Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Bismarck, ND

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FXUS63 KBIS 241816

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Bismarck ND
116 PM CDT Sat Mar 24 2018

Issued at 116 PM CDT Sat Mar 24 2018

Allowed the winter weather and dense fog advisories to expire.
Observations, satellite, and webcams do suggest that a bit of
patchy fog remains floating around, but it is diminishing rapidly
and visibilities have improved remarkably. Similarly, the threat
of freezing drizzle also appears to have diminished. Did increase
winds through the afternoon hours today and overnight with a blend
of the previous forecast and the latest iteration of CONSMOS,
which seemed to have a better handle on the trends after
analyzing BUFKIT soundings. Increased the chances for drizzle from
Bismarck to Minot and west through the evening hours. This drizzle
will likely transition to freezing drizzle overnight further
east, mainly along the James River Valley before changing over to
mostly snow. Finally, blended the latest observations with the
updated forecast.

UPDATE Issued at 851 AM CDT Sat Mar 24 2018

Latest webcams as well as some surface observations still support
dense fog across most of western North Dakota, enough evidence to
keep the dense fog advisory going through 11AM CDT. The worst
visibilities are from Ray to Tioga and into Stanley with less
than one quarter mile. RAP BUFKIT soundings also maintain adequate
omega/lift in the low level saturated/stratus layer capable of
producing light freezing drizzle through 11AM CDT. Thus, no
changes to the current headlines in effect.

UPDATE Issued at 647 AM CDT Sat Mar 24 2018

Little change with this update as observed trends through 1150 UTC
support ongoing headlines.


.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 352 AM CDT Sat Mar 24 2018

Fog and freezing drizzle this morning, and a potential wintry mix
tonight highlight the short term forecast.

Freezing drizzle will continue across central North Dakota this
morning with ice loss in the column and low level omega.
Additional ice accumulations as high as one tenth of an inch are
possible. Extended most of the Winter Weather Advisory through 16
UTC for a longer duration threat of freezing drizzle per 07 UTC
RAP soundings.

Per webcam trends through 835 UTC, expanded the Dense Fog Advisory
to include Burke and Mountrail counties valid through 16 UTC,
which replaces the Winter Weather Advisory that was in effect for
these counties. Westerly winds From Beach through Hettinger are
preventing dense fog formation for these areas.

For tonight, a strengthening low level jet, and associated warm
air advection, is expected to develop across the Northern Plains
with multiple impulses embedded in southwest flow aloft. Thus,
scattered precpitation in the form of a wintry mix is expected
area wide tonight. Cannot rule out a lightning strike or two
south central given steep mid level lapse rates. Surface
temperatures will be crucial to the precipitation type. If the
warmer edge of guidance verifies, which is possible given the
strong surface wind field and cloud cover, freezing rain/drizzle
potential will be limited. However, if the cooler 00 UTC guidance
consensus verifies, there will be greater potential for freezing
rain/drizzle. Drizzle or freezing drizzle is possible as the
column saturates, with a wintry mix thereafter of rain,freezing
rain, and snow.

.LONG TERM...(Sunday through Friday)
Issued at 352 AM CDT Sat Mar 24 2018

A wintry mix central Sunday, and another potential round of
wintry mixed precipitation Monday highlight the extended forecast.

The 00 UTC global suite favors a continuation of the mixed
precipitation event from the short term through Sunday morning,
decreasing in the afternoon. As described in the short term,
surface temperatures will drive precipitation type, and these
remain somewhat uncertainty Sunday morning.

Another wave and potential wintry mixed precipitation may impact
western and central North Dakota Monday, generally south of US
Highway 2. Again, uncertainty in precipitation type is high with
near freezing temperatures.

Farther out, a clipper may impact the region Wednesday into
Thursday, with a period of below normal temperatures potentially
to follow.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Sunday afternoon)
Issued at 116 PM CDT Sat Mar 24 2018

Ifr/mvfr stratus continues this taf period. Another round of mixed
precipitation along with gusty southeast to southerly winds between
20 and 30kt is forecast tonight into Sunday morning. Mixed
precipitation will reach the western terminals KISN/KDIK between
03Z and 09z Sunday, then shifting into the central terminals of
KMOT/KBIS/KJMS between 06z through 18z Sunday. A period of light
freezing drizzle could precede the snow at KJMS from 06z-09z
Sunday - with moderate to heavy snow expected at KJMS from 12z to
18z Sunday. Visibilities will also be reduced to ifr conditions at
KJMS due to snow and blowing snow, with mvfr vsbys expected elsewhere.




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