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Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Bismarck ND
955 PM CST Tuesday Feb 9 2016

issued at 941 PM CST Tuesday Feb 9 2016

Surface low pressure over Saskatchewan through the western Dakotas
will continue to slide south and east tonight. Currently an area
of light snow has developed across north central North Dakota and
continues to develop south into the south central portion of the
state. Current mesoscale models continue to indicate a band of
snow from Bottineau and Rolette counties southeast into the James
River Valley...along the baroclinic zone and north and east of the
surface low that tracks into southwest/far south central North
Dakota Wednesday morning.

For the evening update...the main adjustments were to shift the
band of snow a bit farther east which would keep Bismarck and
Mandan out of any significant accumulations...mainly trace amounts
to a half inch. Previous snowfall forecast of between 2 and 4
inches from Bottineau and Rugby to Carrington...Jamestown and
Ellendale looks good. Currently most mesoscale models are
depicting most areas in the 2-3 inch range rather than 3-4
inches...but a few locales could see some 3-4 inch
reports...especially around The Turtle mountains. Otherwise
adjusted temperatures a bit through the night with readings in the
east a few degrees warmer than previously forecast. There remains
a small threat of light freezing drizzle on the back edge of the
precipitation shield Wednesday so kept a slight chance of freezing
drizzle as previously forecast.

Update issued at 628 PM CST Tuesday Feb 9 2016

A few minor updates early this evening...mainly for snow chances.
Band of light reflectivities through central North Dakota was
adjusted farther east and backed off on quantitative precipitation forecast through this evening
for the south central with mainly trace amounts. Upper level jet
dropping south later this evening is expected to bring a more
widespread area of snow along and east of the Highway 83 corridor.


Short term...(this evening through wednesday)
issued at 246 PM CST Tuesday Feb 9 2016

The main focus for the short term is precipitation chances tonight
and tomorrow.

Precipitation has been slow to develop today. Only minor amounts
of precipitation are expected through the rest of the afternoon
and evening hours...with more widespread and substantial
precipitation arriving later tonight.

Tonight...a more robust 150 knot upper level jet streak will dive
out of Canada. This will combine with a pronounced 850 mb low and
enhanced baroclinic zone to provide widespread snow east of the
Missouri River. Model agreement and confidence is high that
locations along a line from Rolla to Carrington...Jamestown and
Ellendale will see between 2 and 4 inches of snow. Further
west...between the Missouri River and Highway 281 between 1 and 3
inches of snow is possible.

However...there is issue that may limit snowfall amounts and
could produce slick Road conditions. As the 850 mb low approaches
it will begin advecting in warm air aloft. This punch of warm air
may be pronounced enough to dry out the middle-levels and/or
sufficiently melt any ice crystals. This would in turn produce
freezing drizzle or freezing rain. There is some uncertainty as to
how far east this warm/dry air will make it...but current
model consensus has it anywhere between Bismarck and Medina. If
this indeed turns out to be the case then snow amounts would
likely be reduced and Road conditions could become hazardous.

Long term...(wednesday night through tuesday)
issued at 246 PM CST Tuesday Feb 9 2016

With a persistent stationary front forecast to remain across
North Dakota through the week a very pronounced temperature
gradient will reside. East of the front temperatures will be very
cold with readings in the single digits and teens. West of the
front temperatures in the 30s and 40s are expected.

Northwest flow aloft will continue to bring fast moving waves
across the region...generally bringing only minor amounts of rain
or snow to North Dakota. The next such wave is expected to swing
through Thursday night into Friday. Scattered snow is possible
across much of western and central North Dakota. However...only
minor accumulations are expected...generally less than an inch.

A change in the weather pattern appears on the horizon. A trough
is forecast to break down the ridge to the west later this
weekend. This could mean a return to much above average
temperatures for North Dakota.


Aviation...(for the 06z tafs through 06z Wednesday night)
issued at 941 PM CST Tuesday Feb 9 2016

Tonight...MVFR to IFR conditions in snow are possible at
kmot/kbis/kjms. It is also possible that kmot/kbis could see some
freezing rain or freezing drizzle late tonight into tomorrow.
However...confidence is not high enough at this time to warrant
mention in the taf. Mainly VFR conditions at kisn and kdik tonight
but area of stratus is expected to shift west and cover these taf
sites by late morning or early afternoon Wednesday.


Bis watches/warnings/advisories...


short term...aj
long term...aj

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