Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Chicago, IL

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FXUS63 KLOT 232340

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville, IL
640 PM CDT Thu Mar 23 2017

139 PM CDT

Through Friday...

Initial concern centers around shower chances this afternoon and
evening, possibly even a brief t-storm, then on winds and temps
for Friday.

Cloud tops continue to cool a bit upstream of more organized
convective development across the northern plains and upper
midwest this afternoon closer to the upper level shortwave.
Meanwhile in our area upper level heights continue to increase
this afternoon as was evidenced by our early scattering of clouds
this morning. In spite of the advection of modest lapse rates
aloft, with the dry southeast lower level flow, lack of a
strengthening organized wave, and poorly collocated moisture, the
warm front will struggle to do much over our area initially, but
there hints that that forcing could be good enough to get some
showers, and quite feasibly a storm, with the better chances
closer to Chicago and even more so once it gets out over the lake
and adjacent areas to our north and east. This window will be
narrow for most locations. The better lapse rates may not arrive
with the best precip timing and thus have confined thunder chances
along the WI border and just offshore of Chicago over the lake,
as there is some inhibition even with the most unstable parcels
and most of the echoes are not very deep.

The roller coaster ride of spring will take an uphill course, as
are in for quite the airmass change late tonight and Friday. The
warm front will come cruising on through on impressive south-
southwest low level flow.  While earlier this morning most
locations were sitting with temperatures in the mid to upper 30s
and dewpoints in the upper teens, after warming temperatures
overnight with the warm frontal passage, expect to kick off the
day in the 50s with dewpoints in the mid to even upper 40s.

The wild card to start the day will be any potential stratus
development and the impact on the temperature forecast. At this
point the moisture over the plains is what some guidance is
suggesting will come in late tonight as either some patchy fog or
some very low cloud. NAM/GFS time heights hint that this will get
here and it is concerning given the pattern of a stout inversion
and increasing moisture, but the propensity of short term guidance
(RAP/HRRR/SREF) and lack of precip (unless it occurs) would
suggest the low cloud would be slow to materialize and that some
of this low moisture is overdone. It is possible the lower cloud
over the southeast will work its way up here through the day,
which would also have implications on highs on Friday. Either way,
it will be well above normal, just possibly not as high as 925
climo would suggest, but that 70 degree mark is certainly within
reach. Breezy southwest winds will be in place as well.

The warm front appears to remain north of the Wisconsin border
through the day before high pressure across southern Canada begins
to shove it back south as a cold front, possibly reaching the WI
border by early evening. The upper low that will plague our region
for the weekend will be slow moving on Friday, and with some
shortwave energy kicking out ahead of it, but not appearing to be
enough of a trigger with the front north to do much until possibly
late afternoon.



249 PM CDT

Friday night through Thursday...

Very active weather period the coming week as upper level ridging
in the short term breaks down as a parade of upper level
troughs/upper lows then move onshore the Pacific coast and across
the mountains and plains and into our area through the period.
With such... expect some decent 3 day rainfall totals between 1
and 2 inches Friday night through Sunday (the majority coming on
Saturday/Saturday night) with widely varying temperature spreads
from north to south across the forecast area.

First upper low ejects into the plains Friday night and into the mid
Mississippi Valley Saturday. Expect showers and a few thundershowers
to break out in the isentropic lift ahead of the low/vicinity of the
warm front which stalls near the IL-WI state line Friday night and
early Saturday. Meanwhile a strong surface high pressure area over
northern Ontario/James Bay will drive a cold front south across the
Great Lakes early in the weekend.  As this cold front collides with
stalled warm front associated with plains low... chilly lake water
in the lower 40s will help continue to push the front south. 12z
NAM and GFS runs coming more in line with this thinking and
earlier ECMWF and Canadian GEM solutions.

