Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Gaylord, MI

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FXUS63 KAPX 130349

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Gaylord MI
1049 PM EST Thu Jan 12 2017

Issued at 1002 PM EST Thu Jan 12 2017

Not a whole lot to change to that which was inherited. Fast
moving low pressure passing northeast of Lake Superior, with
gradient between this and strong high pressure diving southeast
into the northern Plains resulting in gusty west to northwest
winds. Cold air advection in full force, with temperatures
dropping into the teens and lower 20s. Lake snows continue
downwind of Lake Superior, although lack of deep moisture and
rather low inversion heights have kept intensity levels in check.
Not seeing a whole lot of response off northern Lake Michigan
(just some developing shallow stratocu and flurries), where even
drier air and lower inversion heights reside. Would expect a bit
more response later tonight into northwest lower Michigan,
although limited moisture and low inversion levels will keep snow
showers scattered and of minimal intensity. Just a touch better
parameters across Lake Superior, supporting better snow shower
coverage overnight. Still, nothing too significant for sure, with
perhaps an inch or two by morning.


.NEAR TERM...(Tonight and Friday)
Issued at 335 PM EST Thu Jan 12 2017

...A break in the action...

High Impact Weather Potential...Minimal...some light snow.

Pattern Synopsis/Forecast...Short wave that produced some light snow
across Northern Lower Michigan this morning into early afternoon has
pushed east of our state...with the light snow shield following
suit. Some light lake effect snow showers have begun to develop in
its wake courtesy of CAA and lingering shallow low level moisture...
targeting mainly westerly flow areas across NW Chippewa county and
far NW Lower Michigan. Surface ridge axis and significantly drier
air are building into the Western Great Lakes...but an area of
moisture-starved low pressure is poised north of Lake Superior attm
and will continue to slide east thru Ontario this evening and into
Quebec overnight. This system will boost inversion heights to around
5 kft across Eastern Upper Michigan tonight into Friday...but will
provide little in the way of mid level support or moisture for
seeder/feeder processes. Inversion height will only be around 3 kft
across Northern Lower Michigan...greatly limiting accumulating
snowfall potential.

Primary Forecast Concerns...Main forecast issue is the potential for
accumulating snow...especially across northern Chippewa county.
Compared to recent wx events...this is actually not a huge concern.
With inversion heights around 5 kft and virtually no moisture
above...this area should only see an inch or two of additional
snowfall tonight into Friday before inversion heights fall below 3
kft by Friday evening. New snow for NW Lower Michigan will be below
an inch for this period as inversions heights barely reach 3 kft
thru this whole time. Tonight will be a relatively cold night...with
lows falling into the single digits above zero in many locations.
Friday will also be a cold day...with highs in the teens.


.SHORT TERM...(Friday night through Sunday)
Issued at 335 PM EST Thu Jan 12 2017

...Slowly moderating temperatures...

High Impact Weather Potential: Minimal

Pattern Forecast: Fairly zonal flow prevails Friday into the
upcoming weekend. Arctic high pressure anchored overhead Friday night
quickly shifts off to the east as a subtle shortwave races through
the Midwest/Great lakes late Friday night into Saturday, bringing a
chance of light snow to portions of northern Michigan. High pressure
quickly builds back into the region Saturday night through the end
of the weekend allowing for moderating temperatures and little in
the way of sensible weather.

Primary Forecast Concerns: The main forecast concern through the
weekend lies around Friday night - Saturday morning`s light snow
chances. A subtle mid-upper level shortwave and associated surface
reflection slide across the upper Midwest Friday night, arriving
locally during the pre-dawn hours Saturday. Run-to-run guidance
consistency continues to struggle in terms of timing and placement
of heaviest axis of QPF as yesterday evening`s 00z GFS/NAM are now
the outlier with little in the way of a QPF reflection over northern
Lower in the 12/06z and now the 12/12z guidance suite. This is
likely due to a lack of forcing, which is progged to be a bit
healthier across central Lower along with sub-850 mb dry air already
in place from Friday`s departing arctic high pressure. Not
completely sold that guidance won`t waffle a time or two more over
the next 24 hours, but will hedge toward a drier solution across
much of the area Friday night into Saturday limiting PoPs to south
of M-32 pre-dawn Saturday, trimming even further back to mainly
along and west of US-131 and across eastern Upper for Saturday
morning through the midday hours. All in all, more of a nuisance
light snow rather than a big snow-maker with an inch or less

Any lingering light snow chances diminish Saturday afternoon as
expansive ~1038 mb high pressure over the central plains gradually
builds back into the region. Little in the way of sensible weather
is expected Saturday night through the end of the weekend with high
temperatures moderating into the upper 20s and some sunshine
expected on Sunday.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday night through Thursday)
Issued at 335 PM EST Thu Jan 12 2017

High Impact Weather Potential: Wintry mix of precipitation possible
for Monday night/Tuesday (snow/sleet/freezing rain/rain).

Split flow pattern across western North America at the start of next
week...with confluence axis where the two streams merge back
together lying across the upper Midwest/Great Lakes.  Resultant east-
west baroclinic zone likely to be an area of active weather...
especially as short wave energy within the southern branch lifts
northeast during the first half of the week.

Looking at some threat for precipitation pushing back into northern
Michigan Monday...probably starting a snow but with a definite
signal that mixed precipitation will (again) enter the fray which
will include the possibility of freezing rain/sleet Monday night and
into Tuesday.  This will certainly need to be watched...if things
set up properly this could be a more prolonged period of wintry
mixed precipitation (as opposed to more of a transition period of
snow to freezing rain to rain as we`ve seen in recent events).
Current forecast will not reflect the freezing rain/sleet specifics
just yet (typically try to avoid using these precip types beyond 84h
given sensitivity to thermal profiles/precipitation timing)...but
will be mentioned here (obviously) and in other products.  Midweek
period currently looks quieter...consensus forecast pushing some
precip probabilities for Wednesday though not so sure about this.
Overall temperatures will be moderating next week...with daytime
highs mostly in the 30s through midweek (possibly some 40s


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Friday night)
Issued at 1046 PM EST Thu Jan 12 2017

Gusty west to northwest winds will result in a weak lake response
through this morning. Dry low levels should keep conditions mostly
VFR, although cannot rule out periods of MVFR cigs and very light
snow showers. Moisture furthers thins out through the day,
leaving behind just some high and mid level clouds by later in the
afternoon. Winds will be on the decrease today as high pressure
builds directly overhead.


Issued at 335 PM EST Thu Jan 12 2017

Low pressure will slide east thru Ontario this evening and into
Quebec overnight. Tightening pressure gradient south of this system
will produce gale warning and SCA criteria winds and waves across
all of our nearshore areas tonight. Some light lake effect snow
showers will impact the Whitefish Bay area as well as the nearshore
areas of NW Lower Michigan.


LH...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until 4 AM EST Friday for LHZ349.
     GALE WARNING until 4 AM EST Friday for LHZ345>348.
LM...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until 4 AM EST Friday for LMZ323-341-345-
     GALE WARNING until 4 AM EST Friday for LMZ342-344.
LS...SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY until 4 AM EST Friday for LSZ322.
     GALE WARNING until 4 AM EST Friday for LSZ321.


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