Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Bismarck, ND

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FXUS63 KBIS 162341

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Bismarck ND
641 PM CDT Fri Mar 16 2018

Issued at 636 PM CDT Fri Mar 16 2018

Limited overall change through tonight with this update outside
of observed trends through 23 UTC. The 18 UTC global suite
continues to favor accumulating snow across western and central
North Dakota Sunday into Monday. An SPS may be issued later this
evening to message potential impacts.


.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Saturday)
Issued at 230 PM CDT Fri Mar 16 2018

Upper level analysis shows a closed low centered on the coast of
northern California and southern Oregon and another closed off
over southern Nebraska. Southeasterly flow aloft with an embedded
wave was pulling moisture over southwestern North Dakota. Bowman
radar indicated light returns over Bowman/Slope/Adams counties
this afternoon, with light snow visible on several NDDOT road
cameras in the region. Light snow and mixed precipitation is
possible through the evening along the far west until conditions
clear overnight with the upper level wave moving off to the
northwest. Overall 1 to 2 inches of snow is forecast in the far
southwestern corner.

Tonight light winds and high pressure aloft will create an
opportunity for patchy fog in the James River valley, especially
where cloud cover decreases further east.

On Saturday high pressure centered over eastern North Dakota and
western Minnesota will lead to partly cloudy skies with highs in
the 30s with areas of western North Dakota reaching the low 40s
where snow cover is thinner.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday night through Friday)
Issued at 230 PM CDT Fri Mar 16 2018

Saturday night into Sunday southwest flow aloft sets up over the
Northern Plains with a potent trough digging through the western
CONUS. A Colorado low ejects out of the Rockies early Sunday with
a Canadian low traversing through the northern Rockies. An
inverted trough sets up over west-central North Dakota with the
arrival of the northern wave. The placement and intensity of the
QPF associated with this system is still uncertain with the ECMWF
setting up over the western third of the state while the GFS and
NAM remains more central. A blend of guidance was used in the
forecast with a widespread area of 2-4 inches of snow possible
across central North Dakota. Some rain, sleet, and freezing
drizzle will all be possible with this system as well. Duration of
non-snow precipiation will have a large impact on how much snow

After the northwest shortwave exits late Monday night a western
ridge quickly amplifies, moderating temperatures by mid-week. The
12Z global model suite hints at the western ridge breaking down
with the onset of another large Pacific low arrival by the end of
the week, leading to another possible active pattern for the end
of the forecast period.


.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Saturday evening)
Issued at 636 PM CDT Fri Mar 16 2018

IFR conditions in snow will continue this evening across extreme
southwest North Dakota, with a slight chance of light freezing
drizzle tonight. MVFR stratus is expected to develop through the
night and into Saturday morning across most of western and central
North Dakota. The stratus may continue through Saturday afternoon.
Patchy fog is possible tonight into Saturday morning, especially
across western North Dakota.




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