Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Central Illinois

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FXUS63 KILX 241157

Area Forecast Discussion
557 AM CST Tue Feb 24 2015

.SHORT TERM...(Today)

High pressure centered over the Ohio River Valley will continue to
slide off to the southeast, allowing a frontal boundary to approach
from the northwest.  A tightening pressure gradient between these
two features will create strong southwesterly winds gusting to
between 20 and 30 mph from late morning through the afternoon.
Clouds will be on the increase as the front gets closer, and there
will be enough lift to warrant a chance of flurries across the
northern half of the KILX CWA this afternoon.  Due to partial
sunshine and the strong southwesterly flow, afternoon high
temperatures will be considerably warmer than in recent days, with
readings topping out in the lower to middle 30s.


.LONG TERM...(Tonight through Monday)

Plenty of challenges in the extended...including a clipper system
Wednesday night into Thursday, as well as the potential for a
long-duration precipitation event late in the weekend into early
next week.

Low pressure currently over northern Alberta will dive southeastward
over the next 36 hours, spreading clouds and light precipitation
into the area Wednesday night.  00z Feb 24 models exhibit a slight
northward shift in its track, with consensus placing it near Kansas
City by Wednesday evening.  Low will be gradually dissipating as it
moves further E/SE: however, its more northerly track means precip
will likely spread further north and east into the area than
previously thought.  Still think heaviest precip will be centered
along/north of the 500mb vort max, generally across the W/SW CWA.
Based on new QPF guidance from WPC and using a 15:1 snow to water
ratio, around 1 inch of snow can be expected along/west of a Peoria
to Springfield line with as much as 2 inches possible further west
toward Quincy/Macomb.  Further east, lighter amounts of less than 1
inch can be expected across the remainder of the area.  Despite the
dissipation of the clipper, a secondary upper wave is now apparent
on model solutions swinging into the area on Thursday.  Enough
synoptic lift will be present along/ahead of this wave to warrant
low chance PoPs for light snow-showers, although little or no
additional accumulation is anticipated.

After a period of cold/dry weather Friday and Saturday, things get
more complicated late in the weekend as the upper air pattern shifts
from northwesterly to southwesterly.  It is looking increasingly
likely that a baroclinic zone will lift northward into the region
and stall as it becomes parallel to the upper flow.  Numerous waves
are expected to track along the boundary, setting the stage for a
long-duration precip event.  There are still many questions
regarding timing of individual waves, but general model consensus
points to an unsettled period from Saturday night through at least
Sunday night.  There are even some indications that additional waves
will prolong the unsettled weather into Monday and Tuesday as well.
At this time, will take a conservative approach due to model
uncertainties during this major pattern change and stick with the
main precip event occurring from Saturday night through Sunday
night.  Airmass will initially be very cold/dry, so think precip will
hold off until Saturday night and will begin as all snow across the
area.  As warmer air tries to work northward, precip type becomes a
concern on Sunday.  High temperatures will likely rise above
freezing across the board, with areas along/south of I-70 reaching
the 40 degree mark.  As a result, the snow will change to all rain
across the SE CWA by Sunday afternoon and to a rain/snow mix across
much of the remainder of the area.  Locations across the far north
from the Peoria area northward may remain all snow through Sunday.
As the baroclinic zone slowly shifts eastward Sunday night into
Monday, precip chances will gradually diminish from northwest to
southeast.  The rain/snow mix will transition to light snow
everywhere Sunday night before largely coming to an end on Monday.
It is still too early to discuss snow accumulations, but the
potential certainly exists, particularly Saturday night into Sunday
morning.  Will also have to keep an eye on the potential for a
secondary wave along the boundary that could pull precip back into
the area Monday night into Tuesday.  All in all, the extended is
shaping up to be quite active.


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

Mainly VFR conditions expected across the central Illinois
terminals through the 12Z TAF valid time, however a period of MVFR
ceilings is likely during the afternoon/early evening at the
northeastern-most sites KPIA-KBMI-KCMI.

A clipper system will approach today, bringing an increase in
southwest winds and a few light snow showers, mainly passing by to
the north of central Illinois. Expect SW winds increasing to 15-20
kts with gusts to around 25 kts through the morning and afternoon,
and shifting more westerly. Winds will continue to turn from
westerly to northerly overnight and decrease. Ceilings look to
generally remain just above MVFR thresholds through the afternoon,
however upstream observations in the approaching system are
showing enough MVFR ceilings that MVFR should be a good chance at
northernmost sites for a few hours along cold frontal passage in
afternoon. Rapidly improving conditions after 00Z.


WIND CHILL ADVISORY until 8 AM CST this morning FOR ILZ044>046-



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