Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Billings, MT

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FXUS65 KBYZ 270322

Area Forecast Discussion...Updated
National Weather Service Billings MT
922 PM MDT Sat May 26 2018


Numerous showers and thunderstorms continue this evening from
Yellowstone County and points westward with isolated activity east
of Billings. So far, thunderstorms have been mainly heavy rainers
with some small hail. Radar has indicated some very heavy rain
amounts which prompted a couple flash flood warnings for the
Wheatland/Golden Valley/Stillwater County border areas. There was
one report of quarter size hail just northeast of Livingston this
evening. Thunderstorms have failed to develop so far across
southeast Montana as the atmosphere has remained capped. However,
we will continue the severe thunderstorm watch for Fallon County
as the risk for severe storms remains across that area, as well as
nearby areas. In summary, expect scattered showers and
thunderstorms to continue throughout the night. Hooley


.SHORT TERM...valid for Sun and Mon...

Clear skies and warm temperatures into the upper 80s and even some
low 90s this afternoon. A cold front is approaching from the
northwest while a low pressure system digs into northern Nevada
bringing jet diffluence across most of eastern MT today. Already
seeing cumulus clouds developing along the mountains at this hour.
Storms will initiate first over the high terrain this afternoon
but move north and eastward with the mean flow as forcing
continues to increase across the area. CAPE values generally above
1000 j/kg with effective bulk shear around 40 kts this afternoon.
Expecting some of these storms to become severe. Given the
temperature profile, storms will be fairly high based. Fat CAPE
and dry sub-cloud layer will promote the potential for damaging
hail and winds. Severe ingredients line up best, from Judith Gap
east to northern Yellowstone County and over to Miles City from
late afternoon into the overnight hours. Several models suggesting
some bowing segments capable of producing long track damaging
winds could develop in eastern MT (from Miles City northeast
towards Sidney) tonight, so that is something we are keeping a
close eye on as the storms evolve.
Sunday still looks pretty wet across most of southern Montana and
northern Wyoming. Low pressure system makes its way into northern
Utah with inverted trough extending to the northeast. PWAT around
an inch or more across much of the area with northeast upslope
will promote heavy rain showers through much of the afternoon.
Enough instability and shear around in extreme southeastern MT
tomorrow afternoon for another shot of potential severe weather.
As upper-level energy ejects northward out of Wyoming, how the
models handel the low pressure development and troughing over
eastern Montana is pretty erratic. The GFS switches our western
zones to more northwest flow and dries out quicker while the ECMWF
model brings a more prolonged chance of rain into Monday with a
lingering open trough. Edged to the ECMWF today, as that solution
seemed more reasonable. What that means for the rainfall forecasts
is about the same as advertised for the Beartooth/Absarokas with
1 to 1.5 inches in the mountains and 0.75 to 1.0 inches of
rainfall for the foothills. Billings and much of the central
Plains also remain in the 0.50-1.0 inch range as has been
forecast. What has changed, is increasing amounts expected over
southeastern Montana and northern Wyoming. Specifically Bighorn
County, Sheridan County Wyoming, east into Powder River and
Carter counties. A prolonged band of heavy rain is projected to
set-up in that location Sunday night into Monday morning, so we
have adjusted rain totals upward in those locations.

The rainfall amounts we forecast are closer to area averages and
this time of year rainfall is highly localized with thunderstorms
capable of producing inches of rain in a very short period of
time. The atmospheric conditions are primed Sunday and Monday for
just those type of rain producers, so localized amounts could
easily exceed our forecast totals.

Many of our area rivers will be at or near flood stage this
weekend or early next week as all this rainfall adds to the
already swollen rivers. If you live along one of those rivers you
should continue to monitor our river forecasts closely and finish
up any last minute preparations you need to make today.

Due to the heavy rainfall rates in storms this weekend, we
anticipate localized flooding impacts in low-lying areas and
along swollen creeks and streams. Please stay up to date with our
latest river forecasts and have a way to get watches and warnings
while enjoying the Memorial Day Weekend. Walsh

.LONG TERM...valid for Tue...Wed...Thu...Fri...Sat...

An upper low should be over SE MT Tuesday morning and then slowly
move eastward into the Dakotas Tuesday night. Energy propagating
around the low can produce showers and thunderstorms on Tuesday.
Models showed 0.75 to one inch precipitable waters, so showers and
storms can still drop some appreciable rainfall on Tuesday. Brief
upper ridging will bring drier and warmer conditions to the
region for much of Wednesday. Then a new upper trough begins to
propagate eastward over the western U.S. Wednesday afternoon,
which should allow for a slight chance of showers and
thunderstorms from Billings westward. Scattered showers and
thunderstorms should then expand eastward across the rest of the
area and continue through next Saturday as the upper trough slowly
moves northeastward. There is some chance that the area could dry
out sooner for next Saturday if the ECMWF solution with an upper
ridge building in were to come to fruition.

High temperatures will generally be in the 70s and 80s Tuesday
through Saturday. RMS



Expect scattered showers and thunderstorms to continue overnight.
Heavy rainfall is possible with the thunderstorms. Some storms
may produce hail and strong gusty winds. Expect MVFR to LIFR
conditions in the thunderstorms. There will be areas of
obscurations over all the mountains overnight. RMS/Hooley



    Sun     Mon     Tue     Wed     Thu     Fri     Sat
BIL 057/072 053/070 053/076 053/081 055/074 053/075 052/076
    67/T    66/T    33/T    22/T    34/T    53/T    34/T
LVM 051/068 049/068 049/073 048/076 050/068 047/072 047/072
    58/T    55/T    33/T    32/T    56/T    53/T    33/T
HDN 058/074 054/072 052/078 052/084 055/080 053/078 053/078
    67/T    76/T    33/T    21/B    24/T    43/T    35/T
MLS 061/078 058/071 054/077 055/083 058/081 057/078 056/079
    45/T    66/T    43/T    21/U    22/T    42/T    33/T
4BQ 060/077 057/072 053/074 052/082 056/084 056/080 054/079
    35/T    86/T    43/T    31/U    22/T    32/T    33/T
BHK 058/078 056/071 052/073 051/079 055/082 056/077 053/077
    43/T    76/T    53/T    31/U    22/T    41/B    34/T
SHR 055/069 051/069 050/072 048/081 051/079 052/077 050/076
    68/T    86/T    43/T    22/T    23/T    33/T    22/T


MT...Severe Thunderstorm Watch 122 in effect until 1 AM MDT Sunday
      FOR ZONE 33.


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