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Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville Illinois
1152 PM CST Sat Dec 20 2014

904 PM CST

We still have the possibility of patchy freezing drizzle
overnight with the best chance in our western areas. That
said...temperatures are around freezing and not expected to drop
much given the cloud cover and warm advection pattern setting up.
At this point impacts do look minimal...especially farther east. Have
kept temperatures nearly steady overnight. Some precipitation may make it
closer to Chicago late tonight into Sunday morning once the warm
front gets closer...but it would be largely in the form of patchy
drizzle. Fog may be possible as well overnight.



Short term...
247 PM CST

Through Sunday night...

The streak of cloudy days continues...with the stubborn pattern to
continue. As a result of the thick cloud cover...and lack of
organized advection of any warmer air at the surface...temperatures have held
mainly around 30 to 35 across the bulk of the County warning forecast area. Surface ridge
continues to drift east this afternoon...with a weak southerly flow
developing. There was a weak middle-level vorticity lifting northeast across
southern wisc/western lower Michigan...which was able to produce a few
flurries across the far northern Illinois areas.

This afternoon/early evening looks to remain quiet/dry...with a light
south/southeast wind. Infrared imagery shows the next wave across the
Central Plains...which is prognosticated to arrive across northwest Illinois
after midnight. There appears to be some weak advection of moisture
in the low-levels overnight. Soundings suggest a narrow warm wedge
aloft which could transition any precipitation overnight to liquid. The
forcing/Omega is rather weak...which may limit droplet size and
result in just patchy freezing drizzle. Temperatures will likely not move
much have held onto middle/upper 20s overnight.

Local arw8km solution indicates the moisture to be rather marginal
with the system arriving overnight/Sun morning...but progressive and
lifting north of the County warning forecast area by midday. Weak thermal ridge at 850mb
would suggest temperatures may actually warm Sun afternoon...however given the
stubborn pattern we have been in would lean towards nudging temperatures
down a degree or two. Moisture layer will remain locked in across
the region through sun/Sun night. With a continued southerly flow at the
surface...temperatures will likely only fall to around 30/low 30s.



Long term...
247 PM CST

Monday through Saturday...

500mb trough begins to dig into the central Continental U.S. Monday morning...with
warm air steadily advecting north across the forecast area. While
the thick cloud cover will persist...the push of warm/moist air will
bring temperatures into the 40s the far southern County warning forecast area could see a few
locations touch the upper 40s Monday afternoon. Precipitation will steadily push east
as the upper level system progresses towards the region...but with
the warm air in place precipitation should fall as rain.

Monday night the 500mb vorticity will slide into the upper Midwest...but the
trough will dig south across the Southern Plains. Guidance has been
indicating a secondary shortwave ejecting from the trough axis...and
lifting it northeast across the tenn valley Christmas evening. The
northern surface low will be wrapped up across central wisc Tuesday...with
the moist channel feeding north across the forecast area through Tuesday
afternoon. The southern low will be quickly deepening as it lifts north
across the Ohio Valley Wednesday morning...allowing winds to be on the
increase and helping to steadily transition precipitation over from rain to
snow Post frontal passage Wednesday morning.

The last several cycles of guidance have demonstrated differences in
placement/track of the surface low Wednesday aftn/eve. Latest solution is
prognosticated to lift north across northern in and then slightly
retrograde across the southern tip of Lake Michigan Wednesday evening. Then by
Christmas day the trough will be pivoting east and helping to lift
the surface low northeast away from the region. Some wrap around
moisture/snow looks favorable Wednesday night/Thursday morning...before coming
to an end just after daybreak Christmas morning. This system will
continue to be closely monitored.

Temperatures will be returning to more seasonal conds...with highs
Christmas day in the low/middle 30s. Flow remains rather progressive
with another weak push of warmer air returning Friday and temperatures back to
the upper 30s/low 40s. Then for Friday ensembles are indicating yet
another trough beginning to dig into the central Continental U.S....with a surface
low lifting northeast across the western Great Lakes.




//Ord and mdw concerns...updated 06z...

* MVFR ceilings developing pre-dawn and likely lingering through
the period.

* Potential for a period of fog/light freezing drizzle this
morning...though better potential west/northwest of Chicago


//discussion...updated 06z...

Light southwest flow just above the surface is advecting low level
moisture steadily northeastward across the region...with expansive
area of MVFR/IFR/LIFR extending upstream to the west and southwest
of northern Illinois terminals. Main moist axis and lowest
conditions along with fog and drizzle/freezing drizzle/flurries
lifting from Iowa into northwest Illinois...setting up likely IFR
conditions early this morning for krfd. Farther East...Chicago
area terminals expected to deteriorate to MVFR but lower
conditions should remain just off to the west/northwest. Given
extensive upstream conditions would expect low clouds to linger
through much of the period as surface low pressure developing over
the northern plains maintains southwest flow aloft.

South winds around 5 knots will likely become a little east of south
in 170-160 degree range through the day with speeds increasing
into the 10-15 knots range. Model soundings suggest some gusts above
15 knots possible later this afternoon/tonight...though shallow mixed
layer argues against prevailing gust mention.


//Ord and mdw confidence...updated 06z...

* medium confidence in ceiling trends this morning.

* Low confidence in ceiling trends this afternoon/tonight.

* Low confidence in MVFR fog and dz/fzdz potential this morning.

* Medium-high confidence in winds.


//outlook for Ord/mdw for 12z Monday-12z Saturday...updated 00z...

Monday...MVFR/IFR early lowering to IFR/LIFR. Rain developing

Tuesday...oncl rain showers. IFR probable.

Wednesday...chance shra/shsn. MVFR likely. IFR possible.

Thursday...MVFR ceilings possible early.

Friday...chance of rain/snow late. MVFR ceilings possible again.



203 PM CST

Light southeast to east winds will increase to 10-25 knots tomorrow
morning then to 30 knots in the afternoon as the gradient tightens
between the departing high and the next low. The low moves over the
Dakotas Sunday night and models agree a bit more in the pattern
early next week. Have medium confidence in the wind forecast with
this next low. The low weakens as it moves over Wisconsin Tuesday
and a second low forms over the southern Mississippi Valley Tuesday
afternoon. The second low will race north and deepen reaching
Michigan Wednesday. Models differ on how quickly the low will reach
Michigan. Both models continue to feature westerly high end gales
behind the low Wednesday afternoon into Thursday. West winds
diminish Thursday as the low continues off to the north. The next
low moves over the Southern Plains Thursday afternoon. Guidance
differs on this lows path but it should impact the lake late next



Lot watches/warnings/advisories...
Lm...Small Craft Advisory...lmz740...10 PM Sunday to 3 am Tuesday.



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