11/17/15: Getting Cold

A strong mid-latitude cyclone is currently centered in the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma.  That is progged to lift northeast over the next 72 hours.  North of that low pressure center is a cold front that is located very near the Red River.

6:00 AM Surface Analysis
6:00 AM Surface Analysis

That cold front is very evident across the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) mesonet this morning with temperatures near 50° in western Minnesota and 20° in Froid, MT.    That frontal boundary will probably not move all that much in the next 24 hours as the storm lifts slowly northeast.

7:00 AM Temperatures
7:00 AM Temperatures

 

Although the storm center is several hundred miles to our south, waves of moisture are surging northward along the previously mentioned cold front.  One such wave is moving through far eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota this morning.

Radar Image from near 6:00 AM through 7:15 AM, Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Radar Image from near 6:00 AM through 7:15 AM, Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Rainfall totals from overnight were in the 0.10 inch to 0.30 inch range in southeastern North Dakota.

24 hour rain through 7:15 AM, Tuesday, November 17, 2015
24 hour rain through 7:15 AM, Tuesday, November 17, 2015

 

The rain currently working through the area the area this morning is progged to move northeast into Manitoba with an additional wave moving through but further east.  But another wave is then foreseen to move through the area tonight that will probably follow a route similar to what is occurring this morning.  No matter the exact track of these waves of rain, there will be multiple threats of rain in the next 36 hours.

Possible Radar for today from the High Resolution Rapid Refresh Guidance (HRRR)
Possible Radar for today from the High Resolution Rapid Refresh Guidance (HRRR)

 

Although this storm will be mainly a rain maker, there will be some mixed snow Wednesday Night into Thursday.  Wednesday and Thursday will also be quite windy.  In fact, high wind warnings and watches are already out for central and western North Dakota for Wednesday and Thursday and eastern North Dakota will also likely be in some type of wind advisory as well during that time frame.

wind
Wind Advisories

The wind will usher in cold air with maximums below freezing for the first time this season expected, especially Thursday and Friday.  Snow showers on Thursday, but any accumulations will be very light.

Summary:

Rain in eastern North Dakota today and Wednesday.  Windy all areas Wednesday and Thursday.  Snow showers Thursday.  Below average temperatures through early next week.

Daryl Ritchison