Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Hastings, NE

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FXUS63 KGID 192204

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

.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

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 18Z KGRI/KEAR TAFS through 18Z Monday afternoon)
Issued at 1128 AM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

Gusty winds with VFR conditions expected this afternoon, with
potential for deteriorating conditions this evening/tonight. This
afternoon, cloud cover looks to be confined to the upper levels,
with southerly winds of 15-20 MPH, gusting between 25-30 MPH. This
evening, main concern is with an area of stratus off to the south
of the terminal area advecting back north this evening/tonight,
bringing MVFR (if not IFR) ceilings to the terminal areas. At this
point, kept them low-end MVFR. The gusty south winds look to
continue into the late evening hours as well. There is a small
chance of precipitation tonight as an upper level wave moved
through, but confidence in any impact at the terminals is low
enough to keep the mention out for now.


Issued at 301 AM CST Sun Feb 19 2017

Record high temperatures for today (February 19th):

Grand Island: 72 degrees set in 1930 (as of 3:30 p.m. was 1 degree
              short of this record.
Hastings: 70 degrees set in 1996 and 1948 (set a new record at
          3:19 p.m. this afternoon of 71 degrees)

Monday may be near/set record warm minimum temperatures
Current record warm minimum temperatures for Feb. 20th:

Grand Island: 41 degrees set in 1916
Hastings: 42 degrees set in 1930

Tuesday high temperatures will be quite warm. Old record
temperatures are in jeopardy.
Current record high temperatures for Feb. 21st:

Grand Island: 75 degrees set in 1995
Hastings: 73 degrees set in 1995




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