Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS St. Louis, MO
FXUS63 KLSX 030604
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION...UPDATED AVIATION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ST LOUIS MO
1204 AM CST Tue Mar 3 2015
Issued at 916 PM CST Mon Mar 2 2015
No major changes to going forecast tonight. Did delay onset of
higher PoPs but still expect at least some scattered development
within the next several hours so left likely PoPs going for late
tonight. Temperatures are on track indicating precipitation for
the eastern and northern half of the area will most likely at
least initially be freezing rain. Sleet still appears possible
across the far north due to cooler temps aloft.
.SHORT TERM: (Through Late Tonight)
Issued at 350 PM CST Mon Mar 2 2015
Interesting forecast for tonight, as return flow develops in the
wake of the retreating surface ridge. Resultant WAA/lift and
moisture return should mean precipitation threat ramping up as the
evening progresses, generally right over the CWA and in the
residually cold and relatively dry low level AMS. Soundings over
the northeast half of the CWA have a produced warm wedge aloft (as
much as +5C around 850mb) with low levels remaining below freezing.
With the above in mind, the key to the forecast is how rapidly
surface temperatures will rebound after a brief bit of cooling this
evening. Low level warm advection should also be attempting to push
surface temps above freezing with time, but think that this will be
a rather slow process with the existing snow cover and believe that
the evaporative cooling that occurs once the precip starts may
temporarily retard the slow northward push of the warmer air. In our
far north, evaporative cooling processes are likely to cause a bit
of sleet and perhaps even some snow to occur along with the freezing
Although QPF will be quite light, am concerned about the below
freezing surface temps and the cold ground causing icing conditions
on untreated pavement. Based on this reasoning, have opted to issue
a winter weather advisory for about the northeast half of the CWA
(along and north of a Mexico-St Louis-Salem IL line), where the
coldest surface temps and slightly higher QPF will be co-located.
Uncertain as to exactly when the precip will start, but think the
"heaviest" will likely be during the overnight hours so will begin
the advisory at 06z. Will run it long enough to the morning rush
Obviously, additions and/or deletions to the advisory area may be
needed as precip and temp trends become a bit more clear.
.LONG TERM: (Tuesday through Next Monday)
Issued at 350 PM CST Mon Mar 2 2015
Once the freezing rain threat ends early, primary forecast concern
on Tuesday is PoP trends, as warm advection continues lift and
moisture transport into the mid-Mississippi Valley. Hard to get a
handle on exact precip trends as lift is rather broad and somewhat
unfocused, but there does seem to be some model consensus that
highest PoPs will become focused over the southeast half of the CWA
heading into the afternoon and early evening, with the strongest
moisture advection and lift along and ahead of approaching cold
front. Instability looks even more meager than before, so have
removed thunder from forecast.
Winter weather concerns return to the forecast Tuesday night and
Wednesday as next round of cold Canadian air undercuts energetic
southwest flow aloft. The rain over the southeast half of the CWA
will gradually change over to snow across the southeast half of the
CWA as the low level cloud air deepens, and by Wednesday morning
thermal profiles support all snow across the CWA.
All of the synoptic guidance suggests a potent shortwave ejecting
out of the longwave trof over the southern Rockes and pushing into
the southern Plains during the day on Wednesday. Resultant WAA over
the top of the deepening cold air to our south is expected to
produce a band of heavy precip from AR into the lower Ohio River
Valley. Southern sections of our CWA will be on the northern
fringes of this heavier precip. The last 2 days the NAM has been
the northern outlier with this band of precip and this trend
continued with the 12z run...so have continued to trend forecast to
the more southward solutions of the GFS, GEM and ECMWF.
Early indications are that snow accumulations of 4-6 inches will be
possible in our far southern areas, but a very slight shift in the
track of the system is going to have a huge impact on exact
amounts. Coordinated the potential for a winter storm watch, but
since the system is still 2 days away opted to wait another forecast
cycle to see if we can get a better handle on the northern fringes
of the system. However, snow potential will be highlighted in the
HWO and an SPS.
Current timing of shortwave is such that precip should wind down
rapidly on Wednesday evening across the south. Secondary surge of
colder air in the wake of the shortwave should mean clear, dry and
cold weather heading into Thursday.
(Friday through Monday)
Surface ridge to move to the south allowing southerly winds to
return to the region Thursday night. After a cold start Friday
morning in the single digits to upper teens, temperatures to
moderate through the extended with highs in the mid 30s to mid 40s
Friday, rising into the 40s and 50s for the rest of the weekend and
into early next week. Dry conditions to prevail through the period.
.AVIATION: (For the 06z TAFs through 06z Tuesday Night)
Issued at 1149 PM CST Mon Mar 2 2015
Specifics for KCOU, KUIN: Light freezing rain was spreading
northeastward across the region ahead of a lifting warm front. As
temperatures rise late overnight and towards morning, the freezing
rain will transition over to rain. The onset of MVFR and IFR
ceilings has been a bit slower than previously anticipated.
Initially southeasterly to southerly winds will become
southwesterly during the day, then turn sharply northwesterly
after a cold front moves through the area towards the end of the
valid TAF period.
Specifics for KSTL, KSUS, KCPS: Light freezing rain was spreading
northeastward across the region ahead of a lifting warm front at
TAF issuance. As temperatures rise late overnight and towards
morning, the freezing rain will transition over to rain. Although
the onset of MVFR and IFR cigs has been a bit slower than
previously anticipated, upstream METARs do show lower cigs
occurring with and behind the precip. Initially southeasterly to
southerly winds will become southwesterly during the day, then
turn sharply northwesterly after a cold front moves through the
area on Tuesday night.
MO...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY until 8 AM CST Tuesday FOR Audrain MO-
Knox MO-Lewis MO-Lincoln MO-Marion MO-Monroe MO-Montgomery
MO-Pike MO-Ralls MO-Shelby MO-St. Charles MO-St. Louis City
MO-St. Louis MO-Warren MO.
IL...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY until 8 AM CST Tuesday FOR Adams IL-Bond
IL-Brown IL-Calhoun IL-Clinton IL-Fayette IL-Greene IL-
Jersey IL-Macoupin IL-Madison IL-Marion IL-Montgomery IL-
Pike IL-St. Clair IL.