Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Dodge City, KS

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FXUS63 KDDC 222300

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Dodge City KS
500 PM CST Wed Feb 22 2017


.SHORT TERM...(This afternoon through Thursday)
Issued at 1200 PM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

Spectacular spring weather continues this afternoon. You know it`s
warm, when we have a north wind at the office on a February day
and it`s in the lower 70s. A weak frontal boundary responsible for
this wind shift will become stationary this afternoon over SW KS,
wind winds becoming light and variable. Only some scattered
cirrus. Record highs for February 22 are much harder to achieve
today, mainly in the lower 80s.

Tonight...Increasing clouds and unseasonably mild. Strong
shortwave will be approaching from the west, with a 537 dm closed
low near Salt Lake City by 6 am Thursday. As this system
approaches, winds will become SEly tonight and increase to
10-20 mph. As such, expect some modest moisture advection, with
dewpoints climbing into the mid to upper 30s by morning (lower 40s
SE). NAM generates its light drizzle QPF signal overnight, but
other models fail to reach saturation tonight. Kept any fog or
drizzle out of the forecast, expecting only falling ceilings to
near 10k ft. With the clouds and moisture increase, temperatures
tonight will hold in the 40s for most locales.

Thursday...Strong shortwave over southern Utah at 6 am will race
into western Kansas by 6 pm. Strong surface cyclogenesis is still
expected over SW KS as a result, with models dropping pressures to
the 988-989 mb range. Model consensus is settling on a slightly
more northerly track to this cyclone, placing it near the NE CWA
by late afternoon. Behind this departing low, an intense push of
warm and dry downslope enhanced air is expected Thursday
afternoon. Southwest winds will increase from west to east on
Thursday, with the strongest winds expected along a Garden City-
Liberal corridor. Some gusts may reach 50 mph in the these areas,
and with the recent dry weather, some areas of blowing dust are
possible. South of the surface low and surface boundary,
temperatures will soar one more time, through the 70s with some
lower 80s SE of Dodge City. Elsewhere, upper 60s and lower 70s can
be expected.

.LONG TERM...(Thursday night through Wednesday)
Issued at 208 PM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

Strong surface cyclone races from near St. John at 6 pm to near
Kansas City by midnight. This opens the door for intense cold air
advection and strong NW winds Thursday night, with gusts near
40 mph all night, despite the noctural timing. ECMWF model for
several days has consistently shown about a 6 hour period of
wraparound rain and snow showers affecting the I-70 corridor
(Trego/Ellis counties) early Thursday night. Collaborated with the
surrounding offices to increase pops into the chance category for
these showers, although other models remain stubbornly dry. Even
if ECMWF verifies, precipitation will be brief and mainly rain,
with perhaps 1-2 hours of wet snow at the end around midnight.
Impacts are expected to be limited if any.

Friday...For those that forgot it is winter, you are about to be
reminded. 12z GFS/ECMWF have both trended colder, with 850 mb
temperatures down to -5 at Dodge City, ranging down to -10C at
Hays. This colder correction looks correct looking at the Canadian
source region upstream. Lowered temperatures Friday several
degrees, ranging from mid 30s NE to mid 40s south. ECMWF-based
guidance suggests Hays vicinity will struggle to get to freezing
Friday. Additionally, pressure gradient remains tight all day
Friday and it will be quite windy as surface high builds into the
Nebraska panhandle. FB blended wind grids are underdone, and all
offices collaborated to increase wind/wind gust grids. Gusts near
40 mph are expected. Wraparound light snow is still expected to
primarily remain north of SW KS, although some flurries may reach
the I-70 corridor as ECMWF suggests.

Friday night/Saturday morning...Cold. Models have displayed great
consistency placing the cold surface high over SW KS at sunrise
Saturday. Teens will be commonplace.

This weekend...Temperatures moderate, but only slowly (40s
Saturday, 50s Sunday). Next shortwave progged to swing into New
Mexico Sunday afternoon. Most models keep any light precipitation
from this south of SW KS. There may be a stray shower across the
southern counties and low pops were retained.

Early next week...Yet another strong shortwave arrives in the
Great Basin Monday, and swings into Kansas on Tuesday. Afternoon
temperatures will warm nicely through the 60s Monday and Tuesday
ahead of this system, followed by another strong cold frontal
passage Tuesday night. Model blended pops are in the chance
category Tuesday night for frontogenetic forcing along this
boundary. Much colder again for the first day of March.


.AVIATION...(For the 00Z TAFS through 00Z Thursday evening)
Issued at 400 PM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

VFR conditions will prevail at all TAF sites through early Thursday
afternoon. Light northerly winds will persist through late this evening
as a surface high moves slowly eastward across the Northern Plains.
Winds will then turn more easterly 5 to 15kt later tonight as a developing
surface low in southeast Colorado strengthens through daybreak Thursday.
The surface low will continue to strengthen during the day as it lifts
northeast into northwest, Kansas turning winds more southerly 15
to 30kt toward early Thursday afternoon.


Issued at 130 PM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

A red flag warning is in effect for much of SW Kansas Thursday
afternoon and evening. High confidence that red flag criteria will
be achieved, with strong SW to west winds gusting to near 40 mph,
and min RH down to near 10%. The most potent critical combination
of winds and dry air are expected along the southern row of fire
zones, from Morton to Comanche counties, where SPC has increased
their fire outlook to extremely critical. For the counties not in
a red flag warning, some of the these zones may need to be added
as surface cyclone and dryline punch eastward late Thursday.
Expect winds to veer NWly and remain strong and gusty Thursday
evening; this will have implications for any ongoing fire fighting
efforts. 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  45  78  29  42 /  10   0   0   0
GCK  43  70  26  41 /  10  10  10   0
EHA  48  70  28  43 /   0   0   0   0
LBL  47  77  29  44 /  10   0   0   0
HYS  42  68  30  36 /  10  10  30  20
P28  46  80  36  48 /  10   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.



LONG TERM...Turner
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