Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Great Falls, MT

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FXUS65 KTFX 311556
AFDTFX

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREAT FALLS MT
956 AM MDT Tue Mar 31 2015

.UPDATE...

Today...A cold front will move through region today and begin a
period of cooling temperatures and windy conditions. A slight
chance for thunderstorms continues over the eastern zones this
afternoon. The high wind warning for the Northern Rockies will be
continued as well as the Red Flag Warning for potions of the
eastern zones. Updated to freshen winds, POPS and WX for the
first two periods. Zelzer

&&

.AVIATION...
UPDATED 1150Z.
A Pacific cold front will push east across the area beginning after
15z. Increasing west winds will accompany the front with gusts in
excess of 50 kts possible along the Northern Rocky Mountain Front
and in excess of 40 kts over the plains. Scattered showers will
develop behind the front and isolated thunderstorms are also
possible after 18z. Gusty winds and showers will continue beyond
00z. VFR conditions prevail with MVFR conditions possible in the
vicinity of showers and/or thunderstorms.

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Near record warm temperatures, low relative humidity, and gusty west
to southwest winds are expected this afternoon associated with a
cold front. In addition, there is a slight chance of
thunderstorms, mainly south and east of a line from Great Falls to
Havre. Winds will shift to the West-Northwest and remain gusty as
the front passes with slow improvement in humidity late this evening.
The combination of very warm and dry conditions along with gusty
winds and potential for isolated lightning will create a period of
critical fire weather conditions this afternoon and evening and a
red flag warning has been issued for the area near and southeast
of a line from Havre to Great Falls to Helena.

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...
/ISSUED 550 AM MDT Tue Mar 31 2015/
Tuesday through Thursday...Warm and dry conditions will continue
today before a cold front moves across the area this afternoon. A
high wind warning is in effect for the Northern Rocky Mountain
Front and a Red Flag Warning is in effect for most of Central
Montana. Both events are due to the conditions ahead of the cold
front that will include strong gusty winds and above average
temperatures. Precipitation will be limited with the frontal
passage, however some isolated showers and thunderstorms could
develop with frontal passage. After the front passes, temperatures
will drop back to seasonal values and will continue that way as
additional weak shortwaves move over the area and bring additional
rounds of precipitation. While none of the next impulses will bring
widespread precipitation, have gone with more climatological pops
due to the enhanced chance of showers with these systems through
Thursday. Suk

Thursday night through Tuesday...The medium range period begins with
an upper ridge over the western U.S. and moist and unstable
northwest flow aloft over the area. Shortwave energy moving within
this flow aloft will bring scattered showers to the mountains and
isolated showers across the plains Thursday night. The upper ridge
axis crosses the Continental Divide Friday allowing the airmass to
dry. The ridge flattens on Saturday with the flow aloft becoming
zonal. Precipitation will be confined to the western and southwest
mountains while the plains remain dry. A deepening upper trof moves
over the Pacific Northwest Easter Sunday. The resulting southwest
flow aloft will bring moisture and instability to the area with
scattered showers developing Sunday morning over southwest Montana
and then spreading north and east. A broad upper trof remains over
the area Monday and Tuesday continuing the possibility of scattered
showers. Temperatures will remain near to slightly above seasonal
averages through the period.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
GTF  71  35  52  32 /  20  40  40  20
CTB  63  33  49  28 /  20  30  30  20
HLN  68  34  52  30 /  20  40  30  20
BZN  73  28  52  22 /  30  60  40  20
WEY  61  19  43   7 /  20  50  30  20
DLN  68  27  47  22 /  20  50  40  20
HVR  73  34  55  28 /  20  30  40  20
LWT  76  33  50  29 /  20  50  30  20

&&

.TFX WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
RED FLAG WARNING until 9 PM MDT this evening Blaine...
Broadwater...Cascade...Central and Southern Lewis and Clark...
Chouteau...Fergus...Gallatin...Hill...Jefferson...Judith Basin...
Madison...Meagher.

HIGH WIND WARNING until 6 AM MDT Wednesday Northern Rocky
Mountain Front.

&&

$$

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