Prognostic Meteorological Discussion
Issued by NWS

Current Version | Previous Version | Graphics & Text | Print | Product List | Glossary Off
Versions: 1 2 3

FXUS10 KWNH 181831

Model Diagnostic Discussion
NWS Weather Prediction Center College Park MD
131 PM EST Sun Feb 18 2018

Valid Feb 18/1200 UTC thru Feb 22/0000 UTC

...See NOUS42 KWNO (ADMNFD) for status of the upper air ingest...

...12Z Model Evaluation with Final Preferences/Confidence...

...Amplified Western US Trough Gradually Building Into the Central
US With Several Shortwaves Rounding the Trough...
...Active Front on Leading Edge of the Trough and Lee Surface
Cyclone, With Additional Weak Cyclogenesis in the Great Lakes...
Preference: Blend of 12Z ECMWF, CMC, UKMET
Confidence: Average

---18Z UPDATE---
The 12Z runs of the ECMWF, CMC, and UKMET show fairly good
continuity overall with their previous runs, and maintain the idea
of a faster surface low in the Great Lakes, and a slightly faster
southeast progression of the cold front across the central US.
Given that this aligns with the preliminary reasoning, and has
good ensemble support, the preference remains the same.

On the synoptic scale, models are generally in good agreement on
the overall position and structure of the large trough that will
be situated over the western half of the contiguous United States,
particularly through Tuesday. Therefore, they are all generally
showing the same basic scenario with slightly different placement
of sensible weather impacts -- emanating from small differences in
timing of shortwaves or mesoscale details.

The 12Z NAM is very similar to the other available models in its
strength of both the trough, and the large mid-upper level
anticyclone positioned just off the Southeast Atlantic coast. It
does show the trough shifted slightly out of phase with the other
models, with the trough axis by 21/00Z about 250km to the west.
This also leads to slightly higher heights across the central U.S.
(where much of the precipitation impacts will be). This bias does
appear to affect its progression of the axis of heaviest QPF, and
thus the preference is to not incorporate the NAM for this system.

Looking at the global models, one more notable difference is
between the 12Z GFS and the 00Z runs of the other global models
(CMC, UKMET, ECMWF). The GFS is slower in ejecting a shortwave and
associated sheared lobe of vorticity to the northeast across the
Plains on Tuesday, and this results in a surface low that is about
6 hours slower than the other models. This affects the eastward
progression of the northern extent of the surface front, and thus
may affect precipitation patterns and other sensible weather
elements. Given a lack of substantial support among GEFS/ECMWF
ensemble clusters for this slower scenario, the preference is to
lean toward the CMC, UKMET, and ECMWF.

...Shortwave Dropping South Along West Coast of North America from
Monday Night into Wednesday...
...Associated Weak Surface Low Just Offshore...
Preference: Blend of 12Z ECMWF, CMC, UKMET
Confidence: Average

---18Z UPDATE---
The 12Z UKMET did trend to a slightly more amplified trough as it
passes near the OR/CA coastline, and a slightly deeper surface
low. However, the ECMWF and CMC remained relatively consistent,
and the GFS continues to be the most amplified scenario.
Therefore, the preference will remain the same, despite the small
changes on the UKMET.

A low-amplitude shortwave dropping south along the West Coast is
forecast to amplify slightly as it passes by the coasts of Oregon
and California. The 12Z GFS (and secondarily the 12Z NAM) is the
most amplified with the trough, and thus produces the strongest
surface low just offshore. This also tends to focus the
precipitation more offshore relative to the other global models,
which show some light precipitation extending inland. The
preference is to lean toward the lower amplitude solutions which
at the moment have better ensemble support. However, with a
southward digging wave, a future trend toward the GFS solution
could not be ruled out.

Model trends at
500 mb forecasts at


$$ is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.