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Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
1130 PM CDT Sat Apr 21 2018

Short term...(this evening through sunday)
issued at 327 PM CDT Sat Apr 21 2018

Main weather impacts through Sunday are possible critical fire
weather conditions in portions of northwest and west central
Minnesota, due to breezy conditions combining with warming
temperatures and low humidities.

The northern plains remains situated in split flow aloft, with a
closed upper lows to the north in Saskatchewan and to the south in
the arklatex region. The northern low will progress eastward into
Manitoba by Sunday, putting the forecast area in warm air advection.
Despite being situated in the warm sector of the northern system,
drier air persists with the blocking system to the south.

Expect abundant sunshine to persist Sunday with a warmer day than
Saturday. With the surface pressure trough and trailing cold
front approaching from western ND, pressure gradient winds will
strengthen heading into Sunday. This yields sustained southwest winds
in the 10 to 20 mph range, combined with 20 to 30 kt winds in the
925-850mb layer mixing down on Sunday to make for breezy
conditions.

Long term...(sunday night through saturday)
issued at 327 PM CDT Sat Apr 21 2018

Mostly dry conditions are expected throughout the forecast period
underneath northwest flow aloft with a couple of light rain chances
that accompany passing cold fronts next week. Temperatures are
forecast to remain near normal with a couple of days slightly below
normal in the wake of a pair of cold fronts. Normal temperatures for
the area are highs in the mid to upper 50s and lows in the lower to
mid 30s.

A surface trough/cold front is expected to gradually push through
the region Monday. A secondary cold front will then push through
late Monday into Tuesday along with a mid level shortwave trough
moving into southern Ontario. A secondary low is expected to form in
western South Dakota late Monday. While the ECMWF, CMC, and even the
NAM suggest precipitation associated with this secondary low largely
passing the forecast area to the south, the GFS continues to pull
moisture eastward as the secondary low interacts with the Ontario
shortwave and trailing cold front. While rain chances remain in the
forecast mainly for southern locations late Monday into Tuesday, did
trim pops due to the suggested dry forecast offered by most
guidance. Breezy northerly winds are expected Tuesday within a
regime of cold air advection.

The next cold front comes late Wednesday. Ahead of this cold front,
a thermal ridge will allow temperatures to reach into the 60s
accompanied by breezy southwesterly winds. This combines with low relative humidity
of around 30-40% to increase fire danger some as most snowpack is
gone and dead fuels continue to dry out. Still some question of the
exact magnitude regarding fire danger during this time frame. As the
cold front passes late Wednesday, there could be some light rain
chances especially for locations in far northwest Minnesota. High
pressure squeezes into the region Thursday allowing gusty northerly
winds to develop. Dry conditions are expected Friday and Saturday as
northwest flow aloft remains in place and surface high pressure
remains in place.

&&

Aviation...(for the 06z tafs through 06z Sunday night)
issued at 1130 PM CDT Sat Apr 21 2018

VFR conditions will continue through the taf period across
eastern ND and northwest Minnesota. An upper level disturbance will move
to the north of the region, resulting in increasing winds Sunday.
Winds are generally expected to prevail at most terminals 12-15
mph by sunrise Sunday, with gusts during the day around 20 mph.
Some locations may gust to 30 mph across the northern Red River
valley and parts of Minnesota.

&&

Fire weather...
issued at 327 PM CDT Sat Apr 21 2018

Critical or near critical fire weather conditions will develop
across parts of northwest and west central Minnesota on Sunday.
Temperatures are expected to peak in the 60s Sunday afternoon,
yielding minimum humidities in the 20s and 30s. Gusty south winds
and dry conditions ahead of the front may lead to critical fire
weather conditions Sunday.

&&

Hydrology...
issued at 327 PM CDT Sat Apr 21 2018

Latest satellite imagery and area web cams reveal snowpack still
exists mainly within Steele, Traill, and far northern Cass counties.
This implies rivers near this region may still respond from
additional snowmelt, mainly along the Maple, Elm, and Goose River
stems. Along the Red River, most ice seems to be breaking up with
free flowing water noted in the central and southern portions of the
Red River. Still, elevated water levels along the Red River are
being observed with minor and possibly moderate flooding expected in
some locations. The Red River is expected to crest at Grand Forks
and Oslo early next week. Further downstream, flood watches have
been issued as the Red River is expected to crest mid to late next
week at Drayton and Pembina reaching minor flood stage. Spikes in
water levels along the Snake River from ice complications are
beginning to subside. Otherwise, low land flooding is expected to
continue to diminish as water continues to percolate into the
thawing ground.

&&

Fgf watches/warnings/advisories...
ND...none.
Minnesota...Fire Weather Watch from 10 am CDT Sunday through Sunday evening
for mnz005-006-008-009-013>017-022-023.

&&

$$

Short term...bp

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