Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Midland/Odessa, TX

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FXUS64 KMAF 302320
AFDMAF

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Midland/Odessa TX
520 PM CST Mon Jan 30 2023

...New AVIATION...

.SHORT TERM...
(This afternoon through Tuesday night)
Issued at 202 PM CST Mon Jan 30 2023

*Confidence increasing in significant ice accumulations for parts
 of West Texas and Southeast New Mexico.*

Current observation trends have favored significant cold air
lingering across the entire forecast area as highs today will
struggle to breach freezing for a large portion of the area. At
the surface, a shallow arctic airmass has dammed up against the
higher terrain in SW TX with a major deviation in temperature on
the southern and northern edges. Highs on a line from Carlsbad to
Pecos to Iraan have only been able to get as warm as 31F with much
colder air on the northern extent of the line. To the south down
around the Hwy 90 corridor west of Alpine, temperatures are down
right tropical (sort of) with Marfa currently sitting in the mid-
upper 60s. This is a prime example of cold air density making an
impact on regional temperature profiles, which will be very
important for the forecast beginning tonight through part of the
long term time frame.

General overcast in the colder pool of air will linger with some
minor breaking of the low-level stratus just prior to sunset.
Unfortunately, that`s about as good as we`ll get before conditions
deteriorate tonight as RHs increase and we see a secondary round
of widespread freezing drizzle/mist overnight into tomorrow AM.
The setup is eerily reminiscent of what transpired this morning
for much of the Permian Basin over into SE NM. A light glaze of
ice is forecast for a large chunk of W TX and SE NM, especially in
elevations below 5000 ft. 12z KMAF sounding this morning showed
an extensive warm nose leading to a strong inversion layer only a
few thousand feet off the surface with moisture trapping beneath
the inversion layer. A stark 14C difference between the surface
and 800mb is textbook for super-cooled water droplets within the
lower boundary layer confines eventually settling on sub-freezing
surfaces. This will generate a prolonged period of freezing
drizzle and mist that will accrete very efficiently on surfaces
thanks to well-below freezing temperatures. Lows tonight will fall
into the teens over the northern tier with 20s fairly common all
the way to the I-10 corridor. Because of the glaze of ice
forecasted, a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect tonight through
Tuesday AM (18z) for a large portion of W TX and SE NM.

Tomorrow is the next period of interest in the short term with
more of a "meat and potatoes" type deal as the synoptic pattern
shifts to increasing ascent over W TX on the lead side of a deep
trough currently positioned over the Western CONUS. We`ll see an
increasing risk of freezing rain develop over the W TX region with
a mid-level jet axis aligned from the Big Bend up into the
Permian Basin. A deep conveyor of moisture will be ushered
northeast into the pool of Arctic air encompassed over the region.
Model guidance has been playing catch-up in terms of the
magnitude of the cold airmass available which will be significant
in terms of determining the ice accretion potential for Tuesday
evening into Wednesday morning when the moisture flux will be the
most prominent. QPF forecast has been difficult due to model
timing of the trough pivoting eastward, as well as the meridional
component of the moisture (How far north the precip shield will
extend). As the current trends in guidance indicate, the
expectation is for increasing freezing rain chances to transpire
on a line from the Chisos Basin to the northeast over the Stockton
Plateau into the central-eastern Permian Basin. Ice accumulations
on an order of 0.05-0.25" are possible over the aforementioned
area with lighter accumulations focused 60 miles further north as
moisture field will still be deep enough to provide continued
freezing drizzle/mist overnight into Wednesday. Due to the threat
of continued icing, Winter Weather Advisory was extended just
beyond the forecast time frame for all but the central-eastern
Permian Basin and Pecos county. Those areas will transition to a
Winter Storm Warning through Wednesday due to the highest
potential of significant ice located within the confines of those
counties.

Temperatures will struggle to break out of the 20s once again for
Tuesday for places along and north of the Pecos river with near
freezing temperatures forecast down to the I-10 corridor.
Wednesday morning will be very cold again with lows generally in
the 20s north of I-10 and near freezing banked up along the higher
terrain in SW TX.

&&

.LONG TERM...
(Wednesday through Sunday)
Issued at 202 PM CST Mon Jan 30 2023

The focus for the extended forecast is of course Wednesday into
Thursday morning. Models have been trending colder unfortunately
and it now appears that the eastern Permian Basin will have
difficulty getting above freezing on Wednesday. These colder temps
would have major ramifications for the ice accumulation forecast.
A warm rain on Wednesday would have given a chance for overnight
ice build up to melt and lessen impacts for the area. Colder temps
mean not only do we not melt, but we could continue accumulating
ice making a bad situation even worse. Regardless of exact ice
amounts, area roads will be very slick for most locations and
extreme caution is advised driving anywhere. Portions of the
eastern Permian Basin and western Low Rolling Plains where ice
amounts will be highest could see the additional hazard of downed
power lines and trees.

The heaviest precipitation for next seven days will occur during
the day on Wednesday as an upper level low reaches New Mexico
increasing lift across the CWA. All precipitation ends Thursday as
the trough axis moves off to the east and clearing skies finally
allow us to warm up well above freezing as highs reach the 50s. A
transition to more zonal flow continues the warming trend into the
weekend which should be very pleasant with highs in the 60s.

Hennig

&&

.AVIATION...
(00Z TAFS)
Issued at 520 PM CST Mon Jan 30 2023

Low MVFR to IFR and LIFR CIGs seen and expected for all terminals.
Ceiling heights will move between multiple categories over the
course of the TAF period. FZDZ is expected late this evening, but
low confidence in onset timing, thus not included at this time.
Winds remain light and northeasterly through tonight.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
Big Spring               19  26  23  33 /  30  20  70  90
Carlsbad                 25  35  27  39 /   0   0  30  70
Dryden                   31  39  33  40 /  10  60  90  90
Fort Stockton            28  35  30  38 /  10  50  80 100
Guadalupe Pass           24  31  27  37 /   0  10  30  70
Hobbs                    21  31  23  37 /  20   0  40  70
Marfa                    35  60  34  48 /   0  40  70  90
Midland Intl Airport     21  28  24  35 /  20  20  70  90
Odessa                   21  29  25  35 /  20  20  70  90
Wink                     22  32  27  36 /  10  20  60  90

&&

.MAF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
TX...Winter Weather Advisory from midnight tonight to noon CST
     Wednesday for Andrews-Central Brewster County-Chisos Basin-
     Davis Mountains Foothills-Eastern Culberson County-Ector-
     Gaines-Loving-Reeves County Plains-Terrell-Ward-Winkler.

     Winter Weather Advisory from midnight tonight to noon CST
     Tuesday for Borden-Crane-Dawson-Glasscock-Howard-Martin-
     Midland-Mitchell-Pecos-Reagan-Scurry-Upton.

     Winter Storm Warning from noon Tuesday to 9 AM CST Thursday for
     Borden-Crane-Dawson-Glasscock-Howard-Martin-Midland-
     Mitchell-Pecos-Reagan-Scurry-Upton.

NM...Winter Weather Advisory from 11 PM this evening to 11 AM MST
     Wednesday for Central Lea County-Eddy County Plains-
     Northern Lea County-Southern Lea County.

&&

$$

SHORT TERM...87
LONG TERM....10
AVIATION...93


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