Area Forecast Discussion
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000 FXUS61 KPBZ 150551 AFDPBZ Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Pittsburgh PA 1251 AM EST Wed Feb 15 2017 .SYNOPSIS... A cold front and a subsequent crossing trough of low pressure will return snow shower chances to the forecast through Thursday. && .NEAR TERM /THROUGH TONIGHT/... Latest radar loop shows a line of rain showers moving along into northwest PA from the Lake Erie shoreline. These showers are just ahead of a cold front that will drop through the area later this morning. Hi-res models handling this line well, show a continued eastward progression, with very little southward expansion. This seems prudent given the dry air sampled by the 00z sounding last night. Further upstream, snow showers are moving over Lake Erie, accompanying the main push of colder air arriving aloft. Along with the aforementioned line of rain showers, these will largely stream eastward, due to the mean flow being nearly WSW. Still, a southward expansion of low stratus is evident on satellite and near-term guidance shows this moisture overtaking the northern half of the forecast area. This should result in light snow showers north of Pittsburgh and eventually into the Ridges as moisture pools southward and inversions deepen. Snow accumulations should remain light through the day, as residence time of any snow showers will be fleeting. && .SHORT TERM /THURSDAY THROUGH FRIDAY/... NW flow and upper troughing should maintain scattered to numerous snow showers across the area through Thursday. Lake surface to 850mb temperature differences are progged to be around 10 degrees on Wednesday, so minimal lake enhancement is expected. Colder air is progged to advect in Wednesday night and Thursday increasing enhancement off the lakes, though temperature inversion heights should be lowering, helping to limit accumulations. More favorable moisture is progged in the snow growth region over the ridges late Wednesday through early Thursday. This combined with upslope flow should produce more numerous snow showers in the ridges also, though lowering inversion heights should also help limit accumulations. Through the 48 hr period the a few inches of snow are possible mainly N of PIT and in the ridges. Building high pressure should end the snow showers Thursday with dry and warmer weather expected Friday. && .LONG TERM /FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY/... Ridging should maintain dry weather through Saturday. A weak trough is progged to track across the Carolinas Sunday though most of the precip associated with it is expected to stay S o the area. Ridging builds back across the Eastern CONUS early in the week resulting in mainly dry weather and above average temperatures. && .AVIATION /06Z WEDNESDAY THROUGH SUNDAY/...
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VFR conditions are in place at the start of the forecast. A cold frontal passage overnight will lead to dropping ceilings, into the MVFR or low-end VFR range. Rain showers will quickly change to snow showers, with these most numerous north of I-80 and down the ridges through the day. MVFR to brief and isolated IFR restrictions are possible in these showers. Northwest winds will gust to between 15 and 25 knots during the late morning and afternoon hours. Borderline MVFR ceilings will linger. .OUTLOOK... Restrictions are likely through Thursday as cold flow persists out the Lakes Region.
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&& .PBZ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... MD...None. OH...None. PA...None. WV...None. && $$

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