Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS La Crosse, WI

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FXUS63 KARX 130800

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service La Crosse WI
300 AM CDT Fri Apr 13 2018

.SHORT TERM...(Today through Sunday)
Issued at 300 AM CDT Fri Apr 13 2018

Impactful winter storm promises a variety (if not all) wintry
precipitation types tonight into Sunday.

1)Nuts and Bolts: Warm front running west to east across southern IA
into northern IL today, with a relatively strong fetch of low level
moisture transport/850 mb jet driving into and north of the front.
Pcpn will blossom mostly north of the front, with x-sections also
pointing to sloping frontogenetic lift extending well north into
central MN/WI. Not much reason for that front to move north with the
rain cooled air and it`s parent upper level trough taking a nearly
due east track through the plains. The models develop a closed low
with the trough moving out of the rockies today, gradually working
it into the local area by Sat afternoon. The banded pcpn along and
north of the warm front will get a nudge east, but the region then
comes under the purview of the deformation region north/west of the
sfc low. A long lived pcpn event will result, with pcpn blossoming
this morning, continuing into Sunday afternoon/night. Intensity will
vary with various bits of upper level energy enhancing the lift.

Meanwhile, some instability still slated to build across the southern
half of the forecast area for the afternoon/evening. While any
severe threat is expected to lie farther to the south, a few
stronger storms are possible.

2)Pcpn type considerations: temperatures going to play a role in
what falls. NAM/GFS/EC max wet bulb temps close to +3 C through 00z
Sat - and then they start to differ after that. For example, the EC
brings colder, drier air in from the north quicker, cooling the
max wet bulb to around 0C along/north of the I-90 corridor by 12z
Sat. The NAM and GFS are mostly above zero across the entire
forecast area. All models continue to cool it down a loft as the low
approaches and moves east, but continue to show differences.

Meanwhile, ice in cloud also presenting challenges. Comparing north-
south running x-sections, the NAM is the least optimistic on having
ice in the cloud, keeping it relatively shallow for the better part
of the event. Ice eventually does become more likely due to the cold
influx of air from the north. The GFS is the most robust with
deepening the saturation while the EC lies somewhere inbetween.
Bufkit sounds tell a bit different story though, with ice not as
certain in the GFS through Sat morning. There is a concern with some
erosion in the cloud layer from the north, but with strong lift and
a good moisture source, think some of that could be overcome. Will
let consensus solution dictate both ice and temp.

3)What`s going to fall: a) rain, b) freezing rain, c) snow, d)
sleet, or e) all of the above. E is the best choice here as the
complex ice in cloud and temp questions make nearly all pcpn types
possible/probable. Pinpointing location, timing presently a fair
amount of challenges. At this time, icing looking like a good bet
later tonight through Sat morning, especially around the 1-90
corridor. Road temps could come into play and limit some freezing -
even at night. Meanwhile, if temps do not cool as quickly overnight
(dew point rises compared to cold air influx), the main icing band
could shift a bit north.

Snow looks like the main pcpn type north of highway 29 in Wisconsin,
with snow then more widespread Sat night into Sun.

For amounts, snow from 6 to 12 inches in the current forecast,
highest up in Clark/Taylor counties. Icing 1/4 inch or greater in
the I-90 corridor.

These amounts are rather volatile as even a slight change in the
ice/temp concerns will flip a pcpn type from one to another or to
something completely different.

4)Wind: adding insult to injury, the pressure gradient tightens
today, staying tight through Sunday. Strong east/northeast from 15
to 25 mph with gusts into the lower 30s will be common. Despite
relatively low snow ratios, there could be some drifting/blowing in
unsheltered/wind prone areas (southeast MN/northeast IA, ridgetops).
In addition, if freezing rain manifests for a prolonged period,
accumulations + wind could lead to tree damage and potential power

.LONG TERM...(Monday through Thursday)
Issued at 300 AM CDT Fri Apr 13 2018

Decent agreement between the GFS and EC with spinning an upper level
trough across through portions of the region Tue night/Wed. GFS is a
bit more north/elongated while the EC trends south and more compact.
Both would bring a pcpn threat, with the EC leaning more toward

For temps, the start of the new work week still looks cold, with the
GFS suggesting a moderation toward the seasonable normals before the
week is out. The EC is more pessimistic, staying cold until perhaps
the following weekend. Confidence low in these details and will go
with the blend to detail temp forecast.


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z TAFS through 06Z Friday night)
Issued at 1152 PM CDT Thu Apr 12 2018

Just a slight delay to earlier thinking regarding lower ceilings,
with VFR conditions now expected to hang on for LSE/RST through 12Z
or even a bit later. Still watching for a few showers to develop the
next few hours, but the better light rain and some drizzle (maybe a
few rumbles of thunder too?) will hold off until Friday morning and
afternoon, with conditions just about everywhere should end up IFR,
holding there right on through Friday evening as additional periods
of light rain or drizzle continue.


.HYDROLOGY...(Today through Saturday)
Issued at 300 AM CDT Fri Apr 13 2018

Rainfall amounts of 1 to locally over 2 inches remain likely today
thru Saturday. By Saturday night much of the precipitation is
expected to be snow. Soils remain at least partially frozen,
especially north of I-90, or are wet from recent snowmelt. Due to
this, a higher than normal percentage of the rainfall expected to
runoff, producing ponding of water in low spots and cause river
rises. Flooding remains a concern later today thru the weekend into
early next week on some area rivers and streams, especially if the
rainfall totals are closer to the 2 inches, or the rain falls in a
shorter period of time. Please continue to monitor forecasts
closely, especially if you have interests along or live near a river
or stream.


WI...Winter Storm Watch from Saturday morning through Sunday evening
     for WIZ054-055.

     Winter Storm Watch from late tonight through Sunday evening for

     Winter Storm Watch from this evening through Sunday evening for

MN...Winter Storm Watch from late tonight through Sunday evening for

IA...Winter Storm Watch from Saturday morning through Sunday evening
     for IAZ008>011-018-019.



LONG TERM....Rieck
HYDROLOGY...RRS is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.