Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Gaylord, MI

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000
FXUS63 KAPX 311512
AFDAPX

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GAYLORD MI
1112 AM EDT TUE MAR 31 2015

.UPDATE...
ISSUED AT 1101 AM EDT TUE MAR 31 2015

ON THE LATEST SURFACE WEATHER MAP...1005 MB LOW PRESSURE WAS OVER
NORTHERN OHIO AND 1009 MB LOW PRESSURE WAS OVER SOUTHWEST ONTARIO.
SATELLITE IMAGERY AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS SHOWED A FEW PATCHES OF
LOW CLOUDS FLOATING AROUND OFF OF THE GREAT LAKES AND INCREASING
HIGH AND MID CLOUDS FROM THE SYSTEM APPROACHING FROM THE
NORTHWEST. THE APX RADAR WAS VOID OF RETURNS AT THE MOMENT.
FORECAST CONCERNS ARE NUMEROUS BUT RELATIVELY MINOR BUT INCLUDE
TIMING OF PRECIPITATION AND PRECIPITATION TYPE LATER THIS
AFTERNOON AND EVENING.

WEAK WAVE DROPPING DOWN FROM THE NORTHWEST WILL LEAD TO INCREASING
CLOUDS AND INCREASING CHANCES FOR RAIN OR A RAIN SNOW MIX ACROSS
EASTERN UPPER AND FAR NORTHERN LOWER LATER THIS AFTERNOON. DID
SLOW UP THE TIMING JUST A LITTLE BASED ON CURRENT TRENDS.
OTHERWISE...THE FORECAST IS IN GOOD SHAPE. REMAINING COOL WITH
HIGHS RANGING FROM THE MIDDLE 30S NORTH TO THE MIDDLE 40S SOUTH.

&&

.NEAR TERM...(TODAY THROUGH TONIGHT)
ISSUED AT 432 AM EDT TUE MAR 31 2015

...ONE SYSTEM OUT THIS MORNING/ANOTHER ARRIVES THIS AFTERNOON...

HIGH IMPACT WEATHER POTENTIAL: MINIMAL.

PATTERN SYNOPSIS/FORECAST: 05Z SURFACE/COMPOSITE ANALYSIS SHOWS A
1006MB ELONGATED SURFACE LOW OVER SOUTHERN WISCONSIN...TRACKING
SOUTHEAST TOWARD A 4MB/3H PRESSURE FALL CENTER OVER FAR SOUTHWEST
LOWER MICHIGAN.  SECOND AREA OF LOW PRESSURE OVER NORTHWEST ONTARIO
ALSO HEADING SOUTHEAST.  BOTH FEATURES HAVE PRECIPITATION ASSOCIATED
WITH THEM...AN ELONGATED NORTHWEST-SOUTHEAST PRECIP AXIS ACROSS LAKE
MICHIGAN-SOUTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN AND A SECOND MORE COMPACT AREA OF
PRECIP NORTH OF THE MINNESOTA BORDER.  ELONGATED POTENTIAL VORTICITY
ANOMALY STRETCHED OUT FROM NORTHERN SASKATCHEWAN SOUTHEAST INTO
SOUTHERN LOWER MICHIGAN...PAIR OF VORTICITY CENTERS ALONG THIS
ANOMALY EVIDENT ON WATER VAPOR IMAGERY COINCIDENT WITH THE
AFOREMENTIONED SURFACE LOW CENTERS.  LOWER MICHIGAN PRECIPITATION
SHIELD SUPPORTED BY LOW/MID LEVEL FRONTOGENESIS AND STEEP MID LEVEL
LAPSE RATES (WHICH EXTEND UP INTO MANITOBA WITH A FEW LIGHTNING
STRIKES LAST EVENING ACROSS SOUTHEAST MANITOBA/NORTHWEST MINNESOTA).
50KT SOUTHWESTERLY LOW LEVEL JET INTO SOUTHERN LAKE MICHIGAN/
SOUTHWEST LOWER MICHIGAN AIDING MOISTURE TRANSPORT/CONVERGENCE INTO
PRECIP BAND.  NORTHERN FRINGES OF PRECIPITATION CLIPPING FAR
SOUTHWEST PORTION OF THE FORECAST AREA AS A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW
(THE LATTER OVER THE HIGHER TERRAIN).  JUST HIGH CLOUDS ACROSS
EASTERN UPPER.

