Area Forecast Discussion
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FXUS64 KLUB 271748

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Lubbock TX
1148 AM CST Mon Feb 27 2017

Wind speeds came up just a bit earlier this morning, and a little
stronger as well. Otherwise, looking for generally breezy and dry
with VFR throughout. Stronger winds expected to begin near the end
of this TAF forecast. RMcQueen


Winds have increased stronger than expected across the
southwestern South Plains, with local speeds of 30 to 40 mph at
least briefly at a few West Texas Mesonet locations. Solutions
continue to insist these winds will mix and gradually taper off
into the afternoon. We updated, however, for a little stronger
wind speeds for today. RMcQueen


Lower relative humidities are guarantied today, with the only
limitation for Red Flag being wind speeds. So far, winds have far
outperformed any model suggestion. Solutions are obviously behind
the curve on this, and so we are a bit dubious if they will be
correct with the downward trend in wind speeds into the afternoon.
Already on the verge of hitting Red Flag minutes, so keeping a
close eye. If speeds do not soon show a downward trend, we will
follow with a Red Flag Warning by early afternoon. RMcQueen


.PREV DISCUSSION... /issued 539 AM CST Mon Feb 27 2017/

A batch of low clouds with ceilings around 1000 ft have managed to
build westward to KCDS. These sub-VFR cigs could persist for
another hour or two there. Aside from this, VFR will be the rule
at the terminals. Light winds this morning will become breezy this
afternoon before weakening around sunset.

PREV DISCUSSION... /issued 346 AM CST Mon Feb 27 2017/

Modest zonal flow aloft today will back to the southwest and begin
to increase tonight in advance of a trough moving through the
Intermountain West. Dry subsidence in the wake last night`s
shortwave trough will yield near full insolation today. The stout
cross-mountain flow will induce a decent trough/low in the lee of
the central and southern Rockies thus tightening the pressure
gradient locally. After relatively light winds much of the morning
breezy and dry downsloping winds will develop this afternoon and
along with full sunshine temperatures will soar up into the 70s for
much of the CWA. The far southeast zones could even flirt with lower
80s. Clouds will gradually increase from the top of the troposphere
downward tonight as the western trough pulls Pacific moisture up and
over West Texas. The increasing clouds coupled with southwesterly
winds likely staying elevated a bit (at 10-15 knots) will provide a
mild final night of February with lows mostly in the 40s.

The forecast remains on track for a windy day on Tuesday. Upper
trough now entering northern California will quickly swing through
the Great Basin region today, cross the Rockies Tuesday, and
emerge over the high plains late in the day. This track will bring
the associated mid-level jetmax right over West Texas, with progs
in good agreement showing about 50-70 kts of flow at 700 mb
passing overhead during the day. Quite a bit of sub-tropical
moisture will get caught up ahead of the wave, resulting in a
thick layer of high clouds moving in early Tuesday. This may delay
the mixing and onset of strong winds, but unfortunately, model
progs are also suggesting a rather sharp western edge to the
clouds arriving from the west-southwest early to mid-afternoon,
and as the clearing line moves east through the afternoon we
expect the winds to really ramp up. Guidance continues to suggest
that the winds will approach High Wind Warning speeds of around 35
to 45 mph sustained and gusts to near 60 mph across the Caprock,
which is certainly supported by the progged 850mb to 700mb flow
that mixing will tap into. We will continue the High Wind Watch
for this area, while advisory level wind speeds are likely farther
east. Needless to say, we expect the strong winds will generate
some areas of blowing dust, probably thicker than what we saw last
Thursday as the top-soil has had 5 days of additional drying. As
the trough moves through late in the day, we still have a chance
to see some virga and/or light rain showers move out of New Mexico
and into our southwest Texas Panhandle. These could locally
enhance wind speeds and blowing dust in that area. With very warm
temperatures /highs mainly in the 70s/ and a dry airmass, the fire
danger will become critical, see the Fire Weather section below
for more details.

A cold front will pass through the forecast area early Wednesday.
After a period of northerly breezes in the morning, the winds will
die down in the afternoon and it should actually be a very
pleasant day, with highs in the 50s and 60s.

The weather pattern looks very quiet for the region from Wednesday
on through the weekend. A weak front on Thursday may stall out
before reaching our forecast area, and even if it does, it isn`t
likely to produce much cooling. A stronger front is possible by
late Sunday, but any significant waves will steer well to our
north through this period, keeping us mild and dry.

Breezy, warm and dry southwesterly winds will produced elevated to
low-end critical fire weather over the South Plains region this
afternoon. RH values will bottom out well into critical
territory...around 10 percent. However wind speeds are expected to
be more marginal becoming sustained in the 15 to 20 mph range at the
20 ft level. A number of minutes of critical fire weather will
likely occur at some spots this afternoon, but confidence in 3+
hours of critical fire weather in any given location is not very
high. Given this we have opted to issue a Fire Danger Statement from
noon to 7 pm and will let the bigger headlines for tomorrow when the
winds will really blow.

Strong southwest to west-southwest winds will spread across the
forecast area on Tuesday. Afternoon temperatures will be about 10
to 15 degrees above average, with a relatively dry airmass
resulting in low RH values. There is still some question regarding
how low the RH will go, as some higher moisture aloft may mix
down and maintain slightly higher moisture levels, in particular
across the far southwest Texas Panhandle. On balance however, we
anticipate that RH values will fall into the 10 to 15 percent
range and support a critical fire danger. The danger for rapid
fire spread will be enhanced by the very strong winds across the
Caprock. A Fire Weather Watch remains in effect for the whole
forecast area aside from Stonewall County.

A cold front will bring a northerly wind shift into the area early
Wednesday morning. The airmass will be very dry Wednesday, but
lighter winds in the afternoon will keep the fire danger low.


Fire Weather Watch from Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening
for TXZ021>043.

High Wind Watch from Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening for



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