Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Forks, ND

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FXUS63 KFGF 221743

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
1243 PM CDT Fri Mar 22 2019

Issued at 1243 PM CDT Fri Mar 22 2019

Bumped up temps just a bit as some locations in the trees across
the east have already hit the mid 40s. Other spots are still in
the upper 30s. Should hit mid to upper 40s in the east but stay in
the 30s further west where albedo is higher thanks to the snow.


.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 311 AM CDT Fri Mar 22 2019

High pressure over the area this morning with a clear sky and
light winds. Temperatures quite variable depending on station
location with some middle teens and a few spots holding in the
upper 20s to lower 30s. Fog remains confined to Rugby-Harvey ND
area and hasnt moved much...but certainly could affect DVL basin
yet this morning. Also some fog noted in NE SD in a narrow zone
just east of Aberdeen up to near Britton and satellite showing a
possible developing area around Mahnomen. All in all will leave
the patchy fog in the fcst thru 14z in E ND and parts of MN as we
had it. See no reason to remove it or add to it.

For today temperature wise, 850/925 mb temps drop a bit, more so
in Minnesota east of the Red River valley. Thus the locations that
were upper 40s to low 50s should see their highs around 5 degrees
cooler today. For the Red River valley and E ND 1-3 degree cooling
is about it.

Tonight will be clear but there will be a southeast light wind 5
kts or so. This should keep fog chances at bay. Temperatures will
once again be variable but mostly lower 20s...though higher
terrain wester side of the RRV in NE ND will start seeing warmer
925 mb temps move in overnight and could see rising temps in
places such as Walhalla.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday through Thursday)
Issued at 311 AM CDT Fri Mar 22 2019

Mild on Saturday with increase in high cloud cover. Significant
warming at the 925/850 mb layer should result in the warmest temps
of the month so far with highs even in the coolest snow cover
areas around 40 with likely mid 50s Bemidji/Park Rapids/Lake
Itasca and other locations in the pine trees.

A weekend cold front will interrupt our warming trend and bring light
precipitation chances to the region Saturday night into SUnday.
While a return to a warming pattern with favorable snow melt
conditions is expected for the first half of the upcoming work
week, there are hints that rain/snow chances could return towards
the tail end of the week.

Saturday night through Sunday night...

Medium and long range guidance are in fairly good agreement that the
current high amplitude ridging regime over the central CONUS will
break down heading into the weekend as a southward push of an arctic
airmass helps deepen a Hudson Bay upper level low by Saturday. At
the surface, this will be manifest as a cold front pushing southward
out of the Canadian prairies and into the northern Plains Sunday
morning. Light precipitation is expected as this front moves
southward, with a variety of precipitation types possible. With low
level temperatures above freezing ahead of the front, rain will be
the most likely P-type initially. A transition to mostly sleet and
snow is likely as the cold front pushes southward and low level
temperatures fall below freezing.

A few forecast soundings do suggest the potential for freezing rain
and freezing drizzle Sunday morning and early Sunday afternoon.
However, there appears to be only a brief window during the
transition between rain to sleet/snow when freezing rain is
possible. Additionally, overall low QPF amounts and low level drying
by Sunday afternoon will act to limit the potential impacts from
these P-types. That being said, pockets of freezing rain/drizzle
can`t be ruled out during the day Sunday.

This push of cold air will cut down on daytime highs for Sunday, but
most locations are still expected to reach near or above freezing by
late Sunday afternoon as clouds begin to decrease from north to

Monday through Wednesday...

Surface high pressure will linger over the region for Monday before
slowly drifting eastward into the Great Lakes region by Tuesday. As
this occurs winds will become more southerly and usher in a return
to warmer temperatures and favorable snow melt conditions. Afternoon
highs in the mid 30s for Monday will warm into the 40s for Tuesday
and Wednesday. A few locations across north west Minnesota,
particularly heavily forested areas, could see Wednesday`s highs
return to the low 50s.


Recent model guidance supports the idea that a return to a more
zonal to southwesterly flow regime over the CONUS is likely by the
end of the upcoming work week. This flow regime typically allows for
upper level waves to bring more substantial rain chances to the
region, and all 00Z long range deterministic guidance shows some
sort of system moving through the Plains during the late week
period. However, overall guidance consensus, including ensemble
guidance, is low and gives low confidence in rain/snow chances for
this period. The main takeaway for now is that a return to an active
pattern is possible as we head into the end of March/early April.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Saturday afternoon)
Issued at 1243 PM CDT Fri Mar 22 2019

VFR conditions with clear skies across the area. Could see some
fog develop again later tonight, with many of the models bringing
some fog into the southeastern ND and the Red River Valley. Have
some fog mention and put 2-3SM miles in at all sites except KBJI
for later tonight, and may be lower in some areas. Fog should burn
off mid morning and all sites should be VFR by the end of the
period. Winds will be light and variable today, becoming southerly
at 8 to 10 kts later tonight into tomorrow.




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