Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS North Platte, NE

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FXUS63 KLBF 181902 AAA
AFDLBF

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service North Platte NE
202 PM CDT Sat Mar 18 2017

.SHORT TERM...(Today and tonight)
Issued at 344 AM CDT Sat Mar 18 2017

Arctic high pressure across the Northern Plains moves east into the
upper midwest today. This sets up south winds. The cold air has
built in a bit farther west than previously forecast and a midlevel
deck of clouds has formed representing a warm front. The temperature
forecast Today is a few degrees cooler but is very close to the
multimodel consensus and the RAP model...the warmest model.

The high clouds moving off the Big Horns in WY are progged to move
east this morning an the warm front should be east of Ncntl Neb this
afternoon.

South winds continue tonight and a low level jet develops which
should begin drawing warmer air out of the Panhandle into Ncntl Neb.
Lows tonight are mostly in the 40s.

The forecast uses a blend of guidance plus bias correction for
temperatures...wind and dew points.

.LONG TERM...(Sunday through Friday)
Issued at 344 AM CDT Sat Mar 18 2017

Upper level ridging will continue to dominate the weather pattern
until later next week, when an upper level trough will move east
into the central and northern plains.

A surface trough advances east across the area Sunday, with warm,
dry westerly winds in it`s wake. Models agree the surface trough
will likely make it to near Highway 83, but then diverge on how much
farther east it will push. Have opted to upgrade the fire weather
watch to a warning across the western Sandhills, the panhandle, and
far southwest Nebraska where critical fire weather conditions are
more certain. Farther east will maintain the watch due to the above
mentioned uncertainties. Otherwise a very warm day Sunday,
especially west of the surface trough, with highs well into the 80s.
upper 70s to lower 80s are expected to the east of the surface
trough. Have increased wind gusts to the west of the surface trough,
as sounding profiles show potential for deep mixing up to 600mb.
Later in the afternoon into the Saturday evening, a cold front will
surge south out of South Dakota shifting winds to the northeast
Saturday night. This front will usher in cooler air and somewhat
higher humidity for Monday, which should alleviate the fire danger
somewhat.

The weather pattern looks unsettled next week. A series of weak
upper level disturbances will attempt to break down the upper ridge
early to mid week. Scattered showers of rain and snow will be
possible with these disturbances. Mid to late week is when it gets
more interesting. A strong pacific storm (upper level trough) will
move into California and the west coast Wednesday. This will advance
east Thursday and increase precipitation chances across the region.
Unfortunately the models tonight are not in good agreement with the
evolution of the system. The ECMWF is stronger and farther south and
produces beneficial rain for much of the area. It also is just cold
enough for wet snow to mix in, but not cold enough for much if any
accumulation. The GFS tracks the system more across the northern
plains, which is a warmer more showery solution for us. Will
continue to monitor.

&&

.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Sunday afternoon)
Issued at 158 PM CDT Sat Mar 18 2017

Visual flight rules expected through Sunday afternoon. Aviation
concern should be southerly low level jet aroud 45kts tonight
through early morning hours Sunday morning. Have included low
level wind shear at both KLBF and KVTN. Frontal passage over
western Nebraska but wind shift should not be that abrupt. Winds
will be stronger towards the Panhandle Sunday afternoon.

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Issued at 344 AM CDT Sat Mar 18 2017

Arctic high pressure across the Northern Plains moves east into the
upper midwest today. This sets up south winds 15 to 20 mph with
gusts 25 to 30 mph. Warm air will move into the Panhandle where
temperatures will warm into the 70s. Dew points in the 30s and
temperatures in the 70s produces humidity between 15 and 20 percent.
Conditions for range fire development will be elevated west of
highway 61.

A surge of dry air develops Sunday afternoon with west winds
developing. Winds at 500 mb become stronger...around 40kt and 700mb
near 30kt. The expected deep vertical mixing to around 600mb should
produce decent gusts in the afternoon.

The problem with the wind forecast is a broad sfc trof will become
established across Wrn and Ncntl Neb suggesting weak sfc winds.
Nonetheless...modest wind gusts to around 25 mph...humidity below 15
percent and strong heating are expected to produce red flag
conditions across the Panhandle and a red flag warning will be
issued for Sunday in that area.

A cold front will move through Sunday night with cooler temperatures
and higher humidity Monday. Cool weather will persist through
Wednesday and beyond.

&&

.LBF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Red Flag Warning from 11 AM to 7 PM MDT Sunday for NEZ204-210.

Fire Weather Watch from Sunday afternoon through Sunday evening
for NEZ206-219.

&&

$$

SHORT TERM...CDC
LONG TERM...Taylor
AVIATION...Power
FIRE WEATHER...CDC



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