not high on the timing of
when stratus will expand, but it is expected that KGEG, KSFF and
KPUW will see MVFR/IFR cigs developing after 09Z tonight. Another
wet system will bring widespread precipitation Sunday with a
strong possibility for several hours of snow at KGEG/KCOE/KSZT/KPUW
...snow is expected to begin to switch over to rain between 16-19z.
The precipitation will bring cig/vsby down to IFR and even LIFR at
times through 00z Sunday. /SVH


Spokane        38  27  37  32  43  38 /  90  20  10  50  60  40
Coeur d`Alene  38  28  37  33  41  39 / 100  40  10  60  80  60
Pullman        41  29  40  36  46  42 /  80  60  10  60  70  30
Lewiston       50  33  45  39  50  44 /  50  60  10  60  60  20
Colville       36  25  37  30  39  36 /  90  10  10  60  60  50
Sandpoint      36  29  37  30  39  37 / 100  40  10  70  80  80
Kellogg        35  28  35  33  38  38 / 100  80  10  70  90  70
Moses Lake     46  25  41  32  48  40 /  20  10  10  20  20  10
Wenatchee      48  29  41  34  46  41 /  10  10  10  20  30  20
Omak           37  22  37  30  41  36 /  30  10  10  30  40  50


ID...Winter Weather Advisory until 6 AM PST Monday for Central
     Panhandle Mountains.


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