Scientific Forecaster Discussion

Return to Local Conditions & Forecast

Without Abbreviations
With Abbreviations

Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
312 PM CST Friday Feb 5 2016

Short term...(this evening through Sunday night)
issued at 252 PM CST Friday Feb 5 2016

Challenging forecast for the weekend with warm temperatures Saturday
night and storm system for Sunday.

Rather quiet for the next 24 hours with mild conditions and low
level warm air advection beginning tonight and into Saturday. 850mb temperatures rise
above zero across the valley and west through 00z sun. Maximum temperatures
to be realized with westerly surge of the surface winds mixing
down warm air aloft late in the afternoon and into the evening for
the valley. Highs in the upper 30s to low 40s will harden any new
snowcover over the past week from the weak clipper systems.

As for the Saturday night and Sunday system...models have come
into a bit better agreement with the 12z suite of runs. The ec and
Gem remain the furthest north with the 500mb low track whereas the
GFS/NAM a bit further south. The track will not impact wind
potential...just snow amounts.

Uncertainties in forecast begin early Saturday night into Sunday
with track of the upper low and subsequent placement of the
heaviest accumulation of snow. Confidence is high on wind
potential with mixing of 40 to 50kts to around 900mb combined with
a strong push of cold air advection Sunday 12z to 18z. BUFKIT soundings reinforce
this idea indicating efficient momentum Transfer of stronger
winds to the surface. Ahead of the cold air advection the column will be warm enough
in east ND and the valley to have a brief period of rain/freezing rain and
sleet before changing over to snow. High confidence in the
northern half of the County Warning Area with respect to blizzard
conditions developing...confidence decreases somewhat to the south
and west southeast ND as potential snowfall remains on the low side of
possibilities. Will issue a blizzard watch dvl bsn and valley with
winter storm in eastern zones in effect through 12z Monday. With
respect to snowfall current thinking is that there is an 80
percent chance of at least 2 inches...40 percent chance of at least 4
inches and a 10 percent chance of 6 inches.

Long term...(monday through friday)
issued at 252 PM CST Friday Feb 5 2016

Monday to Thursday...models in fair agreement with the overall
general upper air pattern across the northern plains with a highly
amplified West Coast ridge and East Coast trough. This will bring northwest
flow aloft to the area with overall dry conditions outside some
possible light snow with any weak clipper type
possibly on Thursday. The difficult...less certain part of the
forecast will be temperatures as placement of the baroclinic zone and the
warmer air to the west and colder air to the east will determine the
maximum and min for the week. Currently the cold day appears to be
Tuesday with the highs in the low teens and single digits...other
days highs in the upper teens and low 20s...a bit colder than this
past week.


Aviation...(for the 18z tafs through 18z Saturday afternoon)
issued at 1254 PM CST Friday Feb 5 2016

VFR conditions are expected with northwest winds today shifting southerly
on Saturday. Winds will increase just after this valid
period...ahead of the next strong clipper system.


Fgf watches/warnings/advisories...
ND...blizzard watch from Sunday morning through late Sunday night for

Blizzard watch from late Saturday night through late Sunday
night for ndz006-007-014-015-024-026-028-054.

Minnesota...blizzard watch from Sunday morning through late Sunday night for

Winter Storm Watch from Sunday morning through late Sunday night
for mnz006-009-016-017-023-024-028-031-032.



Short term...jk

National Weather Service Glossary of Abbreviations