Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Gaylord, MI

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FXUS63 KAPX 190854
AFDAPX

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Gaylord MI
354 AM EST Thu Jan 19 2017

.NEAR TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 352 AM EST Thu Jan 19 2017

High impact weather potential: None expected.

Pattern synopsis and forecast:

Early this morning, a minor mid level ridge was over the western
Great Lakes, with sfc high pressure in the Ohio river valley. Weak
SW winds were ongoing in the low levels with stratus locked in over
much of the region. The SW winds were supplying a little shallow
cloud layer warm advection off to our SW in srn Lake Michigan, srn
WI/nrn IL where stratus had been eroding. Good radiational cooling
has been able to offset this erosion process in that area, with
redeveloping clouds seen on latest satellite imagery. Upstream, a
weakish cut off mid level low was circulating over the central
plains, with weak forcing from upper level jetlet and low to mid
level WAA. Scattered showers were seen as far north as the mid
Mississippi valley.

Gonna be a tricky type of a forecast despite little to nothing going
on. The shallow moisture trapped under the strong inversion just off
the sfc is suggested by data to be locked in all day. This was the
case yesterday too, and we cleared out in many areas. There was a
bit more wind yesterday however, and the weak flow we are in will
result in minimal mixing, and the potential for the stratus to be
locked in most of the day (and night?). However, do believe that the
cloud layer/low level WAA to our SW will work it`s way up here
through the afternoon, and when combined with whatever mixing we
get, will help to scour out clouds again. High temps reach near 40F
in many areas. Just like we have seen, radiational cooling in the
evening will likely redevelop stratus this evening, especially in
the NE CWA where the low level air will be coolest. Mid and high
level clouds move in from the SW ahead of vorticity ejected out of
the closed upper low, that is expected to open up and start lifting
into the srn Great Lakes later tonight. The associated sfc low
reaches far srn Lake Michigan, with deeper moisture possibly and
maybe a low chance of a touch of light snow or rain arriving around
Manistee. Fcst soundings show it`s still awfully dry below 9kft.
Maybe more like flurries or sprinkles. Lows tonight in places that
can see some clearing, could go as low as the lower 20s. Most areas
will remain in the upper 20s to lower 30s.

&&

.SHORT TERM...(Friday through Saturday night)
Issued at 352 AM EST Thu Jan 19 2017

There seems to be more questions than answers over the next several
days as models continue to struggle with the details of the
unseasonably mild pattern. A series of weather systems originating
to our south and west will bring periodic chances for precipitation
over the next several days. Unfortunately, guidance is all over the
place as far as the placement and timing of these systems and even
vary on the thermal profiles at times. This continues to lead to a
low confidence forecast.

Friday into Friday night...Model guidance continues to hold moisture
moving up from the south together enough to likely produce a little
precipitation. Looking at model soundings, thermal profiles have
cooled some which brings into question what form any precipitation
that does manage to fall will be in. Although there is a small
possibility of occurrence, do not anticipate freezing rain as ground
temperatures continue to moderate and with surface temperatures just
above freezing. That would leave rain or even a bit of snow or sleet
as possibilities. Anticipate between a few hundredths to around a
tenth of an inch of mainly rain as the parent system moves by to our
west. Highs in the middle to upper 30s and lows in the lower to
middle 30s.

Saturday and Saturday night...Northern Michigan is kind of in
between systems with warm advection aloft. This should result in
mostly cloudy skies with small chances for rain showers. Highs in
the upper 30s to lower 40s. Lows in the lower and middle 30s.

&&

.LONG TERM...(Saturday night through Wednesday)
Issued at 352 AM EST Thu Jan 19 2017

The extended period will continue to feature plenty of
uncertainty. The one thing that seems assured is the continuance
of the mild temperatures. As far as sensible weather goes,
guidance varies on the timing and strength of possible systems
moving by to our west and east (we could even end up in the void
in between). Will continue with the chance pops. Although I think
it will be mainly rain, extended models try to bring in enough
cool air to mix the rain with or even change it over to snow as
early as Monday night.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Thursday night)
Issued at 1136 PM EST Wed Jan 18 2017

Low clouds and fog overnight are the main concerns as the
southerly flow continues to pump more moisture, and enough warmer
temperatures to slow down or flat line the temperature curve for
the night.

Just at the clearing line over Lake Michigan looked to come
ashore, the line stopped as the clouds and moisture continue to
stream north out of Indiana and Illinois. This is leading to IFR
and LIFR category CIGs over the region.

With the winds still pumping more moisture into the region, fog
is beginning to remanifest itself, albeit in VFR and MVFR VSBYs
at the moment. However, think that with the south wind, warmth,
and moisture over the snowpack will begin to bring the VSBYs down
again to IFR conditions at least.

However, both are less than certain, as there are some pockets of
dry air on the IR Fog channel of the satellite images to erode
away the cloud cover. If that happens, then it is possible that
some decoupling and cooling over the region will occur and the fog
could result, anyway.


&&

.MARINE...
Issued at 352 AM EST Thu Jan 19 2017

The pressure gradient remains pretty weak through Saturday with
winds below advisory levels. Light southerly flow will gradually
turn more easterly. Not much precipitation with just a band of light
rain crossing Friday.

&&

.APX WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
MI...NONE.
LH...NONE.
LM...NONE.
LS...NONE.
&&

$$

NEAR TERM...SMD
SHORT TERM...AJS
LONG TERM...AJS
AVIATION...JSL
MARINE...SMD



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