Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Chicago, IL

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FXUS63 KLOT 240946

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville, IL
346 AM CST Fri Feb 24 2017

345 AM CST

Through Saturday...

Main forecast concerns are with showers and thunderstorms early
this morning with additional chances for stronger development and
hail, additional showers and thunderstorms this afternoon into
early evening some of which could be strong to severe, and then
potential for snow mainly across northern Illinois tonight into
Saturday morning.

Periodic shower and thunderstorm development has occurred for
much of the night, and continues early this morning. This
development is largely due to a steady stream shortwave energy
lifting out ahead of the upper level low over the central Plains,
and with strong isentropic in place. With stronger energy lifting
through the area and with isentropic ascebt further increasing,
had continued to see isolated stronger thunderstorm development
early this morning. Any thunderstorm development at this time
remains elevated, as the surface low and warm front are situated
to the southwest and south of the current development. However,
MUCAPE axis continues to shift overhead, while steeper mid level
lapse rates advect across the region. This will continue to
support additional isolated stronger thunderstorms early this
morning, mainly across northern Illinois through the 12-13z time
frame. Am monitoring a stronger wave lifting through west central
Illinois, and have timed to reach the CWA in the 10-12 time frame.
Short term guidance has a decent handle on the current precip
development, which closely matches my time of arrival into the
CWA. With the arrival of this stronger forcing and thunderstorms,
do think the potential for stronger storms and hail will be
possible once again. Timing looks to be in the 10-11z time frame
for areas along the I-39 corridor, and then 11-12Z time frame for
remaining areas in northeast Illinois. Current track would keep
most of these storms in Illinois, however, the tail end could clip
Lake IN and Porter counties.

The departure of this next area of showers and thunderstorms
after 12z should bring about some dry conditions across the CWA
through the remainder of the morning. However, isentropic ascent
does appear that it could continued to be focused over northern
Illinois, along and north of I-88. So do lower pops for much of
the CWA this morning, but do keep some higher pops confined in
this location for additional development. Surface warm front
lifting north across the region will complicate temp forecast for
today, as well as the potential for additional fog some of which
could be dense this morning. Have continued previous trends with
this front with the idea that it will likely get hung up around
the I80 corridor. However, given that it has made significant
progress here this morning with locations across the southern CWA
in the mid/upper 50s, did bring the gradient and higher temps
further to the north today. Dense fog does not appear to be too
prevalent across the area at this time. However, would think that
as the low continues to the northeast, dense fog would become more
probable north of the front in northern Illinois this morning.

Focus then turns for the potential for additional thunderstorms
this afternoon, some of which still have the potential to be
strong to severe. Although the greater threat for more widespread
severe weather does appear to stay to the east of the CWA, can`t
rule out some isolated strong/severe storms given that the eastern
CWA will be right on the fringe of storm initiation. The previous
evening`s upstream soundings depicting anticipated cap to be in
place over the region later today. This will aid to suppress
development, but some eroding of this cap with some warming and
increasing ascent is still appearing possible. Short term guidance
indicating that this looks to erode in the 19-20z time frame with
focus for thunderstorm development staying in the warm sector,
along and east of areas from Pontiac IL to Valparaiso IN. As the
cold front quickly pushes through, it appears that these areas
would have small window of 2-3 hours of observing this development
before this shifts further to the east. Instability axis will be
shifting to the east during this time, but still anticipate
sufficient instability to be in place. This along with very strong
mid and upper level wind field would support organized
development. Despite this small window, still have some concerns
for this stronger development given the strong wind field and even
situated boundaries. Can`t rule out initial discrete development,
but would anticipate more of a broken line to develop. Main
hazard would be high winds, but can`t rule out an isolated
tornado. Once again, convective window quickly ends early this
evening, likely around the 23-00z time frame.

Cold air still anticipated to wrap around this system, and spill
southeast across the region later this even. Column will quickly
cool this evening, and then continue this trend tonight with
frozen precip type becoming more likely. Although anticipated
pattern would suggest that the bulk any precip on the backside of
this system would stay just to the north, guidance continues to
indicate that at least northern Illinois will get into some of
this precip. Given that this this strong upper level center will
push overhead tonight, additional precip chances are warranted
tonight into early Saturday morning. Column will support snow
later tonight, however, the transition period may offer a brief
window of a wintry mix. Cooling surface temps and lacking deeper
moisture could support this wintry mix, before all snow is then
anticipated. Have maintained similar snow amounts, keeping them
minor with the highest around one inch closer to the IL/WI border.
Areas elsewhere, should stay under an inch. Snow will exit to the
east Saturday morning, but highs in the 20s and low 30s with
gusty northwest winds will make for a rather chilly day.




Friday night through Thursday...

214 pm...Main forecast concern is the potential for accumulating
snow early Saturday morning...mainly across the northern half of
the cwa...along with much colder temps. Active pattern next week
with various systems but with low confidence.

