Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS North Platte, NE

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FXUS63 KLBF 182018

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service North Platte NE
318 PM CDT Sun Mar 18 2018

.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Monday)
Issued at 253 PM CDT Sun Mar 18 2018

The main concern the next 24 hours revolves around the evolution
of a winter storm that will impact the region tonight and
tomorrow. Latest satellite imagery shows cloudy skies with stratus
housing most of the local forecast area with cloud bases 2-4 kft
across the eastern Panhandle and southwest NEB to 400-500 ft
across parts of north central NEB. Regional radar display shows
little in the way of returns outside of echoes moving
northeastward across south central NEB and north central KS.

A shortwave trough will lift out of the Four Corners late today,
close off, and move into northern OK/southeastern KS overnight.
Meanwhile, a strong lee-side low will develop late this afternoon
in eastern CO and will evolve east to southeast KS/northeast OK by
early Monday morning. While there are chances for showers
developing late this afternoon across portions of the Sandhills
attributable to amplifying low-level warm advection and marginal
elevated instability, better chances occur more so mid evening on.
Little change from previous forecasts regarding the atmospheric
environment for this event with it still being relatively
warm based on soundings. Current thinking is will see a
change to mix or snow given dynamic cooling with lift/ascent and
based on the wet-bulb profile evolution tonight. Of which, a
rain/snow mix to snow is anticipated to have worked down as far
south as the southeast-third of the local forecast area by early
morning tomorrow. However, some uncertainty exist with respect to
spatial extent of snow and wintry mix given thermodynamic
profiles. Nonetheless snow amounts are expected to be minor
attributable to character of snow and SLR. Additionally, lift
continues to be somewhat shallow based on omega fields and lower-
tropospheric frontogenesis. Highest expected snowfall is 2 to 3
inches across parts of the western and central Sandhills. In
addition, blowing snow is not expected to be an impact given the
character of the snow and with winds not expected to be strong.
That said, some patchy blowing snow cannot be ruled out early
tomorrow across far western NEB nonetheless. Otherwise, highs will
be generally 10-15 degrees below seasonable values given linger
precipitation, cloudy skies, and colder air filtering in. Highs
are forecast in the mid 30s to about 40 degrees tomorrow.

.LONG TERM...(Monday night through Sunday)
Issued at 253 PM CDT Sun Mar 18 2018

Light snow could linger over northeastern portions (Boyd, Keya Paha,
Rock, Brown, Holt, Garfield, Wheeler) of the forecast area through
about midnight. Otherwise, clearing with temperatures near normal in
the mid 20s Monday night into Tuesday morning.

Tuesday onward...A quick short wave zips by in the northwest flow
that will bring mainly cloud cover but a few sprinkles are possible
across northern Nebraska. Otherwise, a ridge will set up across the
Rockies with downslope or southerly flow taking over at the low to
mid levels, warmer and mainly dry conditions are expected for much
of the week. Stayed with the thinking of the previous forecaster in
keeping temperatures on the warmer side of guidance, resulting in
widespread 50s and 60s for Wed and Thu, widespread 60s to near 70
possible for Friday depending on how much the ridge is beaten down
by an approaching short wave. We can`t rule out some showers along
the east side of the ridge and some enhanced fire weather concerns
in central and western Nebraska. For now, it looks mainly dry next
Saturday with slightly cooler temperatures, back toward normal for
this time of year, and breezy northwest flow. The next chance for
some precipitation will be Saturday night and/or Sunday with some
model disagreement, as expected, this far out.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Monday afternoon)
Issued at 253 PM CDT Sun Mar 18 2018

The main aviation concerns are precipitation and flight categories
this TAF package. Satellite imagery shows low stratus roughly
along and east of Highway 83 with ceilings largely IFR- LIFR.
Elsewhere, skies are scattered to broken with mid and high level
clouds though some low clouds are present with MVFR ceilings. Some
patchy fog remains across portions of north central NEB with
visibilities between 1-5SM.

Visibilities have been slow to improve but expect remaining areas
of fog to gradually mix out this afternoon. Otherwise, ceilings
will see some improvement to MVFR across the central Sandhills and
southwest NEB this afternoon. Meanwhile, there is potential for
isolated- scattered rain showers to develop late this afternoon
across portions of the Sandhills. However, better chances for rain
occurs during the evening across much of western and north
central NEB. Of which, will see a changeover to snow or wintry mix
overnight starting from northwest NEB that will transition
gradually southeastward across parts of southwest NEB and the
central Sandhills. Rain/snow will then continue across much of the
area into early tomorrow afternoon. In addition, ceilings will be
largely IFR overnight into early tomorrow afternoon as well.




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