AS PRECIPITATION CURRENTLY OVER LOWER MICHIGAN DEPARTS TO THE EAST
LATER THIS MORNING...ATTENTION TURNS TO NORTHWEST ONTARIO SHORT WAVE
TROUGH.  WHILE NOT AS STRONG AS THE SYSTEM OVER WISCONSIN...
SATELLITE PRESENTATION IS NOT BAD WITH COOLING CLOUD TOPS HEADING
TOWARD LAKE SUPERIOR.  THIS SYSTEM WILL BEGIN TO IMPACT THE FORECAST
AREA LATER THIS AFTERNOON AND THROUGH THIS EVENING.

PRIMARY FORECAST CONCERNS: PRECIPITATION CHANCES WILL APPROACHING
SHORT WAVE TROUGH LATER TODAY INTO TONIGHT.

TODAY...WHILE LEAD SYSTEM DEPARTS EARLY ON...MID CLOUDS FROM NEXT
SYSTEM SHOULD BE QUICK ON ITS HEELS COMING IN FROM THE NORTHWEST.
BETTER SATURATION ARRIVES DURING MID/LATE AFTERNOON WITH MODEST
FORCING (ISENTROPIC).  SO WILL ADD POPS TO THE AFTERNOON FORECAST
WITH A NORTH-SOUTH GRADIENT DOWN TO AN FKS-PZQ LINE.  PRECIP TYPE
WILL DEPEND ON STRENGTH OF SURFACE BASED WARM LAYER...LOOKS PRETTY
THIN ACROSS EASTERN UPPER SO MAY PLAY MORE SNOW ABOVE THE BRIDGE AND
RAIN FOR ANYTHING THAT FALLS ACROSS NORTHERN LOWER.  AFTERNOON HIGHS
ACROSS NORTHERN LOWER SHOULD BE CLOSER TO AVERAGE ESPECIALLY THE
FARTHER SOUTH ONE GOES...BUT MORE CLOUDS AND A COOLER START TO THE
DAY EXPECTED TO KEEP HIGHS ACROSS EASTERN UPPER IN THE MID 30S.

TONIGHT...PRECIP THREAT WILL CONTINUE INTO TONIGHT WITH CONTINUED
ISENTROPIC ASCENT...WITH PRECIP CHANCES EXPECTED TO SPREAD FARTHER
SOUTH INTO THE LOWER PENINSULA.  AS THIS OCCURS PRECIP TYPE EXPECTED
TO TREND TOWARD ALL FROZEN PRECIP...AND POSSIBILITY THAT SNOW MAY
TAPER OFF TO A PERIOD OF FREEZING DRIZZLE BUT NOT SOLD ENOUGH ON
THAT IDEA TO ADD TO THE FORECAST.  CURRENT ADJUSTMENTS SHOULD BE
PLENTY FOR NOW.  CURRENT SNOW AMOUNTS EXPECTED FROM THIS AFTERNOON
THROUGH TONIGHT LESS THAN 2 INCHES...WITH LITTLE PRECIPITATION
EXPECTED WEST OF THE US-131 CORRIDOR.

&&

.SHORT TERM...(WEDNESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT)
ISSUED AT 432 AM EDT TUE MAR 31 2015

HIGH IMPACT WEATHER POTENTIAL: CHANCES FOR THE FIRST THUNDERSTORMS
OF THE SEASON WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO PART OF THURSDAY. NOT LOOKING AT
ANY OUTRIGHT SEVERE WEATHER THREAT AT THE MOMENT...BUT THERE ARE
HINTS A FEW STORMS COULD PRODUCE SOME SMALLER HAIL WEDNESDAY NIGHT
AND/OR THURSDAY.

FINALLY - I HAVE THE HONOR OF PRESENTING A SPRING-LIKE FORECAST TO
THE RESIDENTS AND VISITORS OF NORTHERN MICHIGAN. HAVEN`T BEEN ABLE
TO DO THAT IN WHAT SEEMS LIKE FOREVER...AND SADLY IT LOOKS LIKE ONLY
A BRIEF VENTURE INTO THE WARMER WEATHER REALM. NEVERTHELESS...WE
WILL ENJOY IT WHILE IT`S HERE! SETTING THE STAGE FOR OUR WARMUP IS A
FAIRLY ROBUST UPPER TROUGH JUST ABOUT TO PLOW ONSHORE INTO THE
PACIFIC NORTHWEST THE NEXT 24 HOURS...EVENTUALLY TRANSITING EASTWARD
INTO THE PLAINS AND WESTERN LAKES WEDNESDAY INTO THURSDAY. MEANWHILE
AT THE SURFACE...RIDGING IN CONTROL FOR MUCH OF WEDNESDAY WILL WORK
TOWARD THE EAST COAST...SETTING UP A FAIRLY ROBUST ROUND OF RETURN
FLOW UP INTO THE GREAT LAKES WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON AND NIGHT.
ACCOMPANYING THAT RETURN FLOW WILL BE QUITE THE SURGE OF MOISTURE AS
THE GULF OPENS UP...WITH PWAT VALUES SURGING UP TOWARD AN INCH (NOT
TOO SHABBY FOR EARLY APRIL) AND INTERACTING WITH BOTH LOW LEVEL JET
DYNAMICS WEDNESDAY AND FRONTAL FORCING ON THURSDAY TO DELIVER A
ROUND OR TWO OF RAIN TO MUCH OF THE AREA.

