Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Hastings, NE

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FXUS63 KGID 191057

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Hastings NE
457 AM CST Fri Jan 19 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 403 AM CST Fri Jan 19 2018

Today will likely be the warmest day we`ve had since around the
18th of December. We had a 3 day span with highs around 50 in
Grand Island from the 8th-10th of January, but we should reach the
mid 50s today in the Tri-Cities for the first time since the
18th of December. High clouds will be one fly in the ointment that
could keep us from getting even warmer. The MAV and MET guidance
are both calling for 60s today in central Nebraska, but that seems
too high given the clouds and at least some snow still on the
ground. However, we do expect 60s for highs across our northern
Kansas counties today. Temperatures should cool back off to below
freezing tonight, but believe we may be a few degrees warmer than
most guidance values.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday through Thursday)
Issued at 403 AM CST Fri Jan 19 2018

Saturday...It will still be fairly warm with highs in the 40s
in southern Nebraska to around 50 over northern Kansas. However,
the wind will be out of the north or northeast, which is why we
expect it to be noticably cooler than on Friday. The next storm
system will be approaching, but we will remain dry through
Saturday and likely dry through Saturday night.

Potential For A Significant Winter Storm System Sunday into Monday

We`ve been watching this system for a number of days now and its
consistently been looking like a trouble maker for the central
plains. Forecast models are coming into pretty good agreement with
less spread in the storm track by the different models and their
ensemble members. Therefore, despite this system still being
located over the Pacific and not expected to impact us until
Sunday into Sunday night, confidence has improved enough to
coordinate and issue a winter storm watch.

The winter storm watch was issued for the areas where the
likelihood of 4-6 inches of snow is currently the greatest, which
is across the northwestern half of our forecast area. This is
where current model consensus drops the most snow. However,
accumulating snow is likely across the entire forecast area
including our southeast with just less accumulation the further
southeast you travel. It is entirely possible that despite the
current model consensus we could still see the forecast storm
track shift between now and Sunday. A shift further southeast would
put more of our forecast area under the gun for heavy snow
including our southeastern zones. A shift to the northwest could
take the heavy snow northwest of the Tri-Cities. Even now the 06Z
run of the GFS is just coming in and is a little bit further
southeast, which would increase the threat to the southeast of the
Tri-cities. The bottom line is that we expect there will continue
to be forecast track adjustments through the weekend along with
headline adjustments. Our southeastern zones are certainly not
out of the woods on this one and should keep an eye on this

Most of the snow should be later Sunday afternoon into Sunday
night and then is expected to begin diminishing Monday morning
from west to east. Decided to start the winter storm watch Sunday
morning to capture the possibility of light freezing drizzle that
forecast models are indicating will be possible ahead of the snow.
Confidence in the freezing drizzle is lower than our confidence in
the snow. If we do see freezing drizzle the amounts would likely
be light. The ECMWF is slower and lingers more accumulating snow
into Monday morning. Am inclined to believe that the slower ECMWF
might be closer to the truth given a possible slow down as the
system deepens/strengthens. The forecast models are also in pretty
good agreement that this system should be strengthening with time
as it tracks across our area rather than weakening as has been
the case with most of our other systems this year.

Tuesday through Thursday...
We dry out for a few days and do not get overly cold behind this
system for a change. The odds are pretty good that we get back
above freezing especially by Wednesday and Thursday with the best
day looking like Thursday.


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z KGRI/KEAR TAFS through 06Z Friday)
Issued at 1142 PM CST Thu Jan 18 2018

This will be a very quiet aviation weather period with a light
southwest wind today becoming more westerly by this evening. There
will be a broken to scattered high deck of cirrus clouds, but VFR
conditions will prevail.


NE...Winter Storm Watch from Sunday morning through Monday morning
     for NEZ039>041-046>048-060>063-072>075-082-083.



LONG TERM...Wesely
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