A brisk east cyclonic flow over far northern Illinois in March
rarely makes for nice picnic weather... and with such a pattern
setting up for Saturday... with periods of rain... expect a
breezy raw day especially near Lake Michigan. Meanwhile south of
I-80 expect max temps to still climb well into the 60s in the
warm sector as the low begins to occlude late in the day Saturday
through Saturday night. Advection of mild moist air over
undercutting shallow cold front and marine layer also sets the
stage for areas of fog... possibly dense in spots... over Lake
Michigan and nearby adjacent land areas in northeast IL given
easterly boundary layer flow.

Expect rain periods to become more intermittent Sunday with an
overall decreasing POP trend as the system becomes more occluded
and gradually fills as it only slowly slides off to the east...
held up by east coast ridging.

The next in a series of upper troughs ejects quickly out of the
mountains and into the central plains Sunday night/early Monday.
Weak surface and upper level ridging brings a short lived break in
the rain Sunday night before the next round of a period or two of
rain moves into the area from the southwest as the system`s
surface low moves into Missouri by daybreak Monday. Seeing the
typical timing and location differences in model solutions by this
time with blend yielding a responsible solution to run with. With
this low following a slightly more southward track then the
previous... a continued NE flow will yield a wide max temperature
spread across the area again Monday with 40s far north and
immediate lakefront areas ranging to mild readings into the 60s
far south sections of the forecast area.

A ridge of high pressure both surface and aloft builds into the area
Tuesday bringing a period of tranquil weather lasting into the day
Wednesday with temperatures near to slightly above seasonal
averages. Upper ridge then amplifies briefly ahead of next in the
series of upper level troughs which at this team appear to bring
rain changes back into the area on Thursday.

Ed F


For the 00Z TAFs...

Aviation concerns are scattered thunderstorms early this evening
mainly from RFD-DPA-ORD. Focus then shifts to gusty southwest
winds Friday, and eventual cold frontal passage late Friday
evening or overnight with IFR conditions and shra/tsra potential.

Area of elevated thunderstorms have developed on the nose of a
strong low level jet across southwest/south central WI and far
northern IL early this evening. These storms are expected to
affect primarily an area along/north of a RFD to DPA/ORD line
prior to 02Z this evening. Precip moves out by mid-late evening,
with low level jet winds increasing to 50 kts above the surface.
Thus non-convective LLWS expected overnight.

Surface warm front lifts north of the terminals Friday, with low
pressure over the south-central Plains inducing strong southwest
gradient winds across the area. Once boundary layer mixes out
after sunrise, a period of 25-35 kt gusty southwest winds
expected. Some spread in guidance exists with wind/gust speeds,
but have trended a bit higher based on potential for higher speeds
noted in RAP/GFS guidance. Gradient begins to weaken during the
late afternoon allowing winds to subside.

Front then sags across the area from the north/northeast Friday
evening or overnight, with wind shift to the northeast and likely
development of low clouds/fog. SHRA/TSRA potential also increases
through the evening as low pressure continues to approach from the
southwest. IFR conditions likely, though timing is of lower
confidence with models indicating fropa into ORD anywhere from
03z-later than 06z. Suspect earlier may be the way to go with very
cool/dense marine layer aiding southward push along the lake.



305 PM CDT

High pressure will exit the eastern Great Lakes this evening and
will allow both a warm front to approach Lake Michigan from the
southwest and later a cold front to approach from the northwest on
Friday/Friday night. In the meanwhile... south winds up to 30 kts
at times will continue tonight behind the high pressure ridge.

As the aforementioned cold front drops south across the lake Friday
and eventually meets up with the warm front and stalls near the
southern end of the lake by late Friday night... a surface high
pressure will build east across northern Ontario/James Bay. Low
pressure will then gradually move from the Plains to southern Lake
Michigan by Sunday.

Brisk Northeast winds to 30 kts Friday night over northern Lake
Michigan will then gradually veer easterly later Saturday into
Sunday. Meanwhile lighter and more variable wind directions can be
expected over southern Lake Michigan given the proximity of the
frontal boundary.

Given mild moist air advecting over the undercutting cold front and
marine layer... expect fog... dense in areas... to develop over
southern Lake Michigan by early Saturday and may persist through
late Sunday as the surface low tracks across the southern end of the

Ed F





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