Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Dodge City, KS

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FXUS63 KDDC 221804

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Dodge City KS
1204 PM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

...Updated Fire Weather...

.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 through Tuesday)
Issued at 203 AM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

Early Thursday an upper level trough will move quickly east from
the four corners region to the Central Rockies. As this upper
level trough approaches early in the day an area of low pressure
at the surface will continue to deepen across eastern Colorado and
a surface boundary will extend from west to east across western
Kansas. By late day this surface boundary will begin to lift back
north as a warm front as the deepening surface low moves across
western Kansas and the upper level trough exits the Rockies and
begins to cross the West Central High Plains.

Another unseasonably warm day can be expected Thursday afternoon
across south central and portions of southwest Kansas which will
stay south of this frontal boundary. Warm and dry conditions in
these areas will result in near critical or critical fire danger
levels as a southwest wind increases into the 15 to 30 mph range.
North of the surface boundary clouds and cooler air will be
present with highs Thursday afternoon being mainly in the 60s.

Moisture and lift will be improving ahead of the approaching
upper level trough late Thursday and Thursday night which now is
forecast to track slightly further north than what the models
advertised last night. This has therefore placed the better lift
early Thursday night near and north of the Nebraska border. Should
precipitation develop late Thursday/Thursday evening as far south
as the I-70 corridor it appears that this precipitation will fall
as rain. The atmosphere will be cooling Thursday night so the
rain may change over to snow before lifting northeast towards
southern Nebraska after midnight. Based on the latest models it
currently appears that the upper level trough will cross western
Kansas sooner than previously anticipated Thursday night. As a
result chance for the rain changing to snow has decreased and if
snow does develop no accumulation is expected.

Strong gusty north winds still appear likely across western
Kansas Thursday night as a cold front surges south across the
Central Plains and moves into Oklahoma. Based on the winds
forecast in the 900mb to 850mb level and the tight surface
pressure gradient it appears that winds in the 20 to 30 mph with
higher gusts still looks on track Thursday night into early
Friday, especially in north central Kansas. In this area these
wind may even be a little stronger early Friday morning.

Friday will be the coldest day over the next seven days. Highs
will be in the 35 to 45 degree range and if you add in the gusty
north winds then wind chills of 20 to 30 degrees will also be
possible, especially in north central Kansas.

An area of high pressure at the surface will build across the
Central Plains over the weekend as an upper level ridge axis moves
into the Rockies. Temperatures will continue to warm early next
week and based on the 850mb temperature trends some areas in
western and south central Kansas could have 70 degree temperatures
returning by Tuesday afternoon.


.AVIATION...(For the 18Z TAFS through 18Z Thursday afternoon)
Issued at 1100 AM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

VFR expected through this TAF forecast period. Excellent flying
weather this afternoon, as winds become light and variable with
only scattered cirrus. Overnight tonight, winds become SE at all
airports, along with lowering mid-level cigs, as strong shortwave
approaches from the west. Strong surface cycloce expected to form
over SW Kansas near the end of the TAF period. As this cyclone
moves east, strong SW to W winds will overspread the airports from
west to east, after 15z Thursday. Strongest winds are expected
from GCK to LBL, with sustained winds of 25-30 kts, with gusts
near 40 kts. Areas of BLDU may reduce vis at times south and west
of DDC Thursday afternoon.


Issued at 1204 PM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

Upgraded the fire weather watch for Thursday to a rad flag
warning, and after coordination with WFO Goodland, expanded the
red flag warning to include Scott and Lane counties. High
confidence that red flag criteria will be achieved Thursday
afternoon, particularly near the Oklahoma border, where extremely
critical conditions are expected. A strong punch of warm and dry
air is expected Thursday behind a strong surface cyclone, with
gusts near 40 mph likely. Gusts may reach 50 mph from Garden City
to near Liberal. With these winds and widespread dry fuels,
dewpoints will easily fall into the teens Thursday afternoon, with
min RH as low as 8-10%. 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  78  45  78  29 /   0  10   0   0
GCK  76  43  70  27 /   0  10   0   0
EHA  78  47  70  27 /   0  10   0   0
LBL  79  47  77  29 /   0  10   0   0
HYS  75  42  68  30 /   0  10  10  20
P28  82  46  80  35 /   0  10   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...Burgert
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