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Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Billings Montana
318 PM MST Wednesday Feb 10 2016

Short term...valid for Thursday and Friday...

Water vapor imagery shows northwest flow over our area with a strong
upper ridge anchored to our west. Deep trough and much colder air
exists over the eastern Continental U.S....but we have a few issues to work
out in the short term despite our region being dominated by the
upper ridge.

Modest cool advection is ongoing across eastern Montana behind a weak
Canadian frontal passage. A large area of low cloud is approaching
from the northern plains as winds shift to the N-NE...and expect
this low cloud to get into our east this evening. Water vapor
imagery shows a weak shortwave moving into southern British Columbia which may
bring some light precipitation to areas east of surface trough later tonight into
early Thursday. Surface temperatures should be below freezing but an elevated
warm layer may result in a narrow area of light freezing rain...or
a mix of that and snow...for mainly Fallon County for a brief
time. Will continue to highlight this potential in weather story and
severe weather potential statement. Further west across most of our County Warning Area...dry downslope winds
will prevail.

Speaking of further west...aforementioned Canadian shortwave will
induce a period of Lee side pressure falls and this will enhance
The Gap flow at Livingston and Nye tonight. With middle level winds
in excess of 40 kts we will see advisory level gusts approached in
the usual spots. Have pushed up gusts to 55 miles per hour but there is some
uncertainty given the current Lee side pressure rises. Will let
evening shift make final call whether a Wind Advisory is needed
for Livingston and Nye.

Another very mild day is in store for Thursday with mixed westerly
winds...and we will see 60+ degree highs once again. Sheridan
record of 61f for February 11th will be challenged.

A stronger and more interesting backdoor front will surge in from
the NE Thursday night into another Pacific shortwave
interacts with another cold surge out of Canada. Latest models are
in good agreement showing cooler east winds pushing west of
Billings. This will bring significantly cooler temperatures for Friday
for all but the mountains and foothills...with highs only in the 30s to
lower 40s. Also...a period of moist isentropic ascent will bring a
reasonable chance of snow/rain to much of our lower elevations
from late Thursday night through Friday...east of surface trough of
course...and this includes Billings. This is something to
watch...but at this time feel that warm ground and weak dynamics
support snow accums of less than an inch. Surface trough should push
east and off the foothills Friday night as precipitation tapers off.

Only other potential issue is fog and light freezing drizzle for
our east late Thursday night into Friday as we tap into the low
level colder air and moisture behind backdooring front. We could
see enough saturation with temperatures warmer than -10c to support some
freezing drizzle.


Long term...valid for Sat...sun...Mon...Tue...Wed...

Saturday will see the a trough move through ending the dominance
of the West Coast ridge. The 12z guidance did not offer any
improvement with the timing discrepancies. The GFS remains slower
but slightly stronger with the wave. The ec is about 6 hours
faster than the GFS. Given that the pattern has not
changed...have basically continued the inherited probability of precipitation.

Behind the short wave...winds will increase. 850 winds are in the
range of 40 kts with instability. This has come down some over the
past 24 hours...but none the less it will be breezy across the
area. Going into the early part of next week...winds will remain
gusty. The GFS continues to show an extended period of unstable
and windy conditions. Temperatures will be more moderate through
the extended. Reimer


VFR conditions will prevail over the area today and tonight. Gusty
west-southwest surface winds will affect Big Timber and klvm with gusts of 45
to 50 knots expected at klvm. Reimer

Preliminary point temp/pops...

Thursday Friday Sat sun Monday Tuesday Wednesday
bil 040/064 035/042 035/057 034/051 035/059 039/059 033/056
00/north 23/o 12/west 22/west 22/west 21/north 11/b
lvm 044/058 038/055 038/050 033/048 038/054 040/053 034/051
00/north 33/west 23/west 43/west 32/west 21/north 12/west
hdn 031/065 030/045 030/059 030/052 031/059 034/060 028/057
00/b 23/o 12/west 33/west 32/west 21/north 11/b
mls 029/053 026/037 028/055 030/049 031/055 037/055 030/053
11/east 12/S 32/west 21/b 22/west 21/north 11/b
4bq 028/058 026/038 027/055 030/049 029/055 034/058 028/053
01/east 13/o 22/west 32/west 22/west 21/north 11/b
bhk 025/044 022/030 020/045 028/045 028/048 034/051 026/048
23/o 11/z 33/west 32/west 22/west 21/north 11/b
shr 030/060 029/046 029/054 029/046 029/054 033/056 027/053
00/b 22/o 12/west 32/west 22/west 11/b 11/b


Byz watches/warnings/advisories...



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