Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Wichita, KS

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FXUS63 KICT 220517

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Wichita KS
1117 PM CST Wed Feb 21 2018

Issued at 300 PM CST Wed Feb 21 2018

A unique synoptic setup across the middle and western CONUS has made
way for an unusually challenging forecast for central, south
central, and southeast Kansas over the next 24-48 hours. Expect
multiple winter precipitation types across the area at various times
over the next day or two. The over-arching message with this system
is that, regardless of precipitation type that your specific
location receives, the weather will very likely create hazardous
travel conditions and other inconveniences across the region. A
Winter Weather Advisory has taken effect as of the writing of this
discussion as a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain is expected
to begin across the area this afternoon/evening. This WWA is
valid through mid-day Thursday. Please see the latest WWA for
more details.


.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Friday night)
Issued at 300 PM CST Wed Feb 21 2018

Kansas is currently wedged between a large area of high pressure to
our north over the High Plains and low pressure to our south over
Texas. A deep surge of cold air has ushered in sub-freezing surface
temperatures over the entire western CONUS and is expected to
continue to remain in place for the rest of the work week before
finally lifting back northward and bringing some relief this
weekend. These freezing temperatures will play a major role in the
wintry precipitation over the next day or two.

The main trough is currently situated in the southern Rockies in the
Southwest U.S. This system is expected to send waves northeastward
across the Southern Plains, the next round of which will bring
precipitation into the area this evening and into Thursday. Models
show increasing moisture flux divergence across the CWA along with
850mb moisture transport into the region from the south in
association with southerly flow aloft. Though confidence is high
regarding moisture availability, the main challenge of the forecast
surrounds the type of precipitation that will fall to the ground.

Model soundings, especially for central Kansas locations, seem to
indicate that precipitation will likely begin as snow, with early
period thermal profiles completely below the freezing mark all the
way into the upper levels of the atmosphere. It looks like the
largest combination of snow and sleet accumulations (generally
between 1 and 2 inches) will likely occur in this area, though some
ice accumulation up to a tenth of an inch is also possible in
Central Kansas once the transition to freezing rain and a
snow/freezing rain/sleet mix occurs later in the event around

For locations further south in south central and southeast Kansas,
however, thermal profiles indicate that warming aloft will likely
produce a sufficient warm nose in the mid-levels to allow for a
mix of sleet and freezing rain. Though some snow mixed in is
possible early in the event, this is less likely than in central
Kansas and confidence is higher that it will be more of a mixed
phase precipitation event in south central and southeast Kansas.
It is expected that, for the most part, south central and
southeast Kansas will likely transition to nearly all freezing
rain with some occasional sleet mixed in during the very early
morning hours on Thursday. This will lend itself to ice
accumulations of various amounts across much of the CWA, though
the largest ice accumulations of generally between one and two
tenths of an inch are expected in south central and southeast
Kansas along and east/southeast of a line stretching from Marion,
McPherson, and Reno counties. Note that this area also includes
the Wichita metro. This area will serve as a transition zone in
precipitation type meaning that they can expect some combination
of snow, sleet and ice accumulation from freezing rain, though the
ice accumulation is probably of greatest concern at this point
for the metro since its overnight and early morning timing will
likely create issues for the morning commute on Thursday morning.

By Thursday morning around sunrise, the precipitation is expected
to have eased off a bit and transitioned to more of a freezing
drizzle across the entire CWA. As temperatures warm up above the
freezing mark from southeast to northwest across the area, the
freezing drizzle will transition to a chance of drizzle and rain
throughout the day on Thursday before tapering off overnight
Thursday night into Friday.

By Friday morning, all precipitation should end across the area,
though a slight chance of rain in far southeast Kansas cannot be
ruled out during the afternoon with increasing low level moisture
once again, though it appears that moisture availability will remain
somewhat limited and the bulk should stay outside of the CWA.
Temperatures are expected to warm up into the 40s and 50s on Friday,
which should help melt any remaining accumulations that are already
on the ground from the Wednesday evening through early Friday
morning event.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday through Wednesday)
Issued at 300 PM CST Wed Feb 21 2018

Our next shot at precipitation will come during the day on Saturday
ahead of the next shortwave to make its way across mid-America.
Indications are, however, that a pocket of drier air situated over
the CWA will limit precipitation amounts and the current thinking is
that this will be more of a drizzle then transitioning to light
rain. Not expecting much in the way of moisture accumulation, with
rainfall accumulations up to three tenths of an inch in southeast
Kansas with less expected elsewhere.

Following this system, high pressure is expected to build into the
region during the day on Sunday, which will dry things back out and
keep the forecast dry through at least Tuesday. With the upper
pattern becoming more zonal, expect milder temperatures and a
gradual warming trend from Sunday into early next week, with highs
into the low 60s by Tuesday. Early thinking is that the next trough
should begin to make its way through the Central and Southern Plains
by late in the extended period, though moisture availability
looks fairly low at this point. Downslope flow should help
maintain above normal highs again on Wednesday through the
remainder of the extended forecast.


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Thursday night)
Issued at 1112 PM CST Wed Feb 21 2018

Periodic bouts of a light wintry mix will persist through much of
the night across central and south central KS while freezing
drizzle and light freezing rain eventually develop across portions
of southeast KS during the early morning hours. The mixed
precipitation is expected to slowly transition to all freezing
drizzle and/or light freezing rain as we move through the
overnight hours. This will lead to widespread IFR and LIFR
through the morning hours with some improvement during the mid to
late afternoon hours as temperatures are forecast to rise above
freezing across much of southern KS. Low clouds and reduced flight
categories may rapidly return during the early evening on Fri as
light southeast winds return and residual moisture lingers in the


Issued at 300 PM CST Wed Feb 21 2018

With multiple chances of precipitation in the forecast over the
next several days, fire weather concerns will be minimal. Not
expecting any major fire weather conditions throughout the
forecast period.


Wichita-KICT    25  36  28  46 / 100  40  10  10
Hutchinson      24  34  25  44 / 100  30  10   0
Newton          21  35  27  44 / 100  30  10   0
ElDorado        25  36  29  45 / 100  40  10  10
Winfield-KWLD   27  38  29  48 / 100  40  10  10
Russell         20  32  23  43 /  90  30  10   0
Great Bend      20  33  23  43 /  80  20  10   0
Salina          24  34  25  43 / 100  40  10   0
McPherson       24  34  25  43 / 100  30  10   0
Coffeyville     28  43  32  51 /  90  60  50  20
Chanute         27  40  31  48 / 100  50  40  10
Iola            27  39  31  47 / 100  40  50  10
Parsons-KPPF    28  42  32  50 / 100  50  50  10


Winter Weather Advisory until noon CST Thursday for KSZ032-033-



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