Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Billings, MT
FXUS65 KBYZ 192048
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Billings MT
248 PM MDT Sun Mar 19 2017
.SHORT TERM...valid for Mon and Tue...
The models were in good agreement through the short-term period
and have not changed the gist of the forecast which looks cooler
and unsettled. Water vapor imagery showed a subtropical fetch of
moisture moving toward the region this afternoon. This moisture
will provide above normal precipitable waters for the forecast
area through the period. Aloft, the pattern will feature west flow
tonight. This will be followed by upper ridging building in from
the SW on Monday. The ridge will continue to build into the area
through Tue., then a shortwave will approach the area from the SW
Tue. night. Periods of weak jet divergence will aid lift over the
At the lower levels, a cold front backed into the central part of
the forecast area this afternoon, spreading low clouds and showers
further W into areas like KBIL and Roundup. Steep mid-level lapse
rates noted on the RAP, contributed to a report of graupel over
Shepherd. A few lightning strikes have also occurred this
afternoon. The front will become stationary W to E across the
forecast area tonight with weak upslope flow along the boundary.
Showers will be likely through 06Z N and W of KBIL, with lesser
chances in other areas. Good chances for showers continue along
the boundary late tonight, when rain will change to a rain/snow
mix with temperatures in the 30s. 850 mb temperatures will stay
above zero degrees c, so hardly any accumulations are expected.
Several inches of snow will occur in the western mountains. Monday
will be a colder day with 850 mb temperatures falling to around
zero degrees c by day`s end. Low-level ENE winds strengthen
through the day allowing precipitation chances to increase in the
upslope areas. A mix of rain/snow Mon. morning will change to
mainly rain in the afternoon. Highs will be in the 40s to lower
Precipitation focus starts shifting E Mon. night due to the
building upper ridge from the W. Continued E flow at the surface,
and ESE flow at 850 mb, will provide upslope and moisture along
the boundary. 850 mb temperatures will fall below zero degrees C,
and the rain/snow mix will change to all snow over most of the
area by 12Z Tuesday. Right now, looking at an inch or less across
the low elevations with 2 inches possible in the foothills.
Several inches are expected in the mountains. The dendritic growth
level remains very high through the period which will limit
accumulations even in the mountains. Will message the Mon. night
snow on Social Media. The frontal boundary weakens on Tuesday as
warm advection begins at 850 mb, and PoPs will decrease through
the day. Temperatures will average in the 40s for highs. Airmass
will dry out Tue. night, but the approaching wave from the W will
bring increasing chances for showers to the western mountains.
.LONG TERM...valid for Wed...Thu...Fri...Sat...Sun...
After some morning showers, Wednesday looks dry/warmer with
subsidence and mixed west winds behind a shortwave passage early
in the day. Have tweaked up temps and wind gusts a bit. Expect
highs well into the 60s across west & central parts.
Stronger trof will move thru the central and southern Rockies
Thursday and Thursday night. Models remain in disagreement with
the battle between a drier northern branch of the jet, and a more
dynamic shortwave lifting out of the southern trof thru WY.
Today`s 12z runs stayed the course, with the GFS being wetter than
the EC in our cwa. Even with weaker forcing, some mention of
showers is warranted, so will keep solid chance pops across the
region beginning late Wednesday night. It should also be pointed
out that even under a wetter scenario, lower elevation temps
should stay warm enough to keep p-type as rain. We should see
drying by late Thursday night as the energy departs to the central
After what appears to be a dry Friday, model consensus is for
another Pacific trof to move into our region next weekend,
bringing our next chance of showers.
Overall temps will remain above normal. Wednesday looks like the
warmest day of the extended period. Highs Thursday thru the
weekend should generally range from the upper 40s to lower 60s.
Saturday should be the warmest day of next weekend.
The combination of a cold front with a moist Pacific flow will
bring showers across the region tonight into Monday. Expect local
MVFR flight conditions, mainly north of KSHR, and mountains will
be frequently obscured. A few lightning strikes are also possible
through the remainder of this afternoon. The risk for local IFR
conditions increases later tonight into Monday. JKL
.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMP/POPS...
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
BIL 036/044 030/047 035/066 040/056 034/059 036/061 037/055
55/W 63/W 22/W 35/W 31/B 11/E 23/W
LVM 034/045 029/050 037/062 035/055 030/057 036/059 034/054
66/W 63/W 22/W 45/W 31/B 23/W 33/W
HDN 035/049 031/051 032/067 038/058 033/059 033/063 035/057
45/W 63/W 21/B 35/W 31/B 11/E 23/W
MLS 036/051 031/044 034/064 040/059 034/056 034/061 036/056
52/W 43/W 22/W 15/W 20/B 11/B 23/W
4BQ 035/052 030/045 032/065 038/057 033/057 032/062 035/057
34/W 64/W 21/B 35/W 21/B 01/B 23/W
BHK 033/050 025/039 028/056 035/056 030/053 029/056 032/053
63/W 43/W 22/W 14/W 20/B 00/B 23/W
SHR 034/050 030/053 035/065 037/056 033/058 033/063 035/054
25/W 62/W 11/B 45/W 41/B 01/B 23/W