Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Hastings, NE

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FXUS63 KGID 212327

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Hastings NE
627 PM CDT Wed Mar 21 2018

.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Thursday night)
Issued at 430 PM CDT Wed Mar 21 2018

Compared to some of the more active/wetter days coming up in the
longer term periods (see below), these next 36 hours will likely
feature some of the overall "nicest" weather of the next week.
For one, except for portions of north central KS (which could get
warmer Friday), Thursday should be the overall-mildest day of the
next week for the majority of the coverage area (CWA), with
widespread highs in the 60s. Precipitation-wise, while a few rogue
sprinkles cannot be completely ruled out during these next 36
hours, the vast majority of the CWA should remain dry, and the
official forecast reflects as such. About the only other possible
concern is an outside chance of at least patchy fog during the
late night/early AM hours both tonight and perhaps again Thursday
night, mainly in our northern/northwest counties, but am not
currently expecting a repeat of more widespread dense fog such as
what occurred this morning.

Taking a look at current/recent weather as of 330 PM...
Once the stubborn morning fog finally burned off in our north
central counties by Noon, this afternoon has largely turned out as
expected, with plenty of sunshine north/east, but gradually
increasing mid-high level clouds south/west. Radar even depicts a
narrow, northwest-to-southeast oriented band of POSSIBLE
sprinkles associated with the mid-clouds in our western zones, but
odds are high that the vast majority of this is not reaching the
ground, so have kept the official forecast void of any sprinkle
mention at this time. In the big picture of the mid-upper levels,
water vapor imagery and short term model data confirm broad west-
northwest flow over the Central Plains, as we reside on the
downstream side of a broad ridge centered over the western CONUS.
At the surface, a modest pressure gradient exists between a weak
high to our east over IA/MO, and broad low pressure to our
northwest. This has promoted generally southerly breezes this
afternoon, with the strongest speeds sustained around 15
MPH/gusting 20+ MPH focused in roughly our western half, while
slightly lighter breezes prevail in our east. Afternoon high
temperatures look to end up pretty close to early morning
expectations, with most places in the 57-63 range, and a few far
southwestern areas possibly touching 65.

Now looking ahead forecast-wise through these next 36 hours...

This evening/tonight:
Northwest-flow continues aloft. While the official forecast
remains dry, the combination of a passing weak disturbance and a
ribbon of fairly weak low-mid level moisture advection will at
least bring an increase in mid-high level cloud cover through most
of the night, especially to our northern half. As already seen on
radar/discussed earlier, some rogue sprinkles cannot be ruled out,
especially north, but chances just appear too low to justify a
formal mention at this time. At the surface, the night will
generally feature southerly breezes around 10 MPH or less in most
areas, although especially northern counties may see a bit more of
a light easterly component. Low temps are a little tricky, as
enhanced clouds should in theory keep readings on the milder side,
but some very late-night clearing and/or decrease in winds could
bring a quick drop around sunrise. No matter what, most of the
area should hold up at least 5-10 degrees milder than last night,
and have lows aimed somewhere into the 30s most areas, but ranging
from perhaps upper 20s far north around Ord, to perhaps 40 far
southeast around Beloit KS. Although suspect that clouds will work
against dense fog issues, opted to put a generic "patchy fog"
mention post-midnight in roughly our northwest 1/4, where the
combo of the coolest temps/lightest breezes will reside.

Thursday daytime:
As mentioned in the opener, for most of the CWA this could easily
be the overall "nicest" day of the next week. Confidence is high
in dry conditions, and skies should average mostly sunny as the
broad mid-upper ridge becomes even more dominant, and the enhanced
cloud cover from tonight moves out. Breezes should average only
10-15 MPH for the most part, mainly southerly in most areas, but
tending more easterly by late afternoon in response to developing
low pressure to the west. Made very little change to high temps,
still aiming for a range from low 60s far north, to low 70s far
south, and mid-upper 60s common in between.

Thursday night:
The official forecast remains dry for now, but there are some
hints that especially far northern areas could perhaps see a few
sprinkles post-midnight as the very leading edges of the next
incoming batch of upper level energy arrives. For most areas
though, the night will simply feature increasing clouds. Although
patchy fog may again favor our far north, have kept it out of the
forecast for now as steady east-southeast breezes of 10-15 MPH
should largely work against fog formation. The warming trend in
overnight lows continues, with lows ranging from upper 30s north
to mid 40s south.

.LONG TERM...(Friday daytime through Wednesday)
Issued at 430 PM CDT Wed Mar 21 2018

General overview of this 6-day period:
Just don`t have enough time as would normally like to dive into
greater detail of this time frame, so will be sticking to the more
basic/big-picture story. Here are the main takeaways:

1) The weather pattern turns more active, as our forecast is
"littered" with several chances for PRIMARILY rain showers, and a
limited opportunity for some late night/morning snow IF
temperatures get cold enough. At least for now though, snow does
not appear to be a "big deal". There are two main windows of
opportunity for precipitation, the first one Friday into Friday
night associated with a fairly quick-moving disturbance, and the
second consisting of multiple chances between mainly Sunday
afternoon and Tuesday night, associated with a slow-moving western
trough that ejects multiple disturbances into the Central Plains
in southwesterly flow. At least for now, the only two days that
we can truly say appear dry all areas, are Saturday (which is in
between weather systems), and MAYBE next Wednesday, but this is
less certain given it is an entire week out. From a very general
perspective, the majority of the CWA appears to stand a decent
chance of receiving at least 0.50-1.00" of precipitation during
the next week, but there will almost surely be localized
lower/higher exceptions.

2) Along with the various precipitation chances, there also
appears to be two windows of opportunity for at least isolated
thunderstorm activity. The first is Friday afternoon into Friday
evening with the first wave, which has been in the forecast now
for a few days. Unless instability really ramps up in model
forecasts as this nears, this does not look like a severe storm
threat, mainly just general thunder with perhaps some small hail.
The second chance for thunder, which was just introduced to the
official forecast today, arrives Monday afternoon-evening with the
second system. Although this is still 5 days away, there are some
very early indications that these storms could have more
instability to work with, possibly promoting at least a marginal
severe threat, so this is something we will need to keep an eye on
as it gets closer.

3) Temperature-wise, really nothing major stands out, as most days
look to be fairly close to late-March normals. If anything, highs
were nudged down slightly on some days, including right away
Friday, as it appears that increasing clouds and developing
precipitation could hold things back somewhat. That being said,
Friday could be the day with the overall-biggest temperature
range/gradient across our CWA, currently ranging from mid 50s far
north, to upper 70s extreme south in KS. For Saturday-Wednesday,
most places look to top out in the 50s on most days. As for
overnight lows, mainly mid 30s to low 40s in most areas on most
nights, which would actually average slightly above normal for the
multiple-day period as a whole.


.AVIATION...(For the 00Z KGRI/KEAR TAFS through 00Z Thursday)
Issued at 622 PM CDT Wed Mar 21 2018

Dry weather with VFR conditions are forecast for this TAF period.
Winds through much of the period will be southerly, with a more
easterly component developing toward the end of the period. Models
continue to show the potential for marginal LLWS late this
evening/overnight, so did keep that mention going.




SHORT TERM...Pfannkuch
LONG TERM...Pfannkuch
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