Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Gaylord, MI

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FXUS63 KAPX 162333
AFDAPX

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Gaylord MI
633 PM EST Fri Feb 16 2018

.NEAR TERM...(Tonight through Saturday)
Issued at 331 PM EST Fri Feb 16 2018

...Clear and cold tonight with increasing chances of light snow on
Saturday...

High Impact Weather Potential...None.

Pattern Synopsis/Forecast...Large area of strong high pressure is
centered over the heart of the US this afternoon. Pronounced low
level ridging extends thru the Upper Mississippi Valley and into the
Western Great Lakes region. Tail end of a secondary cold front has
cleared our CWA...taking any enhanced lift and synoptic moisture
with it. After an early morning flare-up of lake effect snow showers
as this front moved thru...remaining light lake effect snow showers
have quickly died with strengthening subsidence and the arrival of
much drier low level air as the ridge axis leans into Northern
Michigan. As a result...latest vsbl satellite loops combined with
regional obs show many areas across our CWA are seeing quite a bit
of sunshine.

For tonight and Saturday...surface high center will slide south of
Michigan tonight as a weak cold front begins to approach the Western
Great Lakes region from the west. Clear skies are expected this
evening as high pressure and dry air thru the column remain the
rule. Mid/high level moisture will begin to increase from NW to SE
overnight in advance of the upstream cold front...resulting in
increasing cloud cover but still appears any increase in precip
chances will hold off until Saturday. Again...the front is rather
weak and synoptic lift and moisture are rather limited. Also...
temps will generally be too warm for any lake contribution. Thus...
expect new snow amounts from this system will be light...generally
an inch or less with the best chance for snow holding off until
Saturday afternoon (and into evening).

Under clear skies...expect another very cold night across the
Northwoods...with overnight lows mainly in the single digits above
zero. Temps will rebound into the lower 30s on Saturday thanks to
WAA ahead of the approaching cold front.

&&

.SHORT TERM...(Saturday night through Monday)
Issued at 331 PM EST Fri Feb 16 2018

...Fairly wet start to the week for much of northern Michigan...

High Impact Weather Potential...Accumulating snow is likely Sunday
afternoon through Monday, especially north of the Straits. There
looks to be potential for a wintry mix including some freezing rain
across portions of the area late Sunday night into Monday morning.

Pattern Synopsis/Forecast...A mid level shortwave will push through
the Great Lakes region Saturday night with an associated cold front
dropping through most of northern Michigan by daybreak Sunday. A
surface ridge will briefly settle overhead Sunday morning while warm
air advection ramps up ahead of a developing low pressure wave
moving into southern Minnesota. Strong isentropic lift will
overspread eastern Upper and northern Lower Sunday afternoon. This
will correspond with the start of a period of increasing moisture
through Monday as the Gulf opens and feeds into a developing low
level jet. Low pressure over the Plains will ride northeast along a
strengthening temperature gradient on Monday, tapping into this
rich moisture and resulting in a soggy Monday afternoon.

Primary Forecast Concerns...Precip chances and pytpes through the
period.

Lingering light snow chances should diminish fairly quickly Saturday
night as the shortwave and cold front depart and drier air moves in
with the surface ridge. Robust isentropic lift and increasing
moisture will lead to pretty high precip chances Sunday afternoon
through the overnight, especially north of M-68. Looks like low
level thermal profiles will support mainly snow from this system.

A frontal boundary then drapes itself across northern Michigan
Sunday night into Monday (its exact location yet to be determined)
with the developing surface low progged to ride up along it. Winds
north of the front will shift to the NE (generally north of the
Straits), providing a feed of colder air near the surface.
Meanwhile, the approaching low will bring a strong surge of moisture
and an impressive warm nose aloft. Very uncertain low level moisture
and thermal profiles yield low confidence in precip types this many
days out yet, but it looks like the potential is there for a wintry
mix including some freezing rain at times from late Sunday night
into Monday morning for portions of the forecast area (again, exact
locations yet to be determined). Precip looks to be mainly snow
across most of eastern Upper and could yield some decent
accumulations north of the bridge. Warming temperatures across
northern Lower could very well yield mainly rain from mid-morning
through the afternoon. Will have to monitor this system closely over
the weekend as details gradually become clearer.

.LONG TERM...(Monday night through Friday)
Issued at 331 PM EST Fri Feb 16 2018

The primary concern through the extended will be with the early week
storm system. The freezing rain potential Monday could carry into
Tuesday, but there is some timing divergence in guidance on this and
confidence remains low with how the thermal profiles are going to
shake out. Colder solutions seem more abundant, which would get the
transition to all snow to take place much quicker. High pressure
building in behind this system will bring quiet weather for much of
the rest of the period, with temperatures slightly above normal.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Saturday evening)
Issued at 633 PM EST Fri Feb 16 2018

A ridge of high pressure will make way for a warm front later
tonight, which will bring increasing higher level clouds. Clouds
thicken up and lower through Saturday, ahead of a cold front that
brings a relatively brief period of snow in the afternoon and
evening for mainly the NW lower airports, with MVFR CIGS and
reduced VSBYS.

Winds out of the SW will increase enough just above the sfc later
tonight for some low end LLWS, for mainly PLN. These winds will
lead to some gusty conditions Saturday, before turning out of the
west and NW Saturday night.

&&

.APX WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
MI...NONE.
&&

$$

NEAR TERM...MR
SHORT TERM...MK
LONG TERM...AM
AVIATION...SMD


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