Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Dodge City, KS

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FXUS63 KDDC 221700

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Dodge City KS
1100 AM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

...Updated Aviation and Fire Weather...

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 203 AM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

A surface cold front will move into southwest Kansas today as an
upper level disturbance crosses the Northern Plains. Behind this
frontal boundary this afternoon the winds will shift to the east
northeast but not much in the way of cooler air is forecast to
return based on the 900mb to 850mb temperatures at 00z Thursday.
Highs today will be a couple of degrees cooler than yesterday
north northeast of this surface boundary while south southwest of
this boundary the highs today will be similar or even a couple of
degrees warmer.

Tonight this surface boundary will remain nearly stationary as an
area of low pressure at the surface deepens over eastern Colorado
as the next upper level trough approaches the central Rockies.
Increasing cloud cover overnight along with winds at 10 to 15 mph
and increasing low level moisture should keep overnight lows
slightly warmer than what the latest guidance suggests. Lows
tonight in the mid 40s for much of western Kansas appears
reasonable at this time.

.LONG TERM...(Thursday through Tuesday)
Issued at 203 AM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

Early Thursday an upper level trough will move quickly east from
the four corners region to the Central Rockies. As this upper
level trough approaches early in the day an area of low pressure
at the surface will continue to deepen across eastern Colorado and
a surface boundary will extend from west to east across western
Kansas. By late day this surface boundary will begin to lift back
north as a warm front as the deepening surface low moves across
western Kansas and the upper level trough exits the Rockies and
begins to cross the West Central High Plains.

Another unseasonably warm day can be expected Thursday afternoon
across south central and portions of southwest Kansas which will
stay south of this frontal boundary. Warm and dry conditions in
these areas will result in near critical or critical fire danger
levels as a southwest wind increases into the 15 to 30 mph range.
North of the surface boundary clouds and cooler air will be
present with highs Thursday afternoon being mainly in the 60s.

Moisture and lift will be improving ahead of the approaching
upper level trough late Thursday and Thursday night which now is
forecast to track slightly further north than what the models
advertised last night. This has therefore placed the better lift
early Thursday night near and north of the Nebraska border. Should
precipitation develop late Thursday/Thursday evening as far south
as the I-70 corridor it appears that this precipitation will fall
as rain. The atmosphere will be cooling Thursday night so the
rain may change over to snow before lifting northeast towards
southern Nebraska after midnight. Based on the latest models it
currently appears that the upper level trough will cross western
Kansas sooner than previously anticipated Thursday night. As a
result chance for the rain changing to snow has decreased and if
snow does develop no accumulation is expected.

Strong gusty north winds still appear likely across western
Kansas Thursday night as a cold front surges south across the
Central Plains and moves into Oklahoma. Based on the winds
forecast in the 900mb to 850mb level and the tight surface
pressure gradient it appears that winds in the 20 to 30 mph with
higher gusts still looks on track Thursday night into early
Friday, especially in north central Kansas. In this area these
wind may even be a little stronger early Friday morning.

Friday will be the coldest day over the next seven days. Highs
will be in the 35 to 45 degree range and if you add in the gusty
north winds then wind chills of 20 to 30 degrees will also be
possible, especially in north central Kansas.

An area of high pressure at the surface will build across the
Central Plains over the weekend as an upper level ridge axis moves
into the Rockies. Temperatures will continue to warm early next
week and based on the 850mb temperature trends some areas in
western and south central Kansas could have 70 degree temperatures
returning by Tuesday afternoon.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Thursday afternoon)
Issued at 1100 AM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

VFR expected through this TAF forecast period. Excellent flying
weather this afternoon, as winds become light and variable with
only scattered cirrus. Overnight tonight, winds become SE at all
airports, along with lowering mid-level cigs, as strong shortwave
approaches from the west. Strong surface cycloce expected to form
over SW Kansas near the end of the TAF period. As this cyclone
moves east, strong SW to W winds will overspread the airports from
west to east, after 15z Thursday. Strongest winds are expected
from GCK to LBL, with sustained winds of 25-30 kts, with gusts
near 40 kts. Areas of BLDU may reduce vis at times south and west
of DDC Thursday afternoon.


Issued at 1100 AM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

Upgraded the fire weather watch for Thursday to a rad flag
warning, and after coordination with WFO Goodland, expanded the
red flag warning to include Scott and Lane counties. High
confidence that red flag criteria will be achieved Thursday
afternoon, particularly near the Oklahoma border, where extremely
critical conditions are expected. A strong punch of warm and dry
air is expected Thursday behind a strong surface cyclone, with
gusts near 40 mph likely. Gusts may reach 50 mph from Garden City
to near Liberal. With these winds and widespread dry fuels,
dewpoints will easily fall into the teens Thursday afternoon, with
min RH as low as 8-10%. This is expected to be a high-end critical
wildfire threat for far SW Kansas, and fire managers and crews in
the field should prepare for possible operations on Thursday.


DDC  78  44  75  29 /   0  10   0   0
GCK  76  43  69  27 /   0  10   0   0
EHA  78  46  68  27 /   0  10   0   0
LBL  79  46  75  29 /   0  10   0   0
HYS  75  42  68  30 /   0   0  10  20
P28  82  46  78  35 /   0   0   0   0


Red Flag Warning from 1 PM CST /noon MST/ to 8 PM CST /7 PM MST/
Thursday for KSZ043-044-061>064-074>080-084>089.



SHORT TERM...Burgert
LONG TERM...Burgert
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