Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Central Illinois

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FXUS63 KILX 271141

Area Forecast Discussion
541 AM CST Sat Dec 27 2014

.SHORT TERM...(Today)

08z/2am surface analysis shows 1013mb low just north of KMLI, with
frontal boundary extending southwestward into Texas. Airmass ahead
of the front was initially quite dry as evidenced by the 00z KILX
upper air sounding: however, shallow low-level moisture has been on
the increase throughout the night.  Surface dewpoints have reached
the middle 40s across central Illinois, while a plume of 50s
dewpoints is noted further upstream pushing into Arkansas.  LAPS
soundings show this increasing moisture, with most local profiles
now saturated below 700mb. As low pressure tracks further
northeastward into Wisconsin, it will pull the cold front into the
area later this morning, then to the Indiana border by mid to late
afternoon. Continued moisture pooling along/ahead of the front
will result in increasingly deep moisture profiles, particularly
across the E/SE CWA this afternoon. HRRR suggests only scattered
light showers across much of the area this morning, then shows
more widespread precipitation developing along/east of I-57 this
afternoon. Think this solution makes sense as front gradually taps
into increasing amounts of Gulf moisture as it moves further east.
As a result, will carry chance PoPs across the western half of the
CWA throughout the day, with chance PoPs increasing to likely
across the E/SE this afternoon. With cold front passing through
the area, high temperatures will be achieved this morning,
followed by brisk westerly winds and falling temperatures later in
the day. Due to very mild current temps, have generally gone 2-4
degrees above MAV guidance numbers. End result will be highs in
the upper 40s and lower 50s, with temps dropping into the 30s
along/west of I-55 during the afternoon.


.LONG TERM...(Tonight through Friday)

Cold front will slowly push eastward into the Ohio River Valley
tonight, with clouds and showers lingering across the E/SE through
at least the evening hours.  NAM is fastest with the departure of
the precip, while GFS tends to keep it around through the entire
night.  Based on slow forward movement of the front, have trended
toward the slower GFS.  As a result, will maintain low chance PoPs
along/south of I-70 through the overnight hours.  As temperatures
slowly fall into the lower to middle 30s across this area, any
lingering rain showers may mix with or change to light snow late.
Further northwest, skies will clear across the Illinois River
Valley, allowing lows to bottom out in the lower to middle 20s.

Sunshine and seasonably cool temps in the 30s will prevail Sunday
into Monday, before a surge of cold air arrives next week.  Models
have been consistently showing strong 1050mb high building southward
out of western Canada into the central CONUS by Tuesday/Wednesday.
Weak synoptic lift along the leading edge of the cold air may be
enough to trigger a few flurries across the area Monday night, but
the main story will be the colder temps.  High temps will remain in
the 20s Tuesday/Wednesday, while overnight lows dip into the single
digits and teens.  After that, Canadian high pressure will gradually
slide east of the region, allowing a southern stream system to
approach by the end of the week.  Model solutions vary with this
feature, so forecast confidence remains low at this point.  ECMWF
aggressively brings precip northward into south-central Illinois as
early as Thursday night, while the GFS is about 12-18 hours
slower.  Meanwhile, the GEM suggests the system may remain largely
southeast of the area across the Ohio River Valley.  Given the
uncertainties, have opted to go with a dry forecast Thursday night,
and to slow precip onset on Friday.  Have trimmed Friday PoPs to
just slight chance, with higher precip chances arriving Friday night
into Saturday.  Think slower/colder is the way to go, especially
given the Canadian airmass that will initially be in place.  End
result will be a chance of snow or a rain/snow mix mainly Friday
night into Saturday.


.AVIATION...(For the 12Z TAFS through 12Z Sunday morning)

Widespread IFR conditions (mainly CIGS) can be expected across the
central Illinois terminals to start the 12Z TAF valid time. These
low CIGS are occurring in an unseasonably warm/moist airmass ahead
of an approaching cold front. CIGS should quickly rise to MVFR
with the passage of a cold front later this morning or early this
afternoon. The passage of this front will have winds swinging
around from the southwest to the west. Expect low clouds to
scatter out this evening as drier air filters into the region
behind the front. This drier air will also be accompanied by a
wind shift to the northwest.




LONG TERM...Barnes
AVIATION...Bak is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.