Scientific Forecaster Discussion

Return to Local Conditions & Forecast

Without Abbreviations
With Abbreviations

Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Bismarck ND
621 am CDT Friday Oct 24 2014

issued at 617 am CDT Friday Oct 24 2014

Only change to forecast was to increase cloud cover this morning
mainly over southern North Dakota to account for high clouds
passing through. Otherwise...forecast is in good shape.


Short term...(today and tonight)
issued at 330 am CDT Friday Oct 24 2014

Main forecast concern for today is winds...and elevated or near
critical fire weather concerns. See fire weather portion of this
discussion for those details.

Currently...a strong low pressure system was centered over northern
Alberta/Saskatchewan...with a trailing cold front extending from the
low southwestward to southern Alberta. The short term models
indicate the cold front entering the northwestern corner of North
Dakota around sunrise...and sweeping southeast into the James River
Valley by early afternoon. West to northwest winds should increase
late morning/around noon. Afternoon wind speeds are expected to
range from 15 to 20 miles per hour over southern 25 to near 30
miles per hour in the north central part of the state where wind gusts to 35
miles per hour are possible.

Good mixing along and behind the cold front will allow temperatures
to rise into the lower 60s northwest to lower 70s in the south
central today.

Mostly clear tonight with lows from the middle 30s to lower 40s.

Long term...(saturday through thursday)
issued at 330 am CDT Friday Oct 24 2014

A pattern change will be the highlight in the long term with a return
towards more seasonal temperatures along with occasional
precipitation chances.

On Sunday...expect one more day of well above average temperatures
as ridge moves to the east of the area and broad trough to the west
works its way over The Rockies. Cool front starts working its way
into the area late day which combined with initial short wave
sliding up southwest flow may bring a little light rain over
northern/western areas in the afternoon...although atmosphere may be
a little on the dry side for this. Precipitation chances spread over
the area and increase Sunday night into Monday as broad trough pushes
in. Temperatures on Monday will be quite a bit cooler...closer to
average. Secondary shot of colder air pushes into the area late
Monday which may lead to some snow over portions of the area Monday
night and will push high temperatures below average for Tuesday. Ridge then
tries to build over the western Continental U.S. For the remainder of the work
week bringing drier conditions and seasonal temperatures.


Aviation...(for the 12z tafs through 12z Saturday morning)
issued at 617 am CDT Friday Oct 24 2014

VFR ceilings will prevail over western and central North Dakota
through the taf period. Otherwise...gusty northwest winds of
15 to 30 kts is expected this afternoon...mainly north. This
will impact kmot the most with winds.


Fire weather...
issued at 318 am CDT Friday Oct 24 2014

The critical weather elements of temperature...relative
humidity...and expected winds remain very close to what was forecast
yesterday morning and afternoon.

dry and breezy conditions are expected today. West winds will
increase to 15 to 30 miles per hour across western and central North Dakota
this afternoon as a cold front moves northwest to southeast across
the state. Strongest winds should be across the north...where winds
could gust to 35 miles per hour at times.

Temperatures and relative humidity:
high temperatures should reach into the lower 60s in the northwest
to the lower 70s far south central. The driest air this afternoon
(lowest dewpoint temperatures) should be in the northwest...with
higher dewpoints dry air moves in behind the cold
front. Thus relative humidity values are expected to drop to around
25 percent across all/most of western and central North Dakota.

latest herbaceous fuel moisture from nfdrs model indicates driest
Grasslands over western and south central North Dakota...with the
north central and Turtle Mountain areas with a bit more residual
moisture. Reports from fire managers indicated that the Grasslands
are dry/cured enough to burn readily should weather conditions reach
red flag criteria.

relative humidity values drop to around 25 percent for around 2-3
hours this afternoon. Highest winds expected north central where
higher residual grassland fuel moisture is in nfdrs model...and
where the fire danger has been mainly in the low and medium
categories of late.

Near critical fire weather conditions will likely be reached
today...but not sufficient enough to warrant a warning.


Bis watches/warnings/advisories...


short term...jv
long term...jjs
fire weather...jv

National Weather Service Glossary of Abbreviations