Much if not all of the convection is expected to be east of the
area by early Friday evening as colder air spreads across the
region and a dry slot moves across the area in the evening. Wrap
around moisture on the back side of the departing low will move
across the area late Friday night into Saturday morning. Qpf
amounts by Saturday morning could approach a tenth of an inch
across the north...lowering to trace amounts across the south.
With the colder air arriving a bit faster...precip should
transition to mainly snow by late evening and continue through mid
morning on Saturday. While snow amounts have gone up...generally
around an inch north of I-88...trailing to a few tenths along
I-80...there is still quite a bit of uncertainty as to how much
snow may accumulate on pavement. While the ground will be warm...
air temps will be falling into the mid/upper 20s by sunrise
Saturday. If the snow is able to fall quickly and heavy enough...
there could be some accumulation on pavement but confidence is
low from this distance. Northwest winds will become strong/gusty
Friday night and continue into Saturday but there remains
differences as to how strong winds will become. Gusts into the
30-35 mph look reasonable currently with speeds/gusts diminishing
with sunset Saturday evening as a ridge of high pressures moves
across the area Saturday night.

Southerly winds could become breezy/gusty Sunday as the gradient
tightens between the departing ridge and a trough moving across
the western Great Lakes with low pressure moving from the southern
plains Sunday to the Ohio Valley it weakens. The Ecmwf
remains dry with system while the Gfs lifts precip into the
southern cwa and maintained chance pops for this potential. And if
precip did could be a mix of rain/snow but
confidence remains low.

Another ridge of high pressure moves across the area Monday night
as the next low moves from the central plains Monday night to the
upper Great Lakes Wednesday though the Gfs favors a weaker low
tracking through the Ohio Valley. Trended more toward the Ecmwf
which would suggest mainly rain Tuesday/Wednesday with precip
ending before colder air arrives. Confidence remains low with this
system as well. Both models then show a clipper system moving
across the area Thursday night and from this distance...are in
fair agreement. Thermal profiles would support mainly snow with
this clipper. cms


For the 06Z TAFs...

Multiple potential weather related aviation problems over the next
24 hours. First, scattered SHRA and TSRA will continue to develop
and move across the terminals overnight. IFR CIGS also likely to
persist into Friday, likely building down to LIFR. Best threat of
TSRA appears to be west of the Chicago terminals based on latest
radar trends, though additional development is possible, so opting
to maintain tempo TSRA for a few hours to start the TAF.

Continued moistening of the low levels and slowly approaching
warm front favor lowering CIGS and VSBY, with cold wind off the
lake further favoring very low CIGS and potential for dense fog
Friday morning as warm front attempts to lift north. For now, kept
the denser fog potential in a PROB30 group due to inherent
uncertainties in forecasting fog, however synoptic pattern quite
favorable for dense fog north of a strong warm front and MOS
guidance is hitting the threat fairly hard as well.

Latest guidance would support surface low tracking just south of
the terminals, except perhaps GYY could pop into the warm sector
Friday. North of the surface low track, very little improvement in
CIGS expected and dense fog potential could be maximized as
surface low draws closer and gradient weakens late in the morning
into early afternoon. Expect improvement to CIGS and VSBY as winds
back to northwest and somewhat drier boundary layer air advects
into the area. Winds should swing around to the west or northwest
late in the afternoon or early in the evening, but stronger and
potentially gusty winds will likely hold off until later in the
evening with the better push of cold air. Guidance also continues
to show a north-south oriented band of snow moving across the
terminals after midnight, likely resulting in IFR vsby at times.



220 AM CST

An active end of February will continue over the lake. A strong
low that will move across northern Illinois this morning will then
track over the far southern part of the lake this afternoon.
Northeast winds to the north of the low will remain stout, with
gales likely today, especially over the northern half of the lake
where some 40 kt are possible. There will be a period when wind
speeds drop slightly tonight, but then will begin to increase late
as the cold air wraps in behind the low. There is a fair amount
of uncertainty on whether this will bring another period of
widespread gales, though at least occasional during Saturday
morning has high confidence. Have at this time issued a Gale

As for the Illinois and Indiana nearshore, specifics on direction
today get a little uncertain given the low passage over the area.
This is especially true at and south of Chicago along the
northwest Indiana shore. If the warm front reaches offshore of
Indiana, south wind gusts are likely to be close to Small Craft
criteria late this morning and afternoon. Otherwise, the northwest
winds late tonight into Saturday will require another Small Craft

Beyond, a weaker low will pass over Lake Superior on Sunday still
causing a decent pressure gradient over the lake. Wind gusts look
to approach gales during the day Sunday over the open water.
Another northeastward moving low is expected sometime midweek that
could present another gale threat.




     Small Craft Advisory...LMZ741-LMZ742-LMZ743-LMZ744 UNTIL 9 AM




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