Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Billings Montana
834 am MST Friday Mar 7 2014
main issues continue to revolve around widespread small stream
and low land flooding...a result of snow melt over the past few
days. A variety of advisories and warnings are in effect across
the area. Cooler temperatures will reduce the snow melt today and tonight
and we should see water levels respond accordingly...though areas
of ice jams will continue to pose a risk for several days...
especially with warmer temperatures coming this weekend.
For today...energy from western Montana is moving a bit more southward
than previously thought...thus snow shower activity is more
isolated in nature in our west and central parts this morning.
Have lowered probability of precipitation today. Best chances will be over our mountains per
the weak energy and steep middle level lapse rates. Fog and low cloud
developed over much of the region last night and continues this
morning as of 830am...with local visibility to a quarter mile or less.
Temperatures today will be cooler today especially in our east near cool
surface high in the plains. Highs will range from the middle 40s in our
west to the 20s near the Dakotas border.
Short term...valid for today and Sat...
The main forecast issue for the next several days will be areas
of flooding as warmer temperatures will continue to melt the snow
pack across the lower elevations. The cold front that backed its
way across most of the forecast area Thursday evening has yet to
make it to Livingston and is basically positioned along the
beartooth/absaroka foothills southeast across central Wyoming.
This boundary area combined with a weak upper level disturbance
within a northwest flow aloft will bring scattered snow showers or
areas of light snow to the forecast area today but mainly this
morning with accumulations remaining less than an inch. Colder air
currently in place combined with low level moisture from
yesterdays snow melt is resulting in areas of fog across all
locations except our far western locations. Have added this into
the forecast through the middle to late morning hours today.
Temperatures today will be cooler than Thursday with readings in
the 20s across the east with 40s across the west. Areas of
flooding will continue but snowmelt rate is expected to slow down
as most areas are currently below freezing and highs will be much
cooler than yesterday.
Saturday will see ridging build back across the forecast area
along with partly to mostly sunny skies. This will allow
temperatures to warm well above normal with readings in the 50s to
lower 60s for most areas across the plains. Hooley
Long term...valid for sun...Mon...Tue...Wed...Thu...
Positively tilted ridge persists over the area Sunday before
longwave Pacific trough moves into the West Coast Sunday night and
breaks down the ridge into Monday. Ahead of the trough gap winds
will be strong over western valley locations and will likely need
at least a Wind Advisory for areas from Livingston to Nye and
possibly Big Timber Saturday into Sunday. With a strong Pacific
moisture feed into the West Coast system and cyclonic flow over
the area...models are trending higher on precipitation chances
and quantitative precipitation forecast Monday into Tuesday. Increased probability of precipitation to likely for this
period and bumped up quantitative precipitation forecast as some models generating well over half
an inch of precipitation. Ridging aloft redevelops Wednesday into
Thursday for drier and warmer conditions. Another Pacific trough
will work into the Great Basin on Friday and could bring showers
and cooler temperatures to the area going into the weekend.
Temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above average on Sunday will cool
down into the 40s for the rest of the week starting Monday.
Melting will continue next week but will likely be more subdued
compared to recent melting and flooding. However ice jam flooding
potential will remain high through next week...especially if
heavier rainfall develops Monday into Tuesday. Chambers
LIFR and vlifr ceilings and visible persist this morning over central
routes...with MVFR conditions elsewhere due to low ceilings and
fog. Conditions are expected to improve later this morning and
through the afternoon for west and central routes...as winds turn
westerly and begin to increase. MVFR ceilings will likely persist
over eastern zones including kmls taf location through the
afternoon hours. Mountain obscuration will continue through middle
Preliminary point temp/pops...
Today Sat sun Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday
bil 041 028/052 035/055 038/046 029/042 026/046 029/049
2/west 10/u 00/east 26/west 53/west 21/b 00/b
lvm 045 029/052 037/054 036/045 026/040 021/044 025/046
3/west 20/north 02/west 37/west 54/j 21/b 01/b
hdn 039 023/050 028/055 035/049 028/044 024/049 026/053
2/west 10/u 00/b 26/west 53/west 21/b 00/b
mls 029 020/048 030/057 036/050 029/045 026/049 028/052
2/j 10/u 00/b 15/west 42/west 21/b 00/b
4bq 033 021/048 029/061 035/055 030/043 023/048 025/053
2/j 10/u 00/b 13/west 52/west 21/b 00/b
bhk 023 014/045 028/055 033/050 027/043 025/047 026/051
2/j 10/b 00/b 03/west 42/west 21/b 00/b
shr 041 023/053 027/059 035/055 028/041 020/046 022/050
3/west 20/u 00/b 14/west 63/west 21/b 00/b