Area Forecast Discussion
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FXUS64 KLUB 162147

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Lubbock TX
347 PM CST Thu Feb 16 2017

Not much change from previous forecast. Weak, elongated upper low
over Mexico continues lifting northeast and will move across the
Texas Big Country overnight. Sensible weather impacts locally from
this system will be passage of scattered, opaque high clouds as
surface winds continue out of the southwest. Lee trough that has
been deepening this afternoon will evolve into a closed surface
low across the High Plains on Friday and translate east during the
day dragging a weak front into the area late. Ahead of this
feature, surface gradients will be sufficient for winds to kick up
into the breezy category, mainly for the southwestern part of the
South Plains. Some drier air pushing into the region behind the
surface trough/front will bring some elevated fire weather
conditions with it.

Overall, very pleasant weather should take us into the early part
of the weekend as a shortwave ridge builds overhead and winds
return out of the southeast on Saturday. Thicknesses increase a
bit and a thermal axis pushes east which should help boost daytime
temps wells into the 70s. Very mild conditions will continue into
Sunday as moisture advection occurs in advance of next storm
system. Recent model trends from the GFS/NAM have indicated a
weaker system than earlier runs with a pair of vort centers, one
well south into Mexico and an equally strong one lifting out of
the southern Rockies into Kansas. Still a fairly wet pattern
exists with strong poleward moisture transport late Saturday night
into Sunday provided by deep southerly flow and open access to
Gulf moisture. Have maintained likely POPs off the Caprock and
high chance further west Sunday but depicted a quicker end to the
precip across the western Rolling Plains and southwest Panhandle
Sunday evening as system remains neutrally tilted and progressive.
Narrowing window of moderate lift from late morning into early
afternoon Sunday could reduce precip totals but training of
thunderstorms still produces some localized heavy rainfall threat.
Instability will be greatest across west- central and south Texas
but axis of 200-400J/kg cape is expected to extend northwest into
the South Plains and Rolling Plains to support mention of
thunder. With long hodographs and modest lapse rates a few
marginally severe storms with strong winds are possible late in
the day mainly across the Rolling Plains.

Following the passage of the storm system early Monday, drier and
more stable air will return to the region. Still with no intrusion
of canadian air, thickness values will support warmer than average
temperatures through the extended. The next weather-maker is
poised to approach the southern High Plains next Thursday. Models
are already diverging on what latitude this system will cross
which could mean the difference between some fast moving storms
from a further southward track or very windy, dry, fire weather
conditions with a more northward position.


Elevated fire weather conditions could evolve Friday afternoon
across the southwestern South Plains ahead of the surface
trough/weak cold front. Drier air is shown by a few short range
models wrapping southeastward into an area that has seen the least
amount of rainfall recently. Dewpoints in the teens combined with
20ft winds nearing 20 mph in the afternoon will bring near-
critical conditions briefly to the southwestern South Plains.




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