Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Hastings, NE

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FXUS63 KGID 101833

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Hastings NE
1233 PM CST Wed Jan 10 2018

Issued at 620 AM CST Wed Jan 10 2018

Forecast has been updated to include fog for much of the area this
morning as stratus is rapidly developing and spreading west.
Visiblities have dropped below a mile at KHJH, KJYR and KAUH.


.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 412 AM CST Wed Jan 10 2018

Focus is on the return to winter weather tonight. But before the
abrupt return to winter, we will see one more day with warm
temperatures ahead of the approaching storm system. While readings
will still be very mild today, high temperatures are not clear
cut, with varying spreads in model guidance and cloud cover. Have
kept highs fairly conservative in the 50s to lower 60s, but
feeling is that our current forecast may not be warm enough
especially if low cloud cover does not make it as far west into
our eastern zones this morning, where the NAM suggests the
potential for stratus and drizzle.

The weather changes arrive tonight as a strong cold front surges
south, accompanied by intense north wind gusts of 45 mph, while
from the south a closed upper low pressure system begins to fill
as it lifts northeast across Kansas, eventually phasing with the
northern stream trough. What remains consistent with the forecast
and where confidence is the highest is that sharply colder air
will surge south tonight with intense north winds. The timing of
the cold front is on track, with the cold air moving into our
northwest zones around 02Z and the front clearing our Kansas
counties by morning. Temperatures will plummet in the frigid
airmass, dropping to the teens by daybreak and producing single
digit and sub zero wind chills.

Precipitationwise, we may see some rain develop initially, but this
will rapidly change to snow late this evening/tonight as the cold
air invades. As the mid/upper systems cross the plains, an area of
snow will work its way across our region overnight/early Thursday.
Snow amounts remain the biggest question with this storm system as
models suggest the potential for a couple of distinct snow bands,
with most models aligning these bands to our west and east. The
forecast still reflects overall snowfall of 1 to 3 inches, which has
been fairly consistent for a few days now. Snow amounts will be
difficult to determine with the strong winds and the focus for this
winter storm is the abrupt change to winter weather and the impacts
of the snow, wind and sharply colder air.

The winter storm watch in our eastern zones has been converted to a
winter weather advisory, with a winter weather advisory in effect
for our entire area this evening through Thursday morning. This
is a fast moving system with the brunt of the winter weather and
hazardous conditions occurring in a six to eight hour time frame.
Low visibility, difficult travel conditions are expected through
the storm especially in open areas.

.LONG TERM...(Thursday through Tuesday)
Issued at 412 AM CST Wed Jan 10 2018

As quickly as the winter storm system moves in tonight, it moves out
just as fast Thursday morning with snow ending from west to east
behind the departing upper trough axis. Even as the snow ends,
the wind and cold remain with wind gusts of 40 to 45 mph in a
very tight pressure gradient. The combination of the wind and
falling/fallen snow will continue to produce areas of
blowing/drifting snow especially in open areas. Temperatures will
struggle in the frigid airmass with very little rise in
temperatures expected, with readings averaging in the teens/20s
and combined with the wind, wind chill values will be in the zero
to 10 degree below zero range especially during the morning.

This cold spell will last into the first part of the weekend, with a
reinforcing cold front and light snow chances returning again Friday
with a clipper system. And with this, another round of bitter cold
wind chills of 10 to 20 degrees below zero are likely Friday night
into Saturday morning.

The extended models indicate a little more light snow is possible
heading into Sunday with an upper level jet streak and a brief
period of warm air advection. Sunday still is shaping up to be the
milder transition day in between systems with yet another round of
cold air poised to arrive Sunday night and last into the first part
of next week.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z KGRI/KEAR TAFS through 18Z Thursday)
Issued at 1219 PM CST Wed Jan 10 2018

This is a very complex aviation forecast with low ceilings now
that will gradually lift later this afternoon and then fall again
tonight as the snow moves in. Expect several shifts between flight
categories and the wind will be very strong behind the front with
poor visibility in the snow. This TAF is actually pretty
optimistic with visibility, maybe too much so, and could see at
least periods of lower visibility early Thursday morning to less
than 1/4 mile.


NE...Winter Weather Advisory from 9 PM this evening to noon CST
     Thursday for NEZ039>041-046>049-060>064-072>077-082>087.

KS...Winter Weather Advisory from 9 PM this evening to noon CST
     Thursday for KSZ005>007-017>019.



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