Scientific Forecaster Discussion

Return to Local Conditions & Forecast

Without Abbreviations
With Abbreviations

Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Billings Montana
737 am MST Sat Feb 13 2016

Update...
scattered showers moving into our east this morning are likely to
be mostly rain and will be falling into pockets of sub-freezing
surface temperatures for the next couple hours...so have added mention of
freezing rain to the area from Forsyth-Lame Deer eastward. Jkl

&&

Short term...valid for today and sun...

A windy day with rain and snow showers will be on tap today.
Some weak warm air advection moved across the far eastern areas
around the Dakota border earlier this morning producing some very
light freezing rain across Fallon County but has since ended.
Focus then shifts west as a strong disturbance currently seen on
water vapor across eastern Washington and the Idaho Panhandle will
move southeast across our area today. This will bring increasing
chances for snow showers this morning with predominately rain
showers this afternoon. Lapse rates remain steep across the area.
In addition...a good area of q-vector convergence will move across
the area and this combined with the lapse rates will bring good
chances for wetting showers.

Lee-side troughing will set up this morning resulting in tight
pressure gradients across the upper Yellowstone and Stillwater
valleys. However...pressure gradients will be oriented more
west/east and not favorable for very strong wind gusts for the
Livingston area...although gusts around 50 miles per hour can be expected.
However...this gradient orientation will be favorable for very
strong wind gusts across southern Wheatland County. In
addition...700mb winds are prognosticated around 50kts. These winds have
the potential to mix down as a gusty Pacific front moves across
the area this afternoon. As a result...I have issued a High Wind
Warning for the Harlowton area from middle morning into early this
evening. Gusty winds can be expected further east across the
plains with gusts around 30 to 40 miles per hour possible.

For Sunday...an unstable northwest flow aloft will move over our
area bringing continued chances for rain and snow showers. More
numerous snow showers will be likely for the beartooth/absaroka
and Big Horn Mountains where a few inches of snow will be
possible. Hooley

Long term...valid for Monday...Tue...Wed...Thu...Fri...



Temperatures 15 to 20 degrees above seasonal levels will be the
new norm through the work week as upper level high press dominates
the western US.

Monday starts off with the upper level ridge axis aligned through
western Oregon and Washington. That will leave our area in a fast
and somewhat unstable northwest flow. For Monday and Tuesday
expect mostly cloudy conditions and scattered chances for rain and
higher elevation snows...mostly above 5000ft mean sea level. A rain/snow mix
is possible for any precipitation falling at night when temperatures
lower into the middle-upper 30s. This unsettled weather will be a
result of two shortwaves moving southeast down the eastern side of
the ridge. Temperatures will be warm on Monday and
Tuesday...especially for locations that do not receive any
precipitation...and in the upper 50s. Conditions will also be
somewhat breezy...especially for locations west of Billings and
Roundup.

Main Ridge axis moves across our forecast area Wednesday and
Thursday afternoon and along with it even warmer temperatures
around 60. The breezy conditions should subside somewhat towards
the middle of the week as well. Moving to the end of the work
week...some uncertainty in the handling of a Pacific trough creeps
into the forecast...though we likely will see temperatures cool
closer to normal towards next weekend with chances for
precipitation returning to the forecast. An increase in the winds
is also possible prior to trough passage. Dobbs
&&

Aviation...



VFR conditions should prevail through the early morning hours.
MVFR/IFR conditions are possible as showers slide through this
morning and afternoon. Expect breezy conditions at all terminals
as the weak front slides through. Timing of the front places it at
kbil and kmls around 18z...and kshr around 20 or 21z. Southwest
gap winds will impact klvm through the period. Mountain
obscurations possible Saturday. Dobbs

&&

Preliminary point temp/pops...

Today sun Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
-------------------------------------------------------
bil 051 033/051 038/058 038/059 039/060 041/062 038/058
4/west 13/west 23/west 32/west 10/b 12/west 21/north
lvm 046 033/049 040/053 041/056 041/057 040/056 036/052
4/west 24/west 34/west 42/west 10/north 12/west 32/west
hdn 053 031/054 033/059 034/061 033/061 035/063 034/059
4/west 23/west 25/west 32/west 10/b 02/west 21/north
mls 046 030/049 031/053 031/055 034/056 035/059 036/055
6/west 22/west 24/west 24/west 10/b 01/east 21/b
4bq 052 030/050 032/051 030/057 032/060 035/063 033/056
8/west 32/west 24/west 33/west 10/b 01/b 21/north
bhk 039 027/044 027/046 028/047 031/050 034/054 033/050
7/west 42/west 14/west 23/west 10/b 01/b 21/north
shr 052 028/049 030/053 032/056 032/058 034/060 031/055
7/west 33/west 24/west 32/west 10/b 11/east 21/b

&&

Byz watches/warnings/advisories...
Montana...High Wind Warning in effect until 9 PM MST this evening for
zone 28.
Wyoming...none.

&&

$$
Weather.Gov/Billings

National Weather Service Glossary of Abbreviations