Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Central Illinois

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FXUS63 KILX 271104

Area Forecast Discussion
504 AM CST Fri Feb 27 2015

.SHORT TERM...(Today)

A very cold but dry day is on tap across central Illinois today as
high pressure builds into the region.  Early morning wind-chills
will range from 10 to 20 below zero across the northern half of the
KILX CWA, where a Wind-Chill Advisory will remain in effect until
10am.  Abundant sunshine will prevail: however, temperatures will
struggle to climb into the teens.


.LONG TERM...(Tonight through Thursday)

Plenty of challenges in the extended as an active southwesterly flow
pattern brings several rounds of precip from Saturday night through

As a vigorous short-wave trough currently evident on water vapor
imagery off the coast of Washington digs southward, weak ridging
will develop downstream across the central and eastern CONUS and a
baroclinic zone will lift northward accordingly.  This boundary will
become quasi-stationary across central Illinois and will serve as
the focusing mechanism for the first round of precip Saturday night
into Sunday.  A piece of energy will eject northeastward from the
amplifying upper low over the Southwest US on Saturday, tracking
along the front Saturday night into Sunday.  Forecast soundings
indicate a very dry airmass initially, but once sufficient
moistening occurs, thermal profiles support snow across central and
southeast Illinois Saturday night into Sunday.  As surface flow
becomes more southerly, temperatures will warm into the lower 30s
across much of the area on Sunday and into the middle to upper 30s
across the SE CWA.  Precip should remain in the form of wet snow
throughout the day, with a transition to rain along/south of I-70.
As the first wave exits the region, precip will gradually come to an
end from west to east Sunday evening.  Models are in fairly good
agreement with the track and timing of this feature, although a
slight southward shift in the highest QPF axis has been noted.  GEM
continues to be the furthest south, focusing the heaviest precip
across southern Illinois into the Ohio River Valley.  Meanwhile,
both the GFS and ECMWF are further north across the heart of central
Illinois.  Will have to watch future model runs to see if further
southward shifts occur, but for right now, it appears the entire
KILX CWA will see a substantial snowfall.  Exact amounts are still
in question, but accumulations in excess of 4 inches are likely
north of the I-70 corridor.

A lull in the precip will occur late Sunday night through Monday as
high pressure temporarily takes control of the weather.  As the high
moves off to the east, a stronger wave will eject northeastward from
the prevailing Southwest CONUS trough early next week.  Timing
discrepancies still exist, with the ECMWF lagging about 12 hours
behind the GFS.  This could have major implications on precip type,
as the cold low-level airmass will likely be difficult to initially
dislodge, especially given the presence of a fresh snow-cover.  For
now will follow the more consistent GFS, which spreads precip into
the area Monday night.  Forecast soundings show a pronounced warm
layer developing aloft, with max temps in the layer reaching 5-10C
by 12z Tue.  With surface temps hovering in the upper 20s, freezing
rain and sleet will be a concern as the precip spreads from
southwest to northeast across the area Monday night.  As deepening
surface low pressure approaches from the southwest, strong low-level
WAA will boost temps above freezing Tuesday morning, bringing en end
to the threat for icy precip.  Rain will fall through the remainder
of the day Tuesday before coming to an end as a period of light snow
Tuesday night as colder air arrives behind the departing system.  If
the slower ECMWF pans out, rain may continue through Tuesday night
and Wednesday as well.


.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Saturday morning)

VFR conditions are expected through this TAF period (12z Sat). High
pressure will drift over the area today bringing a mostly clear sky
and light winds. As the high pushes off to our east later tonight,
look for surface winds to become easterly but remain light into
Saturday morning with speeds of 5 kts or less with a gradual increase
in clouds above 20,000 feet.


WIND CHILL ADVISORY until 10 AM CST this morning FOR ILZ027>031-



LONG TERM...Barnes
AVIATION...Smith is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.