Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Chicago, IL

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FXUS63 KLOT 191155

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville, IL
555 AM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

328 AM CST

Through tonight...

Stratus has spread over southern Livingston, Ford, Benton, Jasper,
and Newton counties early this morning and not expecting the stratus
to make it much further north.  Dense fog is mainly south of the
region, and expecting the stratus and fog to dissipate this morning.

925 mb temps rise through the day as the high shifts east. The
warmest temps should occur across north-central IL and south of I-
80. East winds will limit warming along the lake with highs in the
upper 40s to around 50. Otherwise, highs will once again be in the
60s. I have more confidence in Rockford breaking its record high
temp today than Chicago due to the on-shore flow.



328 AM CST

Monday through Saturday...

Spring-like warmth continues through Friday.  The next low makes it
way from the plains tonight to James Bay Tuesday night. Still
expecting precip ahead of the cold front Monday afternoon into
Tuesday morning.  The GFS remains the fastest piece of guidance with
precip east of the region by Tuesday morning. Since other guidance
members are slower, kept a chance of rain through Tuesday morning.
The best chance for measurable rain will be Monday night. Kept a
slight chance of thunder Monday evening as forecast soundings still
feature a little elevated CAPE. Not expecting widespread
thunderstorms nor severe storms.

Not expecting much cooling Monday night, and the record warmest
minimum temperatures may be broken.  Slightly cooler air aloft moves
in, but thinking we will still see highs in the 60s Tuesday. In
fact, I may be too cool with high temps. Wednesday will be warmer
with highs again in the 60s to low 70s.

A cold front moves through Wednesday night and cooler air aloft
moves in limiting high temps to the 50s or 60s away from the lake.
Precip spreads over the region Thursday afternoon and evening ahead
of the next low`s warm front. Showers and storms are expected, but
confidence is only medium regarding how long rain persists into
Friday as there may be a break. Guidance shows differences in the
low`s path with some models taking it right over northern IL and
others have it passing over IA and southern WI.

All models still feature a stout cold front with a cold air push
Friday night. If wrap around persists long enough behind the cold
front, could see some snow, but not overly confident in
accumulating snow especially given rain and recent warm spell. The
big difference will be in temps. Highs on Friday are forecast to
be in the 50s to low 60s, but then only in the 30s Saturday.




245 PM CST

A highly anomalous warm stretch that has already broke daily
records on Friday February 17th and Saturday February 18th will
continue, with potential for more breaking of records. Here are
daily records.

Chicago:                         Rockford:
      High:      High Min:       High:      High Min:
2/19: 65 (1930)  51 (1994)       63 (1930)  42 (1994)
2/20: 64 (1930)  49 (1930)       61 (1983)  46 (1930)
2/21: 67 (1930)  47 (1930)       64 (1930)  42 (1930)

For more, including February warmth on consecutive days, see our
web top news headline or Public Information Statement.


For the 12Z TAFs...

A surface ridge of high pressure currently moving across the area,
will continue to result in light and somewhat variable winds this
morning. However, expect winds to gradually settle into an
easterly direction by this afternoon as the surface ridge axis
shifts east. Otherwise, VFR conditions are expected today and
into tonight. However, low-level moisture will be on the increase
across the area later tonight into early Monday. As a result,
there is concern that a period of low VISBYs and CIGS (IFR/LIFR)
will develop over the area early Monday morning as a surface warm
front begins to lift over the area. Currently it appears the best
timing for this would be after 10z through around mid morning
Monday. At the present, I have added a tempo for VISBYs down to
1.5 miles, though a period of lower VIS cannot be ruled out.
Conditions should improve by late morning/early Monday afternoon.



138 AM CST

The main periods of interest through the forecast period will be
Monday and Monday night, then later in the week as a series of
storm systems impact the region.

A surface ridge of high pressure will build over the lake later
this morning, and this will result in a period of light and
variable winds, before becoming east-southeasterly by tonight.
Southeasterly winds are expected to increase markable Monday
afternoon and night as potent area of low pressure shifts
northward into South Central Canada. While the airmass over the
lake will be quite mild and stable, wind speeds of 25 to 30 KT
appear likely by Monday evening as the pressure gradient
strengthens ahead of an approaching cold front. The cold front is
expected to shift over the lake by early Tuesday morning,
resulting in a period of lighter westerly winds on Tuesday.

By mid to late week, the weather pattern is expected to become
active over the region again, with at least two weather systems
expected to have an impact on the Great Lakes Region. The first
looks to move over the region by Wednesday evening. Ahead of this
low, southerly winds will likely increase for a period Wednesday,
then a another cold frontal passage Wednesday night will result in
northerly winds over the lake by early Thursday. Finally, an even
more impressive storm system could impact the region Thursday
night and Friday. This second storm system could be a strong low
that tracks northeastward from the Plains to the Great Lakes by
Friday afternoon/evening. Given the potential strength of this
storm system, a period of east-northeasterly gales will be
possible into Friday, followed by the potential for high end
west-northwesterly gales (~45 KT) late Friday into Saturday.
While there is uncertainty in the timing and track of this storm
system, this is certainly a storm system to keep an eye on in the
coming days.






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