Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Hastings, NE

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FXUS63 KGID 200554

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Hastings NE
1154 PM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

Issued at 556 PM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

Updated the forecast to introduce thunderstorms in the western
CWA a bit sooner than previously forecast during the early evening
as cloud to cloud lightning has been detecting with storms in
western Dawson County.


.SHORT TERM...(This evening through Monday)
Issued at 359 PM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

It`s been yet another well above normal temperature day across
the area, with gusty winds. Satellite and upper air data show well
amplified south-southwesterly flow across the Plains, thanks to
ridging from the Gulf region northward through the MS river valley
and an area of low pressure spinning over the 4 corners region.
Sky cover has been variable through the day, but has been confined
to the mid/upper levels, with the lower level stratus remaining
south of the CWA. At the surface, the CWA sits between high
pressure over the eastern CONUS and low pressure over CO. The
tightened pressure gradient and increased mixing potential has
resulted in speeds of 15 to 25 MPH, and gusts near 30 MPH. No big
surprises with temperatures, if anything, a few locations exceeded
expectations, with upper 60s to mid 70s currently. As of 3:19
p.m., Hastings had set a new record high temperature of 71
(breaking the old one of 70 set in 1996, 1948) and Grand Island
was one degree shy of its record. Thankfully, dewpoints in the 40s
have kept fire weather concerns at bay.

For tonight, still looking at the potential for some
precipitation to affect the CWA, but honestly those chances aren`t
the best. This evening, the disturbance to the southwest starts to
fill as it shifts east, becoming a progressive open wave as it
moves through the High Plains through 12Z Monday. Lift increases
out ahead of the across the area, but recent model runs continue
to be in pretty good agreement showing the better chances sliding
just east of the CWA across eastern KS/NE. Not to say chances here
are zero, but hard to go higher than 20-30%. Models still showing
some instability building north with time, can`t rule out a few
rumbles of thunder if precipitation actually affects our area.
Cloud cover is expected to be on the increase this
evening/tonight, with models showing that lower level stratus to
the south expanding in coverage and pushing north with time. The
southerly winds, while not as strong as current obs show, are
expected to remain on the gusty side through much of the night
ahead of the approaching surface front. Current forecast low
temperatures tonight are very mild, with upper 40s west to mid 50s
east. It`s possible that the calendar day tomorrow (20th) may be
near (or set new) record warm minimum temperatures at Grand Island
and Hastings, see climate section below for more info.

Into tomorrow, did hold onto a slight chance of a few showers
across eastern areas during the morning, but otherwise the
forecast for the day is currently dry. The upper level trough axis
continues to swing across the region, also pushing that surface
cool front through. While highs tomorrow are cooler than today,
they are still well above normal, forecast to reach the mid 60s to
near 70. Look to be another breezy day, this time out of the
northwest. Also expecting a drier air mass accompanying the front,
with afternoon dewpoints falling into the upper 20s to near 40
across the CWA. As a result of the temps/dpts, RH values by mid
afternoon range from near 20% in the west to the mid-upper 30%
range. With the winds, will insert a mention of near critical fire
weather conditions (RH <25% and winds/gusts just under 20/25 MPH)
in the HWO for western portions of the CWA.

.LONG TERM...(Monday night through Sunday)
Issued at 359 PM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

Speaking of potential record temperatures, we look ahead to
Tuesday, which at this point, is the warmest day of this forecast
period. In the wake of the upper level system moving through
tonight/Mon, lower amplitude ridging is expected to build in
across the region, keeping things dry. At the surface, west-
southwesterly downsloping winds are expected to be in place, as
the area sits between high pressure over the Southern Plains and
low pressure over Canada. Biggest concern for Tuesday lies with
fire wx. Forecast highs climb into the mid 70s, near/exceeded
records (see climate below), with dewpoints in the 20s. Afternoon
RH values fall into the mid teen to 20% range, but the main
question lies with winds. There is a bit of variation with wind
speeds between models, some in that near critical for fire wx
range, others not that strong. Will hold off for now mentioning in
the HWO, let the next shift have a look at wind trends. As we get
into Wednesday, the dry forecast remains, with another weak
frontal boundary pushing through the region as a disturbance
slides east off to the north of the CWA. Doesn`t look to be a
significant impact on the area, bringing a shift to more
northwesterly winds, and slightly cooler temps. Forecast highs are
still in the upper 60s to mid 70s.

Still looking at an unsettled end to the work week, as an upper
level storm system is shown by models to move through the Central
Plains, bringing a reminder that winter is not quite done. There
are still plenty of uncertainties to iron out in the coming days,
as models still showing anything from an open wave to a closed
low, though overall timing between models isn`t too bad. Starting
out as liquid, colder air building in will bring a switch over to
snow Thursday night. Potential remains for accumulating snowfall,
though latest model runs backed off amounts some, will see if
that`s a trend that holds. A cold front accompanying the system
will bring stronger northerly winds (though some models have
backed off speeds a bit, again, will see if that trend sticks), as
well as temperatures falling back into the 30s for Friday.

Dry conditions are in the forecast for Saturday, but there is the
chance for a quick moving disturbance to move through the area Sat
night/Sun. Temps look to remain closer to normal.


.AVIATION...(For the 06Z KGRI/KEAR TAFS through 06Z Tuesday)
Issued at 1153 PM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

Significant Wx: MVFR Vsbys and MVFR-IFR CIGs rest of tonight.
WSHFT to NW Mon.

Rest of Tonight: Variable multi-layered CIGs that will be MVFR
or IFR at times. Given patchy nature timing the arrival or
departure of MVFR/IFR CIGs will be tough. Lgt fog. Vsbys should be
no worse than 3-4SM. S winds around 15 kts gusting to up to 25 at
times. Confidence: Medium

Mon: Cold frontal passage. Improvement to VFR. There is some
uncertainy as some BKN MVFR stratocu could form late morning then
lift to around 4K ft this afternoon and boundary layer deepens.
Left MVFR clouds out of EAR and kept them at GRI until 17Z. S-SW
winds 10-15 kts shift to NW and increase 15G25 kts. Confidence:

Mon Eve: VFR SKC. NW winds diminish to 5 kts or less. Confidence:


Issued at 1153 PM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

      Record Warm Low`s
         Mon 2/20
GRI    41 in 1916
HSI    42 in 1930

      Record High`s
        Tue 2/21
GRI    75 in 1995
HSI    73 in 1995




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