Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Rapids, MI

Home | Current Version | Previous Version | Text Only | Print | Product List | Glossary Off
Versions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

000
FXUS63 KGRR 292349
AFDGRR

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Rapids MI
749 PM EDT Wed Mar 29 2017

LATEST UPDATE...
Aviation

.SYNOPSIS...
Issued at 328 PM EDT Wed Mar 29 2017

The active pattern will continue in the foreseeable future. A
mixture of wintry precipitation is possible over central Lower
Michigan both Thursday morning and again for a brief period
Thursday night. Heavy rainfall is possible through much of the
area through the day Thursday. A couple of thunderstorms cannot be
ruled out Thursday afternoon and evening. A mainly dry weekend is
expected after the system move east, but another round of wet
weather is possible going into next week. Temperatures are
expected to be near normal.

&&

.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Friday night)
Issued at 328 PM EDT Wed Mar 29 2017

The upcoming system continues to introduce various challenges to the
forecast in the next 24-36 hours. This includes chances for wintry
precipitation over interior sections of central Lower Michigan, in
addition to heavy rainfall through much of the forecast area and
thunder potential over southern locations.

Despite the system of concern being well to our southwest, over the
central plains, its affects are far reaching. Ample moisture is
streaming northward from the gulf, resulting in cloud cover and
rainfall across a broad portion of the central U.S. Meanwhile,
surface high pressure over the Great Lakes will break down, slowly
giving way to increasing clouds from the west this afternoon.

Mid-level forcing and increasing moisture is expected to result in a
band of developing precipitation through central Lower Michigan late
tonight into early Thursday. Much of this looks to be situated from
I-96 north near/after midnight. The wrench in the forecast is
thanks in part to the dry, low level flow out of the east, which
continues to raise questions with precipitation type.

The northeastern corner of the forecast area will likely be cold
enough to start as all snow, primarily east of Baldwin, northeast of
Big Rapids and near/north of Mt. Pleasant. Just south/west of these
locations, a mix of rain/snow/sleet could fall. The dry layer should
allow wet bulbing to occur with a brief bout of snow, gradually
changing to a mix to rain through the morning. A brief period of
moderate snow cannot be ruled out in the onset. However, the high
liquid content should keep totals in the one to two inch range where
mostly snow does fall.

It is important to note that while temperature profiles warm through
the day Thursday , surface temperatures are ever-so-slightly above
freezing in places like Reed City and Harrison. Freezing rain could
be argued, but the warm nose coming in from the south is impressive
and seems to do enough to keep it all rain until tomorrow night.
Freezing rain may mix back in, but for any decent ice accumulation,
temperatures around 31/32 do not usually lead to high impact icing.
In addition, recent temperatures have consistently been in the 40s
and 50s keeping the ground fairly mild. Slick conditions are
possible, but not all that likely to last. After coordinating with
Gaylord, we leaned away from issuing headlines at this time.

For those along I-96, little or no winter weather is expected with
all rain even further south. Rain could be heavy at times Thursday.
The main surface low finally approaches the MI/IN border late
Thursday into Friday. A surface warm front, marked by a dramatic
spread in surface temperatures from north to south, will extend east
of the low through Thursday afternoon. Elevated instability may give
rise to thunder potential Thursday afternoon and evening, especially
for those near and south of I-94. Rainfall totals could push one
inch for many locations, leading to rising rivers (see hydro).

The upper wave begins to push east of the area Friday afternoon.
Scattered showers will continue, but widespread heavier rainfall is
expected to move east, as well. The silver lining in the clouds is
that all rain should move east by late Friday into Saturday.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday through Wednesday)
Issued at 328 PM EDT Wed Mar 29 2017

The overall weather pattern shows little sign of significant change
for a long time to come (more than two weeks). Expect to get a
significant rain event about every 3 to 4 days. This pattern will
continue through next week and for that matter much longer than
that.

The next major system will be in the Monday time frame. Then
after that in the Thursday time frame. The only real question with
these storms is just how far north they track. The latest runs of
most of the models (ECMWF, GFS, Canadian and the ensemble mean of
the GFS and ECMWF) for the most part agree with each other.
Agreement is such that the Monday system`s surface low will track
south of here. Even so, there will be enough moisture brought
north so as to bring at least some light rain to the area. The GFS
is significantly wetter with that system than the ECMWF though
with over a half inch of rain. The Thursday system seems to track
farther north so the entire area would get significantly more
rain. There could be a thunderstorm threat with the Thursday
system, too.

Our extended East Asian Jet feature is forecast by all of the models
to continue for at least another two weeks. That would keep the
split flow and also continue the progressive upper wave pattern. So
once again expect temperatures (over all) to average close to normal
and precipitation to be above normal for the next week plus.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Thursday evening)
Issued at 749 PM EDT Wed Mar 29 2017

VFR conditions will continue through the evening, but conditions
will drop after 06Z as rain arrives, lowering ceilings and vsbys.
The late overnight period will see MVFR settle in with light
rain, but then toward daybreak expect IFR and even LIFR to develop
in steadier rains. IFR or LIFR will likely continue through the
remainder of the day.

East winds will gust toward 15 knots much of the evening, only to
increase further late tonight and Thu. Gusts of 20-25 knots are
expected by then.

&&

.MARINE...
Issued at 435 PM EDT Wed Mar 29 2017

Easterly flow will keep higher waves offshore through Thursday.
However, winds will gust to around 30 knots, which has warranted a
small craft advisory through Thursday. Winds will back out of the
north Friday and could result in additional hazardous winds and
waves through Friday afternoon, especially in northern zones.


&&

.HYDROLOGY...
Issued at 1158 AM EDT Wed Mar 29 2017

Widespread precipitation is expected across West Michigan from
late tonight through Friday. Basin average amounts of three
quarters of an inch to an inch can be expected. Area rivers levels
are currently elevated from the previous rainfall event...with
advisories in place for Ionia, Hastings, and Holt. While most local
rivers should experience falling stages through tonight...the
precipitation over the next 36 hours will create a new round of
rises to develop. Current advisory products attempt to illustrate
this scenario.

Some of the 12Z model output suggests heavier precipitation than
currently included as input to the river models. These higher
amounts...if they materialize... could produce above bankfull
rises on many more rivers and streams across West Michigan. Those
with interests on area rivers should closely monitor the
situation.

&&

.GRR WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
MI...None.
LM...Small Craft Advisory from 4 AM to 4 PM EDT Thursday for
     LMZ844>848.

&&

$$

SYNOPSIS...JAM
SHORT TERM...JAM
LONG TERM...WDM
AVIATION...JK
HYDROLOGY...MWS
MARINE...JAM


USA.gov is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.