Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Gaylord, MI

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FXUS63 KAPX 171703

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Gaylord MI
1203 PM EST Sat Feb 17 2018

Issued at 1021 AM EST Sat Feb 17 2018

Large area of strong high pressure has pushed eastward to the New
England coast. Meanwhile...a cold front extends from Northern
Minnesota thru South Dakota into Wyoming. Southerly low level
flow/WAA is strengthening across the Western Great Lakes in
advance of this front...drawing low/mid level moisture into this
region. Mid level returns are steadily increasing per upstream
radars...with some mid level returns now visible on KAPX base ref
loop as well. Some light snow has begun to reach the ground across
Central Wisconsin per regional surface obs. Still expect chances
of light snow will increase from west to east across our CWA
throughout the afternoon as the cold front pushes eastward into
Wisconsin. Latest near term models still suggest a rather low QPF
event given relatively weak lift and limited moisture along and
ahead of this front. Still expect only an inch or less of new
snowfall for the afternoon/evening hours...with the highest POPs
and amounts across NW Lower Michigan.


.NEAR TERM...(Today through Tonight)
Issued at 327 AM EST Sat Feb 17 2018

...Light snow this afternoon and evening...

High impact weather potential: Up to an inch or so of snow. So
not really.

High pressure is strung out e-w across the southern lakes and
northern OH Valley. Somewhat milder air is slowly pushing back
into the region over top of the high. Increasing warm/moist
advection aloft will eventually generate some spotty light snow,
mainly this afternoon and evening.

Things are quiet across northern MI presently, with no precip and
just some thin cirrus for clouds. Thicker mid/high clouds are
seen w of Lake MI, where warm/moisture advection is more
prominent. This is particularly the case in advance of a shortwave
digging into MN early this morning. This wave swings across
northern MI this evening, with best forcing and moisture for
ascent along and just ahead of it. Still, this will be an
underwhelming snow event, with moisture and forcing not at all

Clouds will increase and thicken this morning, and anticipate mostly
cloudy conditions across all of northern MI by late morning. By
then, there`s a chance of some light snow west of I-75 in eastern
upper MI, as isentropic ascent aloft works to overcome initially dry
air below 10k ft. Chancy pops will gradually expand east across the
forecast area by early evening. Likely pops arrive in nw lower and
eastern upper MI late in the afternoon, and try to push into n
central lower MI this evening. Pops then dwindle abruptly, with low
chances for lake effect snow showers in the wnw-flow snowbelts of
both peninsulas overnight, as drying takes place above the inversion.

Snow totals will be around an inch in eastern upper MI, and in the
nw lower MI coastal counties. Accums dwindle to the east, with a
half inch or less in ne lower.

Max temps today mainly 30-35f. Min temps tonight in the lower teens
(western Chip/Mack Cos) to lower 20s (Gladwin/Standish as well as
Leland to MBL).


.SHORT TERM...(Sunday through Monday)
Issued at 327 AM EST Sat Feb 17 2018

...A Mixed Bag to Start the Week...

High Impact Weather Potential...The accumulating snow in E Upper may
cause problems for sunday night into Monday. However, the mix
precipitation may period of icing Monday into Tuesday. While not
warning criteria, it may approach advisory levels.

Pattern Synopsis/Forecast...High pressure is to the south of the
region, in the Ohio Valley, with the ridge sticking into the Upper
Great Lakes. This moves to the east and is out of the forecast area,
by noon. This allows the next system, which at 18z/Sun is on the
SD/MN border with warm front stretched out across Michigan. The
isentropic upglide will be strong with the system and coupled with
the 80-90 kt 500 mb jet, moving through Upper Michigan and Lake
Superior, will produce snow across portions of E Upper. Sunday
afternoon through Monday morning. There is a brief break as the some
sfc ridging pushes through the region, then the messy weather
starts...which will be mixed precipitation, however, it looks like
it turns to all rain by noon as temperatures warm through the day.
Looking at the profiles in the UP, there could be some freezing
drizzle during Monday afternoon as the sfc temperatures sit around
or under freezing, but there is some drying above the inversion,
where the best moisture is. This continues to be the case through a
portion of the night with the chance of mixed precipitation, and
with N Lower changing to mixed precipitation from rain through the

Primary Forecast concerns...WPC has N lower in the cross hairs for a
few hundredths of an inch of freezing rain, with snow in the UP. Will
have to watch the models. There is still uncertainty with the track
as the ECMWF has the sfc low track further north which would push
the warmer air north, and thus less FZRA. Farther south, during the
same time, the rain could be heavy at times at least with the GFS as
the track would put some of the best isentropic lift along and south
of M-55. WPC has their slight risk for rain almost to Harrisville.
Again, the ECMWF is has a different track for this, and less QPF. so
will keep an eye on this. Confidence is low for this turning out.

.LONG TERM...(Monday night through Friday)
Issued at 327 AM EST Sat Feb 17 2018

...Roller Coaster Temperatures...

Extended (Tuesday through Friday)...Temperatures through the rest of
the week will be on either side of freezing. It looks like there
will be a considerable dry period from Wednesday night through
Friday. So the overall trend will be for the most part, above normal
temperature wise and probably below normal for precipitation.
However, with us around freezing, will expect that p-type could be
an issue.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Sunday afternoon)
Issued at 1203 PM EST Sat Feb 17 2018

Widespread light snow will develop from west to east across
Northern Lower Michigan this afternoon and will then continue into
the evening hours along and ahead of an approaching cold front.
Conditions will drop to MVFR/IFR within areas of more persistent
snowfall during this time. S/SW winds at 10 to 20 kts will shift
to the west this evening and eventually W/NW overnight in the
wake of the cold front.




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