Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Bismarck, ND

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FXUS63 KBIS 150901

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Bismarck ND
401 AM CDT Thu Mar 15 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 401 AM CDT Thu Mar 15 2018

Currently, a large upper level low/trough was centered just off the
western Oregon coast. A shortwave moving north from the base of this
trough was over Wyoming, along with its attendant surface low.
Meanwhile, cool surface high pressure was centered over western
Ontario, with its axis extending south into eastern North Dakota and
western Minnesota. The northeastern 2/3 of North Dakota had mainly
clear skies, and temperatures had dropped to around 5F to 15F. The
southwestern 1/3 of the state has had cirrus cloud cover in advance
of the Wyoming low pressure system. An area of fog and stratus
clouds had recently developed east of the cirrus clouds, extending
from near Crosby/Tioga to Bismarck to McIntosh/Dickey counties.

Will maintain the mention of fog this morning across northwest
through central ND, and will also mention patchy dense fog.

The upper level shortwave energy from the western trough continues
streaming northward today across Wyoming/Montana into Saskatchewan,
grazing western North Dakota. Thermal profiles suggest a mix of rain
and snow, possibly mixed with some sleet or freezing rain. The good
news is that any precip amounts should be on the lighter side, with
better chances and higher amounts in eastern Montana tonight.

Also today and tonight another more potent shortwave is forecast to
eject from the base of the western trough, reaching the CO/NE/KS
border by daybreak Friday, then continue towards Iowa by Friday
evening. The greatest synoptic forcing remains south of ND, with
threats of freezing rain and heavy snow in eastern Wyoming and
South Dakota.

Cooler today, with highs ranging from the mid and upper 20s
northwest through the James the lower and middle 30s
southwest. Lows tonight around 10 near the Turtle Mountains to lower
20s southwest.

.LONG TERM...(Friday through Wednesday)
Issued at 401 AM CDT Thu Mar 15 2018

On Friday as the cutoff low traverses the central plains towards
Iowa, southwestern and south central counties along the South Dakota
border will have chances of light snow, possibly mixed with rain or
freezing drizzle.

Global models continue to be consistent with bringing the main
western low/trough across the Rockies Saturday and into the western
plains on Sunday, developing southeast through the central Plains
through Monday. Even though this large system develops into the
central plains, its effects should be felt well to the north across
much of North Dakota. It appears that our area may see precipitation
as early as late Saturday night/Sunday morning, with better chances
Sunday afternoon through Monday. Temperature profiles suggest a
wintry mix of rain, freezing rain and snow for the southern half of
the state on Sunday, with enough dynamic cooling and the pulling of
cold air behind the system for all snow Sunday night through Monday
night. Precipitation amounts remain uncertain, but it appears a long
period of light snow Sunday night through Monday night.


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Thursday night)
Issued at 1247 AM CDT Thu Mar 15 2018

Hazards to aviation tonight include patchy fog reducing visibilities
to IFR conditions. Widespread snow melt continues to add some low
level moisture to the atmosphere and expect patchy fog to form after
09Z KMOT-KBIS-KJMS. Based on the persistent weather pattern believe
IFR is warranted in FOG from 09-15Z. Otherwise VFR conditions are
forecast. A surface low pressure system will spread light snow and
low VFR conditions to KDIK after 03Z.




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