Area Forecast Discussion
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FXUS64 KLUB 222208

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Lubbock TX
408 PM CST Wed Feb 22 2017

Quiet weather tonight with wind speeds dropping a bit but not into
the light and variable range with a transition to more of a westerly
direction.  This will set things up for a windy, warm, and dusty day
Thursday.  Models continue to show a lobe of energy splitting off of
the trough and deepening into a closed low across the central
Rockies through the day Thursday.  This low and associated trough
will swing out into the Central Plains through the day allowing the
height gradient to tighten aloft.  Models are forecasting a strong
700 hPa jet max moving somewhere over or near the area with the NAM
right over the CWA but the ECMWF and GFS either north or south of
us.  Model soundings combined with forecast high temperatures show
that we should be able to mix into this layer allowing some downward
momentum transport.

A tight surface pressure gradient will develop as the surface low
deepens across eastern Colorado into western Kansas at the same
time. Pattern recognition and locally developed high wind decision
tree shows potential for sustained wind speeds of 40-50 mph from
the west along with a possibility of gusts approaching 60 mph.
However, there is just enough uncertainty in the strength of the
mid level winds to preclude issuing a high wind warning with this
forecast and will issue a watch to allow incoming shifts to
evaluate any changes in the model forecasts. Critical fire weather
conditions are expected...see fire weather section for more
details. High temperatures will be 20 to 25 degrees above normal
but still are 3-6 degrees below records (91 in Childress and 85 in
Lubbock). As is usually the case with these conditions, expect
areas of blowing dust across the Caprock and local areas in the
Rolling Plains thanks to the dry conditions and gusty/strong west


Fire weather concerns will continue to persist through the long
term. Despite cooler temperatures Friday, there is a Fire Weather
Watch in place. The southern extent of the speed max associated
with the base of the trough draped across New Mexico and Texas will
receive further enhancement as it couples with the southern jet
for a short period of time Friday into Saturday. As a result,
extremely dry air and strong winds will spread east out of New
Mexico, behind the backdoor cold front that passes through early
Friday. Fridays highs will be in the mid 50s across our northwest
zones, around 60 in the South Plains and mid 60s in the Rolling
Plains. Saturday will still be breezy, even under even cooler
temps in the mid 50s, with 10-15kts sustained as weak ridging
gives a very brief respite from the strong winds, but with a south
to southwest surface wind component developing early Sunday,
we`ll see warmer air advect from the west out ahead of a strong
and progressive shortwave trough that will have little difficulty
drawing 40kt 700mb winds to the surface to the west and south of
any surface boundary. This will leave most locations on the
Caprock vulnerable to continued fire weather conditions Sunday
afternoon. Another quick break from strong winds on Monday with
another period of weak ridging in the upper level pattern. By
early Tuesday, yet another deepening trough across the dessert
southwest will bring another set up similar to what we`re seeing
tomorrow with temps higher than seasonal norms as well.

We are entering a period of active fire weather concerns every
other day or so for at least the next 7 days.

Critical fire weather conditions are expected to develop tomorrow
afternoon as strong west wind of 30-40 mph with higher gusts and
minimum RH values between 8 to 11 percent across the forecast area.
Fuels will continue to cure/dry out as little overnight moisture
recovery will take place so although fuels may not be optimal for
extremely critical conditions, rapid fire growth will still be
possible.  A Red Flag Warning remains in effect for all of the South
Plains, Rolling Plains, and far southern Texas Panhandle starting at
11 am, running through 8 pm.  Wind speeds will rapidly decrease
after sunset which should help to improve conditions.

Fire Weather concerns extend into Friday as well despite cooler
temperatures. Low RH values and strong westerlies developing again
in New Mexico and spreading east into our area through the morning
and afternoon will lead to another day of critical fire danger.
There is a Fire Weather Watch in place from noon through 8pm on
Friday. The pattern appears to produce Fire Weather concerns on
Sunday and then again on Tuesday of next week.


Red Flag Warning from 11 AM to 8 PM CST Thursday for TXZ021>044.

Fire Weather Watch from Friday morning through Friday evening
for TXZ021>023-027>030-033>036-039>042.

High Wind Watch Thursday afternoon for TXZ021>024-027>030-



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