Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Forks, ND

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FXUS63 KFGF 181456

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
956 AM CDT Sat Mar 18 2017

Issued at 956 AM CDT Sat Mar 18 2017

Clouds continue to be the main forecast challenge this morning.
The low clouds briefly moved east of the Fargo and Grand Forks
areas around sunrise, but have since backed up to the west in the
past hour or so. Winds along the Red River Valley have taken on
more of a north northeast component, albeit fairly light. Without
much wind and a fairly weak March sun, there will probably not be
much change in the low clouds until early afternoon. Hopefully by
then there will be some erosion to the clouds. Otherwise there are
more mid and high level clouds over western and central North
Dakota streaming to the east as well, so sunshine will be limited
today. How this all affects the temperature forecast is still
uncertain, so will hold off on any changes to todays high
temperatures for now. Hopefully will have a better handle on cloud
trends by early afternoon.


.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 321 AM CDT Sat Mar 18 2017

Challenge for today will be temps as the stratus deck lingering
across the MN half of the forecast area continues to be much
slower than guidance suggests. 500mb ridging and SFC high pressure
both working towards the area from the west. Will see much less
wind today with cirrus filtered skies as cirrus continues to spill
over the top of the ridge and drift over eastern North Dakota.
Clouds this morning in the east limiting temperature dropoff and
will be starting warming than previously forecast. However clouds
will limit daytime warming with stratus lingering in the east and
high level cirrus to the west. Max temps in the 30s north and low
40s south will be similar to yesterday with much less wind. As
the SFC high slides east return flow sets up and the pressure
gradient will continue to increase overnight allowing south winds
to ramp up with 15 to 25kt by 12Z Sunday, highest speeds in the
northern valley. Increased winds will cause temps to be steady to
possibly raise a few degrees overnight after a early minimum temp
reading from late Saturday night or very early Sunday.

.LONG TERM...(Sunday through Friday)
Issued at 321 AM CDT Sat Mar 18 2017

By Sunday modeled thermal profiles show 925mb temps rising into
the 5 to 10C range and efficiently warming southwest to west SFC
winds bringing a warm day to the FA, around 60 in the southern
valley to near 40 in the northern snow covered areas. A cold front
will work across the area Sunday afternoon with increasing clouds
high and mid level clouds. Any showers Sunday will be isolated
as moisture below 700mb remains limited on model soundings.
In the wake of the cold front cooler temps are expected for Monday
with 925mb temps ranging from 5C in the SE ND to -5C in N MN,
producing highs from near 45F in the south to 35F across the
north as another high pressure system moves into the northern

The mid to late week period is expected to become more stormy.  But
how stormy, temperature profiles and timing are quite variable among
the three global models (GFS, GEM, ECMWF).  Thus low confidence for
the Tue-Fri period in terms of precipitation type and amount.  The
highest confidence is for the Thursday period when low pressure will
move to our south but the upper level short wave will move over
giving a widespread rain event, that could end as some snow.  QPF
amounts in the 0.50 to 0.75 inch range is possible.  The next system
for later Friday is more variable with ECMWF dry and south while
GEM/GFS farther north.  Also a bit colder temp profiles with this
system.  Area WFO`s stuck with the blended solutions with no changes
and that seemed reasonable given the many unknowns.


.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Sunday morning)
Updated at 637 PM CDT Sat Mar 18 2017

IFR CIGS at TVF and BJI to improve to MVFR by mid morning.
Thereafter can expect widespread MVFR CIGS to persist for the
afternoon. Expecting a hole or two to develop in the stratus deck
and then as SFC high begins to move to the east return flow sets
up with south winds and pieces of the stratus will move back to
the west then north.




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