Area Forecast Discussion

FXUS63 KFGF 170020
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Grand Forks ND
620 PM CST Sun Dec 16 2018
Issued at 612 PM CST Sun Dec 16 2018
Forecast in good shape as SFC high pressure ridge axis traverses
the area overnight into Monday. As a result winds become light and
variable tonight then turn to the southeast Monday morning from
west to east. Temps tonight kept in check some by passing high
clouds and lack of deep snow cover across much of the area. Will
see single digits in the north and upper teens to 20F south. 
.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Monday)
Issued at 307 PM CST Sun Dec 16 2018
Expect quiet, dry weather through Monday. Breezy northwest winds on 
Sunday brought drier, cooler air and subzero 850 mb temperatures 
into the region. Surface high pressure builds through the region 
overnight, bringing light and variable winds. After sunset, 
temperatures will drop rapidly with nocturnal radiational cooling so 
went on the colder side of model guidance for low temperatures 
tonight, but cooling will be somewhat limited by high clouds 
streaming overhead. On Monday, temperatures have a relatively slow 
recovery as ridging builds in overhead and southerly flow develops 
during the day.
.LONG TERM...(Monday night through Sunday)
Issued at 307 PM CST Sun Dec 16 2018
Warmer than normal weather continues for the long term period with 
some chances for precipitation Tuesday night into Wednesday and 
Friday night into Saturday.
Monday night through Wednesday... The upper level ridge will shift 
east Monday night into Tuesday bringing at shortwave trough past the 
Northern Plains. The precipitation associated with this short wave 
should stay north of the international border. Another short wave is 
right behind it and this one should bring some wintry precipitation 
to the Northern Plains. QPF is not expected to be high with this 
system, but precipitation type will be a concern. NAM soundings have 
a warm layer aloft over a freezing surface that could lead to sleet 
or freezing rain over parts of southeast North Dakota in west 
central Minnesota on Wednesday. Other models like the GFS have a 
much warmer surface such that sleet and freezing rain would not 
occur. GEFS plumes also suggest a small chance for freezing rain so 
all together sleet or freezing rain is possible for Wednesday, but 
remains low confidence at this time.
Thursday through Sunday... Another upper level ridge moves in 
bringing a return to quieter weather on Thursday. This won't last 
long as another surface low is expected to develop off of the lee of 
the Rockies in the Canadian Prairies and bring another round of 
precipitation to the Northern Plains. Model guidance keeps this low 
in Canada and all of North Dakota and Minnesota on the south, warmer 
side of the surface low. The low track does vary from model to model 
though with the GFS and ECMWF farther north with lower impacts in 
the Northern Plains. The CMC though has this low near the 
international border and this would lead to more significant 
accumulations across the Northern Plains. The more likely solution 
at this point is the GFS/ECMWF solution, but CMC remains possible 
and we will need to keep an eye on this system. At this point the 
highest impacts look to be in far northwest Minnesota into the Lake 
of the Woods area with a few inches of snow possible. Timing is also 
slightly different between models but generally the main event is 
expected Friday night into Saturday morning at this time. Some 
additional snow showers could persist in the Lake of the Woods area 
into Sunday. Colder air expected to follow this system with a return 
to normal temperatures Sunday after a streak of above normal 
.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Monday evening)
Issued at 612 PM CST Sun Dec 16 2018
Winds light and variable overnight with passing cirrus. VFR 
conditions to persist as winds turn to the SE tomorrow.