Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Hastings, NE

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FXUS63 KGID 221139
AFDGID

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Hastings NE
539 AM CST Fri Feb 22 2019

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 455 AM CST Fri Feb 22 2019

This is a very busy and complex forecast. The primary concern in
the short term through tonight will be light snow, generally less
than 1 inch, and a pretty good chance for freezing drizzle. The
freezing drizzle is the higher impact concern and appears most
likely by mid to late afternoon into this evening when many areas
could see anywhere from one to two tenths of an inch of ice
accumulation.

We do expect a little light snow this morning, primarily across
western zones, but amounts should be light at less than one inch.
The freezing drizzle could start to develop as early as late this
morning or early afternoon, but again the better chance will be as
we get into the mid to late afternoon time frame. Freezing
drizzle may begin to decrease after midnight tonight in a bit of a
lull prior to the main storm system tracking through on Saturday.

The high temperature forecast today is critically important given
the threat of drizzle/freezing drizzle. High temperatures will be
a little warmer over northern Kansas and may climb up to or just
above the freezing mark this afternoon during the height of the
precipitation. However, if we are even a degree or two cooler than
currently forecast across northern Kansas this afternoon then we
may need to expand the winter weather advisory for freezing
drizzle into our Kansas counties. I just didn`t have the
confidence nor did our NWS neighbor offices to issue the advisory
that far south with our morning forecast package.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday through Thursday)
Issued at 455 AM CST Fri Feb 22 2019

A major winter storm is expected across portions of the forecast
area. Forecast models continue to have substantial differences
from model to model. The heaviest snow may end up only being in a
narrow 2 or 3 county wide band with a fairly tight gradient making
this a very challenging and low confidence forecast period.

The major forecast models continue with their same trends. The
00Z and 06Z NAM remain in our opinion too far south with the storm
track and we have excluded them from consideration during the
Saturday period. The 00Z and 06Z GFS and GFSFV3 continue to be the
furthest north and likely a bit too far north, and too overdone
with their QPF and snowfall. We continue to believe that the ECMWF
is the best bet solution and the 00Z ECMWF is in line with the
ECMWF ensemble mean. So our chosen solution currently has the
heaviest snow across our Kansas counties maybe up to around Hebron
with 4 to 6 inches. This would give the Tri-Cities 2 to 4 inches.
Somebody is going to likely see 6-8 inches of snow, but it will
be a very narrow band hard to pin down at this point in time.

People should not get too hung up on snowfall amounts at this
stage as a slight shift one way or another could really change
things. If you are along or south of Nebraska highway 30 into
north central Kansas you are likely close enough to the eventual
heavy snow band that you should be paying attention to the latest
forecast and have possible alternate plans worked out if you end
up getting this heavy snow.

Strong winds will be a significant issue with north winds of 25 to
35 mph and gusts of 45 to 50 mph expected. This could result in
near white out conditions within the heavier snowband Saturday
afternoon. In addition, the strong winds could interact with ice
coated power lines and trees to result in power outages and tree
limb damage.

This will be a fast moving system and snow will quickly end
Saturday evening.

Sunday through Thursday will be cold with well below normal
temperatures. There are a few chance for light snow, but nothing
that appears very significant.


&&

.AVIATION...(For the 12Z KGRI/KEAR TAFS through 12Z Saturday)
Issued at 539 AM CST Fri Feb 22 2019

The big issue will be decreasing cloud ceilings and likely
freezing drizzle this afternoon and evening. In addition,
visibility will also decrease this afternoon and evening. IFR
conditions are likely by later this afternoon and evening and the
freezing drizzle could be a complete show stopper.

&&

.GID WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NE...Winter Weather Advisory from noon today to 6 AM CST Saturday for
     NEZ048-049-061>064-072>077-082>087.

     Winter Storm Watch from Saturday morning through Saturday
     evening for NEZ048-049-061>064-072>077-082>087.

     Winter Weather Advisory from noon today to 9 PM CST Saturday for
     NEZ039>041-046-047-060.

KS...Winter Storm Watch from Saturday morning through Saturday
     evening for KSZ005>007-017>019.

&&

$$

SHORT TERM...Wesely
LONG TERM...Wesely
AVIATION...Wesely


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