Area Forecast Discussion
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FXUS64 KLUB 240944

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Lubbock TX
344 AM CST Fri Feb 24 2017

Early this morning a broad upper trough with several embedded
disturbances was affecting a large portion of the central and
western CONUS. The lead wave that brought strong winds and blowing
dust to West Texas yesterday was now lifting through the Midwest
where it was inspiring thunderstorms and a swath of heavy snow. In
its wake, a cold front has made steady progress southward. As of 09Z
the front stretched roughly from Muleshoe to Lubbock to Aspermont,
well ahead of earlier projections. This will have impacts on how the
remainder of the day plays out. The HRRR and RAP have the best
handle on the quicker front progression and we have generally
followed them through the day. The front will likely clear the
entire CWA later this morning before stalling out late morning and
then retreating back northeastward this afternoon under strong zonal
flow aloft (and a passing vorticity maximum to our north). The post-
frontal air will feature improved moisture and briefly breezy
northerly winds. However drier air will advance back out of eastern
New Mexico this afternoon on gusty westerly winds (likely sustained
in the 20 to 30 mph range, though a few spots could flirt with low-
end advisory). The stronger thrust of the FROPA this morning will
mean the gusty westerly winds will be delayed until this afternoon
for the western zones and they won`t make it as far eastward as was
earlier thought. The net result will be more limited coverage of the
strongest winds and critical fire weather this afternoon (to the
western and central zones). Additionally, the southeast Texas
Panhandle into the northern Rolling Plains likely won`t make it out
of the 50s as northerly breezes hold strong through the day.
Elsewhere, it will also be considerably cooler than yesterday though
the central and southern South Plains into the southern Rolling
Plains should still manage to eek out highs in the lower to middle

Surface ridging will surge back southward tonight setting up a
chilly night. Lows by early Saturday will be mostly in the 20s with
even a few teens possible across the northwest zones.

Temperatures will be slow to warm up on Saturday as the cool
surface ridge grudgingly slides east across Okla and north Texas.
Highs should only be in the 50s for the forecast area while
surface winds slowly turn from northeast to southeast.

A progressive upper-air pattern across the lower 48 will send a
pair of shortwave troughs across the southern Rockies and High
Plains Sunday and Tuesday. The amplitude and height gradient
associated with the one on Sunday has decreased in recent model
iterations which is resulting in lower wind speeds for our area.
The expected considerable coverage of mid and high level clouds
may also be putting some downward pressure on winds. breezy winds
should still develop across the Caprock as a surface trough
deepens to the south of a front approaching the area from the
northeast, but right not it doesn`t appear that the winds will be
strong enough to generate blowing dust and we have dropped that
mention from the forecast. On Monday, in-between the two systems,
a the height gradient will remain tight across the region and
support continued breezy conditions. The next wave approaching
West Texas on Tuesday is a little stronger, and could bring a
period of gusty winds to the area as the upper jet spreads over
the region during the day - although at this time the wind speeds
do not appear to reach advisory level. A dry front moving through
the area early Wednesday morning will knock temperatures back a
few degrees to start out the month of March. Deep, dry west to
northwest flow aloft is expected to persist through the end of
next week, with the exception of some upper- level moisture/cloud
cover on Wednesday, keeping the forecast mild and dry.

An early day cold front will briefly bring improved moisture and
northerly winds this morning. However, even with temperatures about
20 degrees below yesterday`s levels, very dry air will spread back
out of New Mexico on gusty westerly winds this afternoon. RH values
will drop to around 10 percent amidst 20 foot winds speeds sustained
at 20 to 25 mph. This will create a period of critical fire weather
over the western and central South Plains and far southwest Texas
Panhandle. The western two columns of counties will have the best
shot of experiencing 3+ hours of critical fire weather and the Fire
Weather Watch will be upgraded to a Red Flag Warning. Further east,
in the central and eastern South Plains elevated to critical fire
weather will be possible by mid- to late afternoon, though the odds
of tallying 3+ hours of critical conditions less likely. Here a Fire
Danger Statement will be issued. The southeast Texas Panhandle into
the Rolling Plains should see lighter northerly winds and improved
RH levels persist through the day keeping the fire danger in check
there. Any critical fire weather will quickly cease this evening as
winds diminish around sunset. The cooler and relatively moist
airmass staged across much of the Texas Panhandle into the Rolling
Plains this afternoon will then accelerate back southward across the
entire CWA tonight.

A mild, dry and breezy pattern will continue across the Texas
South Plains from Sunday through much of the upcoming week. This
should maintain an elevated fire danger each afternoon. The wind
speeds may become strong enough Monday and Tuesday afternoons to
support a critical fire danger - with the strongest winds and
driest conditions expected across the Caprock.


Red Flag Warning from noon today to 7 PM CST this evening for



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