Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Oklahoma City, OK

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FXUS64 KOUN 200902

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Norman OK
402 AM CDT Mon Mar 20 2017

Near record warmth and wildfire potential today are the
primary concerns. Additional concerns are wildfire...strong
wind...and strong to severe thunderstorm potential Thursday
into Friday.

Today, the heat will be on! Exceptional warmth can be expected.
Model forecast 850mb temperatures +18 to +25 are climatological
maximums. With full sun, believe new daily record highs will occur
in many areas, mainly in the 90s. Went with the warm side of
guidance highs. A few locations in far southwestern Oklahoma and
far western north Texas will flirt with the century mark. Surface
winds will be lighter than yesterday northwest of I-44 near and
north of a weak surface pressure trough.

Tuesday will remain warm, but not as hot as today. The surface
trough will become a cold front by afternoon which should allow
some cooler air to move into northern Oklahoma. Forecast highs may
be tricky near the front with a large temperature gradient
near it. Regardless, highs should have no problem reaching at
least the 80s south of the front. Similar to today, went with
the warmer side of guidance highs.

Tuesday night into Wednesday, the cold front will surge south,
allowing for much cooler conditions and increasing cloud cover to
move into many areas north of the Red River. Some models have
been hinting at light QPF signals suggesting that either drizzle
and/or isolated elevated thunderstorms may be possible. Model
forecast soundings have been depicted a rather strong cap, so kept
the forecast dry in many areas. Low rain chances (around 20%)
were maintained east of I-35 on Wednesday where the cap may be a
bit weaker, but confidence of rainfall remains low with the higher
chances in far eastern Oklahoma/Arkansas. Was not confident
enough to add drizzle mention. Forecast temperatures on Wednesday
may be tricky due to cloud cover. Some locations may not get out
of the 50s on Wednesday.

Wednesday night into early Thursday, the front will lift
northward as a warm front. Kept low chances for showers and storms
northeast of an Alva to Chandler line where isentropic lift and a
slightly weaker cap may allow for a few weak showers and
thunderstorms to form. Fog and drizzle may occur as well, mainly
over northern Oklahoma, but did not mention due to low confidence
of occurrence.

Thursday afternoon will be windy and warmer. Some gusts in the 40
to 50 mph range may be possible mainly across western Oklahoma
and western north Texas which would require the issuance of a Wind

Thursday night into Friday, a storm system is forecast to move
east and across the southern Plains. Showers and thunderstorms
will be possible, mainly late Thursday night and Friday morning.
If storms occur, most models hinted that they may be linear.
Model forecast shear is strong, but the lack of instability may
limit severe potential across the WFO Norman forecast area. Not
sure widespread rainfall will occur. Strong winds may occur,
especially behind the system Friday afternoon, but not confident
this will occur.

Saturday and Sunday, dry weather and slightly above average
temperatures are forecast due to weak mid/upper ridging behind
the departing system.



Issued a RFD (Fire Danger Statement) for today as elevated to
near-critical fire conditions will occur today due to near record
warm temperatures, very dry, and somewhat breezy conditions.
Surface winds will be lighter today compared to yesterday anywhere
northwest of I-44. Surface humidity values will be lower today
compared to yesterday.

Critical fire weather conditions may be possible between noon and
9 pm today near an Oklahoma City to Duncan to Wichita Falls line
where surface winds may approach 20 mph and humidity values fall
to around 20%. Confidence in critical wildfire conditions
occurring today remains too low to warrant the issuance Red Flag
Warning at this time as the lowest humidity values will be in far
western Oklahoma and far western north Texas while the strongest
surface winds will be near and just southeast of I-44.

Elevated to near-critical wildfire conditions may return Thursday
due to dry, warm, and windy conditions. Humidity values and
temperatures remain somewhat uncertain on Thursday, while
confidence that strong winds will occur (20 mph sustained or
greater) is rather high.

Elevated to near-critical wildfire conditions may be possible on
Friday as well.



Daily record highs over the next two days, especially today, will
be in jeopardy. Here are the records.

Oklahoma City

Monday March 20....92F set in 1907

Wichita Falls

Monday March 20....92F set in 1978
Tuesday March 21...94F set in 1997


Oklahoma City OK  92  60  83  48 /   0   0   0  10
Hobart OK         93  59  85  46 /   0   0   0  10
Wichita Falls TX  94  61  90  53 /   0   0   0  10
Gage OK           91  48  72  39 /   0   0  10  10
Ponca City OK     90  55  72  43 /   0   0  10  10
Durant OK         88  59  86  56 /   0   0   0  10




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