Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS North Platte, NE

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FXUS63 KLBF 160953

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service North Platte NE
353 AM CST Fri Feb 16 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 353 AM CST Fri Feb 16 2018

There are minimal sensible weather concerns the next 24 hours.
Weather highlights include near to slightly below-normal highs and
light breezes today followed by mild lows tonight. Skies have
cleared across most of western and central NEB. Latest NtMicro RGB
imagery shows just an area of stratus left diminishing across south
central NEB along with streaming mid level clouds across southeast
NEB. Latest mesoanalysis shows surface high pressure reigning over
the Northern and Central Plains with a central pressure of about
1034 mb near south central SD.

The large scale pattern early today will feature a low amplitude
upper level trough affecting much of the central and eastern CONUS
with northwest flow overhead. A shortwave trough will be moving into
the Northern Rockies early this evening and will dig into the
Central High Plains by late tonight. Meanwhile, the surface high
will move into the Middle Mississippi valley today while a surface
lee-side trough sharpens extending from near the Front Range north
into the eastern Dakotas. Despite some warmer air pushing into
southwest NEB and the NEB Panhandle under southwest flow, highs are
expected to run cooler across southwest NEB than yesterday.
Thereafter sky cover is anticipated to increase from late afternoon-
evening from west to east. While western and north central NEB will
see some mid-level clouds attributable to the approaching
disturbance, no precip is expected with BUFKIT soundings showing a
sufficiently dry lower troposphere. Lows tonight are then expected
to read in the upper teens to lower 20s, this is a few to several
degrees above seasonable normal values.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday through Thursday)
Issued at 353 AM CST Fri Feb 16 2018

Beginning 12z Saturday.  The signal remains that northwesterly flow
aloft on Saturday will transition to southwest Sunday and early next
week as a strong northern stream jet dives south and develops a
longwave trough over the western CONUS.  As have been seen with
previous forecast model runs, uncertainty remains on the timing and
overall amplification of this trough, but the gap continues to close
between the ensembles and latest operational output.  The previous
forecast largely holds true that dry conditions will remain with
near average or warmer than average temperatures through Sunday
afternoon.  Thereafter, a strong Arctic cold front will crash
temperatures back well below average.

The eventual mesoscale features with the developing trough continue
to be at odds between the various models, especially regarding
intensity and coverage of any potential precipitation.  That being
said, light to moderate QPF will be expected along the primary
forcing of the mid-level front, which appears to drop into northwest
Nebraska early Monday morning.  Depending on the model of choice
precip amounts vary, but the general idea suggest the
baroclinicity/front drops south across the CWA through early Tuesday
as the atmosphere becomes increasingly unstable in the post Arctic
frontal environment. Again, depending on the model, measurable
snowfall will occur over most western, northern and possibly central
portions of the forecast area before the FGEN become increasingly
frontolytic over south central/eastern portions of the cwa. Light
snow chances may linger through mid-week given the location of the
upper trough and a southwest tap.  Moisture is not overly impressive
with this system, but given expected high SLRs, snow accumulations
may eclipse several inches across northwest Nebraska.  Weak upglide
and saturation below the DGZ in advance of the mid-level fgen may
provide for an area of freezing drizzle across our east and south on
Monday.  This will need to be monitored.

Bitterly cold temperatures are likely early next week with the
potential issuance of several wind chill headlines.  At this point,
Tuesday morning will be the coldest with wind chill readings
approaching minus 30 along the SDAK border.

The synoptic pattern really becomes muddled mid week and beyond with
differing ideas coming from each forecast camp on how the trough
evolves. The overall idea though is that a gradual warming trend is
anticipated through late week as the Arctic high builds east and
westerly/southerly flow returns.  Spotty precipitation may be
possible, but widespread QPF chances appear low beyond early next


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Friday night)
Issued at 1135 PM CST Thu Feb 15 2018

MVFR cigs will rise into VFR categories through the early morning
hours over western Nebraska. Skies were already beginning to clear
over the Panhandle and west of a line from KVTN to KOGA. North
winds will slowly diminish through the early morning becoming
light and variable and then will increase through late morning
into the afternoon. Mostly clear skies on Friday and VFR




LONG TERM...Jacobs
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