Area Forecast Discussion
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FXUS64 KLUB 241115

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Lubbock TX
615 AM CDT Sat Mar 24 2018

VFR. Light northerly winds will veer south this afternoon ahead
of thickening mid clouds tonight.


.PREV DISCUSSION... /issued 411 AM CDT Sat Mar 24 2018/

After two consecutive days of record-breaking temperatures, we
should finally see a bit of relief as a weak cold front pushes in
from the northeast through the day. At the same time, increasing
mid and upper-level moisture will once again result in mostly
cloudy skies which will also help to hold temperatures down. There
is some question how far east the front will make it but it does
appear that it should push across all but the far western South
Plains this afternoon. Heading into tonight, models continue to
develop some light precipitation in the early morning hours Sunday
as a shortwave crosses over the forecast area. The boundary layer
will remain fairly dry so precipitation will have to moisten the
column from the top down. This may be too much for showers to
overcome and have left PoPs just below 15 percent so that the
forecast shows up dry.

Sunday will mark another potential day for wildfire development
although there remains some uncertainty on how far east conditions
will become critical. Southwesterly flow aloft will strengthen
through the day which will help to increase the pressure gradient
in the lee surface trough. The best moisture will mix east through
the day as the dryline stalls in western Oklahoma down into
northwest Texas leaving behind minimum RH values just under 15
percent. Will also have to watch wind speeds for a possible wind
advisory if the model trend of increasing speeds with each run
continues. We are still under wind advisory speeds for now but it
will be breezy across the western half of the forecast area.
Another shortwave will move across the are on Monday but the
dryline may hang a bit further west leaving the Rolling Plains in
an area that thunderstorms could develop. Left chance PoPs in
place along with the quick taper down below mentionable levels
east of the Caprock.

For Tuesday and beyond, the forecast remains complicated as the
models have once again switched back to the closed low opening as
it moves east across the area and slowed it down a bit into late
Wednesday. They do still bring another front into the area during
the day Tuesday but the amount of moisture available ahead, along,
and just behind the frontal zone varies quite a bit between
models. This will impact precipitation chances and coverage; the
NAM in it`s last hours shows light QPF developing behind the
front, the GFS is dry, and the ECMWF develops a pretty broad area
of precip. Next issue will be when the trough moves across the
region which if it slows down could provide an extended window of
weak synoptic lift to help generate post-frontal precipitation.
PoPs were fairly close to what was in the previous forecast but
did drop PoPs Tuesday night back into slight chance range due to
the slower timing of the trough and the front pushing far enough
south to remove low-level lift. Temperatures also came in a bit
cooler for Wednesday as it appears that ample mid and high-level
cloud cover should help hold temperatures in the mid to upper 50s
as opposed to low 60s in previous runs.


Fire weather concerns will remain low today thanks to a weak cold
front that will move across the area. There could be a small
window for elevated conditions near and along the Texas/New
Mexico border late this afternoon. Of greater concern are
conditions on Sunday and Monday across the South Plains. Strong
west to southwest wind both these days will push moisture east of
the area into the Rolling Plains. Minimum RH values will fall to
near 15 percent Sunday on the Caprock, then to near 10 percent on
Monday along and west of a Denver City to Silverton line. Wind
speeds Sunday will increase into the 20-30 mph across the watch
area and have issued a fire weather watch for Sunday afternoon
for counties along and west of I-27/US 87. Wind speeds on Monday
will be lower at 15-25 mph which may limit critical conditions
from developing. Finally by Tuesday, we should see a break in
critical fire weather conditions as a front pushes across the
region and moisture levels increase enough to keep minimum RH
values at or above 30 percent through Thursday of next week.



Fire Weather Watch from Sunday afternoon through Sunday evening
for TXZ021>023-027>029-033>035-039>041.



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