Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Grand Forks, ND

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FXUS63 KFGF 262152
AFDFGF

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
352 PM CST Mon Feb 26 2024

.KEY MESSAGES...

- Winter impacts are expected tonight through midday Tuesday in
  association with a strong cold front.

- Widespread heavy snow is not supported; however, a narrow
  band of heavy snow is possible, where we could see upwards of
  6 inches of snow or more.

- There is a 60 percent chance for blizzard conditions for
  portions of the area where the heavy snow band correlates with
  the highest wind gusts of up to 50 mph. Currently, the
  highest probability of blizzard conditions is in the Central
  Red River Valley.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Issued at 345 PM CST Mon Feb 26 2024

Impacts today into Tuesday hinge upon a strong cold front that will
move across the area this afternoon through Tuesday morning. Strong
thermal gradients will combine with slightly above average moisture
to facilitate heavy snow along a rather narrow band that will form
along and slightly behind the front. North winds are expected to
gust into the range of 40 to 50 mph, with the highest wind speeds
likely to occur within the Red River Valley.

Snowfall totals will vary substantially depending upon the spatial
placement of the heaviest band of snow. Snowfall rates of 1 to 2
inches per hour are well supported by HREF members including HRRR
and NAMNest, which push through the area starting after midnight and
persist through around sunrise. Snowfall totals will be directly
linked to where this band sets up, with amounts as low as 1 to 2
inches possible on the low end, and upwards of 6 or more inches on
the high end. As of this writing, the majority of HREF members,
CAMs, and global ensemble members are painting a stripe of heavy
snow from southwest to northeast along a line from Valley City
through Lake of the Woods and the Red Lakes Region. This has changed
only slightly over the last 8 hours; however, this band could shift
north or south, thus changing the corridor of heavy snow.

Impacts, where we see heavy snow correlate with 40 to 50 mph wind
gusts, will be pushing into winter storm or blizzard territory.
There is good support for blowing snow and low visibility of 1/4
mile or less, along with drifting snow where this interaction
occurs. The only uncertainty at that point will be the temporal
footprint, which could be less than a few hours due to the
rapid progression of the front. Winds are expected to gust
through much of the morning however, which could extend blizzard
conditions far enough to cause longer lasting impacts through
mid-morning or later where we receive the higher snowfall
totals. Blizzard probability is 80 percent or higher with
active snowfall, but falls to 60 percent after snowfall ends
and we are left with just the wind.

Outside of the heaviest band of snow, the progressive nature of the
cold front will limit snowfall accumulations. A sharp cutoff is
expected between areas with up to an inch or two, and areas with six
or more inches of snow. It is in these areas where we will see
impacts more consistent with a winter weather advisory.

&&

.AVIATION /18Z TAFS THROUGH 18Z TUESDAY/...
Issued at 1138 AM CST Mon Feb 26 2024

Look for mainly VFR conditions through the remainder of the
afternoon, with conditions expected to rapidly deteriorate late
this evening and into the overnight period. IFR or brief LIFR
conditions are possible as snow and blowing snow accompany a
cold front that will pass through the area overnight. North
winds will pick up rapidly from north to south starting around
22Z and are expected to continue through much of Tuesday. Gusts
up to 40 knots are possible, especially for KGFK and KFAR due to
the tendency for north winds to funnel down the Red River
Valley. Outside the Valley, gusts could reach the 30 to 35 knot
threshold. Blowing snow is expected with this system starting
as early as 04Z and persisting through at least mid to late
morning.

&&

.FGF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
ND...Winter Storm Watch from 1 AM CST Tuesday through Tuesday
     afternoon for NDZ024-026>030-038-039.
     Wind Advisory from 1 AM to 6 PM CST Tuesday for NDZ008-014>016-
     054.
     Winter Weather Advisory from 1 AM to 6 PM CST Tuesday for
     NDZ049-052-053.
MN...Winter Storm Watch from 1 AM CST Tuesday through Tuesday
     afternoon for MNZ001>003-005>009-013>017-022-023.
     Wind Advisory from 1 AM to 6 PM CST Tuesday for MNZ004.
     Winter Weather Advisory from 1 AM to 6 PM CST Tuesday for
     MNZ029.

&&

$$

DISCUSSION...Lynch
AVIATION...Lynch


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