BREAKING IT ALL DOWN...WEDNESDAY NOT LOOKING TO SHABBY AS HIGH
PRESSURE DOMINATES OUR WEATHER...THOUGH DO HAVE SOME CONCERNS ABOUT
PESKY CLOUD COVER PERHAPS STUCK BENEATH A SHALLOW INVERSION FOR A
TIME. NAM/GFS HAVE BEEN THE MOST ROBUST WITH THIS IDEA (NOT REALLY
SHOCKING GIVEN THEIR BOUNDARY LAYER ISSUES OF LATE)...AND GUT
FEELING IS ARE IN FOR AT LEAST A PERIOD OF SUNSHINE...PROBABLY
FILTERED THROUGH THE AFTERNOON AS STRONGER MID/UPPER LEVEL WARM
ADVECTION ASCENT GOES INTO PRODUCING SEVERAL BATCHES OF MID/HIGH
CLOUDS. HOWEVER...DRY LOW LEVELS SHOULD PRECLUDE ANY PRECIP INTO
EARLY EVENING...WITH A CHILLY START TO THE DAY BUT TEMPS REBOUNDING
THROUGH THE 40S MOST AREAS.

MUCH MORE ACTIVE INTO WEDNESDAY WITH STRONG LOW LEVEL JET FORCING
RAMPING UP OVERHEAD AND TRANSPORTING SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER MOISTURE
INTO THE REGION. CORRIDOR OF BEST JET MASS CONVERGENCE LOOKS TO
RESIDE OVER THE EASTERN U.P. DURING THE 00-05Z TIME FRAME BEFORE
LIFTING INTO ONTARIO...WITH ELEVATED PARCELS LIFTED ABOVE 650MB
CAPABLE OF ACHIEVING 600 J/KG OF CAPE (SO NICE TO USE THAT WORD
AGAIN!). COUPLE THAT WITH AN ENVIRONMENT OF EFFECTIVE SHEAR AROUND
45 KNOTS IN THE CONVECTIVE LAYER AND LOW FREEZING LEVELS OF AROUND
7KFT...AND I WOULDN`T BE SHOCKED TO SEE SOME SMALLER HAIL FALL FROM
ANY "HEAVIER" STORMS. MEANWHILE...DOWN INTO MUCH OF NORTHERN
LOWER...DON`T FORESEE MUCH GOING ON THROUGH 06-09Z WITH ALL OF THE
FORCING DISPLACED TO THE NORTH. JUST A MILD NIGHT WITH TEMPS
CLIMBING THROUGH THE 40S AND PERHAPS EVEN 50S SOUTHWEST AREAS.

UPPER TROUGH AND ASSOCIATED COLD FRONT LOOK TO MAKE THEIR APPROACH
LATE WEDNESDAY NIGHT INTO MIDDAY THURSDAY BASED ON CONSENSUS
TIMING...THOUGH THERE IS STILL A LITTLE WIGGLE ROOM BUILT IN HERE.
STRONG PUSH OF FRONTAL AND MID LEVEL QG-UPWARD FORCING COMBINED WITH
ABUNDANT MOISTURE SHOULD DELIVER ANOTHER ROUND OF PRECIP TO MOST
AREAS...ENDING FROM WEST TO EAST LATER THURSDAY AFTERNOON PENDING
THE EXACT FRONTAL TIMING. COULD VERY WELL SEE ADDITIONAL CONVECTION
DURING THIS PERIOD WITH ELEVATED CAPE VALUES RISING UP TO AROUND 800
J/KG (HIGHEST NORTHERN LOWER)...AND AGAIN WOULDN`T BE SHOCKED TO SEE
SOME SMALL HAIL IN STRONGER CORES GIVEN THE LOW FREEZING LEVELS AND
STRONGER SHEAR TO AID IN SOME DEGREE OF STORM ORGANIZATION. NOT A
BIG DEAL BY ANY STRETCH...BUT IT IS NICE TO SEE HINTS OF THINGS TO
COME OVER THE NEXT FEW MONTHS. TEMPS ON THURSDAY ARE ALL BUT
IMPOSSIBLE AND WILL BE BASED SOLELY ON THE TIMING OF RAIN. GIVEN THE
WARM START...50S ARE PRETTY MUCH A GIVEN FOR A CHUNK OF NORTHERN
LOWER...BUT COULD PUSH 60 EASTERN AREAS IF PRECIP HOLDS OFF LONG
ENOUGH. DRYING OUT INTO FRIDAY NIGHT AS COLD ADVECTION GETS
UNDERWAY.

