Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Goodland, KS

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FXUS63 KGLD 221740

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Goodland KS
1040 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017

Issued at 1033 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017

Critical fire weather conditions will likely be met Thursday
afternoon south of I70 in northwest Kansas and northeast Colorado.
Southwesterly winds will be gusty in the afternoon and the
downslope component will help dew points tank into the single
digits. Along with the warning, issued a watch for the row of
counties to the north, roughly along I70, where there is some
question as to the location and timing of the frontal boundary
which will separate the dryer air from the moist and cooler air
Thursday afternoon.


.SHORT TERM...(This morning through Friday night)
Issued at 247 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017

Long fetch of W-SW flow extends from Pacific Ocean across the
central Rockies and over the plains. A shortwave trough is over the
Rockies with a region of subsidence over northeast Colorado. Plume
of high level moisture is streaming ahead of this over our CWA.
At the surface a pre frontal trough has shifted over our CWA, with
a cold front moving over the Nebraska Panhandle into northeast

Early this morning: Mixing along surface trough early this morning
has resulted in very dry and warm air mixing to the surface,
while strong LLJ transitions eastward ahead of surface trough.
Interestingly at 1 AM MST (2 AM CST) GLD was at 66F (19F above
normal for highs...much less nighttime temps) and RFW conditions
were briefly reached (not prevailing). Temps are finally beginning
to fall in our west (including at GLD) behind trough axis, but
there is a narrow axis of 10-15% and brief gusts around 25kt
transitioning eastward in region of deeper mixing where LLJ/warm
nose are in place. This may continue to support near critical fire
weather conditions through sunrise or even mid morning for our
eastern CWA.

Today-Tonight: Weak front should move over our CWA by mid morning,
before lee trough rebuilds and WAA redevelops in our SW. Temps are
tricky as our southeast may see near record highs once again ahead
of front (assuming it doesn`t move completely through our CWA),
while locations in our northwest may be closer 60F for highs (still
well above normal). Winds aloft back off this morning over our CWA,
and RH briefing increasing before dropping again this afternoon.
Other than the brief period of concern this morning, RFW conditions
are not expected due to the weaker winds this afternoon.

Thursday-Friday night: Focus continues to be on stronger trough
expected to move across the Rockies into the High Plains during
these periods.

Ahead of strong cold front Thursday our southern CWA could see a
window for near critical or near critical fire weather conditions
(south), but confidence is low as timing of the front is still
uncertain and 3hr seems unlikely if front moves south as fast as
some models are depicting.

Northerly track continues to be favored, while GEM and ECMWF are the
only models currently showing a stronger precip signal in our
northern CWA. NAM/GFS have trended drier. There is a possibility
much of our CWA becomes dry-slotted depending on evolution of
system, and only the north-northwest has the best overlap in precip
signal (mainly Thursday evening). Type should still be rain-snow
favoring a transition Thursday evening, though a faster fropa (still
a possibility) results in a change over Thu afternoon. I still have
high confidence in windy conditions Thu night through Friday and
colder temperatures Friday. I have less confidence in highs, and
precip coverage/timing over our CWA.

Any snow accumulation looks to be on the light side ranging
anywhere from a dusting to 1" on the high end (mainly north) by
time it winds down Friday. I can`t rule out a brief period of
blowing snow Thursday night and Friday, but at this point
confidence is low enough on precip coverage/rates to keep mention
out for now.

.LONG TERM...(Saturday through Tuesday)
Issued at 238 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017

For the extended period...the latest runs of the GFS/ECMWF bring the
Tri State region dry conditions to start off the upcoming zonal flow at 500/700 mb sweeps across the Plains
region. A digging shortwave trough does set up along the Pacific
coastline by next Monday. A weak shortwave ahead of this system does
work off the Rockies Monday and across the central plains. High
pressure at the surface combined with aforementioned zonal flow will
keep this system dry and quick moving. By Tuesday into Tuesday
night...the shortwave trough does begin to work inward. Models do
shift this system just south of the CWA as it swings thru the Plains
region. It will be this system that will bring the next and only
chance for precipitation in the extended. High pressure at the
surface and a building H5 ridge over the western portion of the
country will work to fill gap of trough exiting...for the Wednesday

No strong CAA is expected with the arrival of the system for next
week. With the extensive zonal flow...that does shift a bit NW as
ridge builds in from the west...temps are going to trend to back
above normal. Highs looking to reach in the 40s for the upcoming the 50s thereafter. Overnight lows mainly in the 20s to
lower 30s. Precip next week will have mainly light rain due too
timing of passage...with some light snowfall with no accum Tuesday
night as colder air works south into the region on backside of
exiting system.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Thursday afternoon)
Issued at 1033 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017

VFR expected at both KGLD and KMCK through the TAF period.
Surface winds will gradually diminish through this afternoon as
pressure gradient relaxes behind earlier frontal passage. Tonight,
expecting southeast winds to increase after midnight as surface
low begins to strengthen in southwest Kansas and continue to be
gusty through Thursday morning.


KS...Red Flag Warning from 11 AM MST /noon CST/ to 6 PM MST /7 PM
     CST/ Thursday for KSZ027>029-041-042.

     Fire Weather Watch from Thursday morning through Thursday
     afternoon for KSZ013>016.

CO...Red Flag Warning from 11 AM to 6 PM MST Thursday for COZ254.

     Fire Weather Watch from Thursday morning through Thursday
     afternoon for COZ253.



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