&&

.LONG TERM...(FRIDAY THROUGH MONDAY)
ISSUED AT 432 AM EDT TUE MAR 31 2015

A RETURN TO REALITY HEADING INTO EASTER WEEKEND AS ANOTHER ROUND OF
UPPER TROUGHING AGAIN WORKS DOWN INTO THE GREAT LAKES. DEPTH OF THIS
FEATURE STILL SOMEWHAT IN QUESTION BUT NO DOUBT TEMPS WILL TAKE A
DIVE BACK TO BELOW NORMAL LEVELS RIGHT ON THROUGH EASTER SUNDAY...
AND PERHAPS BEYOND. THERE DOES REMAIN SOME QUESTION AS WELL
REGARDING THE POSSIBILITY FOR A SECONDARY WAVE TO SPIN UP ALONG OUR
DEPARTING COLD FRONT INTO FRIDAY...SIMILAR TO RECENT RUNS OF THE
ECMWF. MIXED SUPPORT FROM ENSEMBLES DOES LITTLE TO BOOST CONFIDENCE
AND REGARDLESS...IT LOOKS LIKE THIS WOULD AN ISSUE FOR OUR FELLOW
NWS OFFICES OFF TO THE SOUTH AND EAST (I.E. IT`S NOT OUR PROBLEM...
HA HA). STILL TIME TO WATCH THIS...BUT FOR NOW PREFER TO HOLD WITH A
DRY FORECAST FOR MUCH OF THE WEEKEND...SAVE FOR SNOW SHOWER CHANCES
ON FRIDAY AS A WEAK WAVE ZIPS THROUGH THE FLOW. BEYOND
THAT...CONFIDENCE TANKS EARLY NEXT WEEK WITH ALL SORTS OF SOLUTIONS
AVAILABLE REGARDING HOW TO HANDLE VARIOUS PIECES OF PACIFIC ENERGY
RIPPLING THROUGH THE FLOW. FOR NOW...LOW CHANCE POPS WILL HAVE TO DO
THE TRICK BUT GUT FEELING IS THESE ARE LIKELY TO GET BUMPED A LITTLE
LATER OVER SUBSEQUENT DAYS.

&&

.AVIATION...(FOR THE 12Z TAFS THROUGH 12Z WEDNESDAY MORNING)
ISSUED AT 708 AM EDT TUE MAR 31 2015

PERIODS OF MVFR CEILINGS AT MBL/APN THIS MORNING...WITH MID CLOUDS
ROLLING INTO THIS AFTERNOON. SOME SNOW/MIXED RAIN AND SNOW
POSSIBLE AT PLN/APN LATE AFTERNOON TONIGHT WITH OCCASIONAL IFR
CONDITIONS.


&&

.MARINE...
ISSUED AT 432 AM EDT TUE MAR 31 2015

WEAK GRADIENT TODAY WITH MICHIGAN BETWEEN A PAIR OF LOW PRESSURE
CENTERS...SOME LAKE BREEZE POTENTIAL THIS AFTERNOON WILL INFLUENCE
LOCAL WIND DIRECTIONS TOWARD MORE OF AN ONSHORE COMPONENT. NO REAL
WINDS EXPECTED TONIGHT...INCREASING SOUTH/SOUTHEAST GRADIENT ON
WEDNESDAY...MAY LEAD TO SMALL CRAFT ADVISORIES WEDNESDAY NIGHT
INTO THURSDAY.


&&

.APX WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
MI...NONE.
LH...NONE.
LM...NONE.
LS...NONE.
&&

$$

UPDATE...SULLIVAN
NEAR TERM...JPB
SHORT TERM...LAWRENCE
LONG TERM...LAWRENCE
MARINE...JPB


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