Area Forecast Discussion
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000 FXUS64 KLUB 041146 AFDLUB Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service Lubbock TX 546 AM CST Thu Mar 4 2021 .AVIATION...
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Relatively light winds and passing mid-level clouds will be the rule this morning. However, much stronger westerly winds, sustained near 25 knots, will overspread the western terminals this afternoon. The gusty winds will likely kick up some dust too, though unless winds are higher than expected, restrictions from BLDU should remain VFR. The winds will decrease to breezy levels this evening, veering northwesterly late tonight. Further east, winds won`t be as strong at KCDS today, and will be out of the south through the afternoon hours before shifting to the west late this evening. In addition, elevated virga showers will be possible, especially up toward KCDS, later in the day. These showers could produce strong sub-cloud downburst and avoidance is encouraged.
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&& .PREV DISCUSSION...
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/issued 301 AM CST Thu Mar 4 2021/ SHORT TERM... Today will bring another warm afternoon, though unfortunately it will come with more wind and a high fire danger, at least for locations on the Caprock. The culprit providing the wind is a closed low that is currently churning near Las Vegas early this morning. The low will continue on an eastward trek across the Four Corners, emerging over the Oklahoma Panhandle this evening, before shifting southeastward into central Oklahoma by 12Z Friday. As the low approaches it will spread stronger winds throughout the depth of the troposphere out of the Desert Southwest and across the southern High Plains this afternoon into tonight. In addition, the approaching system will spur surface cyclogenesis near the collective NM/TX/OK/CO borders later today, with the surface low translating eastward, then southeastward, in conjunction with the mid/upper system. This will open the door for a Pacific cold front and developing/tightening dryline to spread eastward across the Caprock this afternoon. In advance of the front/dryline, mid-level moisture and lift spreading from southwest-to-northeast could try to squeeze out a few very high-based elevated showers. Unfortunately, like our last system, the radar will likely look more impressive than the net result at the ground, with plenty of echos, but little (if anything) surfacing before drying up. Mid-level lapse rates will steepen late in the day as the cold core low draws closer, and this could support elevated convection near the far northeast corner of the CWA, though the best chances will be further north and east. This activity doesn`t hold much hope for any meaningful precipitation, but could produce erratic and gusty winds and dry lightning. Otherwise, further west, the main story will be the gusty westerly winds that will overspread the Caprock this afternoon, generally sustained in the 20 to 30 mph range, though a few spots could briefly flirt with low end advisory levels. These strong and dry winds will create critical fire weather and will also likely loft patchy blowing dust. On the positive side, temperatures will again top out well into the 70s. Further east, locations off the Caprock will escape the worst of the winds today. The wind will decrease modestly this evening (though remain breezy) as deeper thermally driven mixing ceases. The wind will veer northwesterly late tonight as the surface low tracks along the Red River Valley, before even more robust northerly winds invade Friday morning. Temperatures will fall back into the lower and middle 40s tonight, with a few 30s across the northwestern and western zones. LONG TERM... The aforementioned cold front will be through the area by early Friday, however, the effects of the front will last for a majority of the day. With post-frontal pressure rises and mixing to around 800 mb, surface winds over the forecast area will be quite breezy. With sustained winds of 25 to 35 mph likely much of Friday, the issuance of a Wind Advisory will be possible. Strong winds will have the potential to loft dust over the area. As the upper-level low moves to our east, the boundary layer decouples, and a surface high moves in from the north late Friday, winds will decrease to below 10 mph, becoming light overnight. An upper-level ridge will replace the upper-level low on Saturday, bringing calm and dry weather. Surface winds will become southeasterly as the surface ridge moves off to the east, promoting warming over the area. An upper-level short wave trough, embedded within a more expansive upper ridge, will move over the forecast area on Sunday, tightening the surface pressure gradient and providing breezy southerly winds. The area will continue to warm through the weekend and into early next week as upper-level ridging and southerly surface flow will remain the main players in our weather. Our next system will enter the northwestern CONUS next Monday and start to dig towards the area. Ahead of the main system, a lead short-wave will bring a cold front through the area mid-week, decreasing our highs from the 70s on Monday and Tuesday to the 60s by Thursday. As the main system moves closer late in the week, it may bring our next chance of precipitation (fingers crossed) Friday evening into the weekend, or at a minimum increased winds. This is still over a week out, so a lot will likely change between now and the event. GKendrick FIRE WEATHER... Warm, dry and gusty westerly winds will create critical fire weather across much of the Caprock this afternoon, immediately behind an advancing Pacific front and developing/tightening dryline. Westerly winds sustained at 20 to 30 mph will be common, while highs in the 70s will drive RH values down into the 10-15% range. The combination of the wind and RH, coupled with rising ERC values (fuels becoming more favorable to support wildfires) observed in the 75-89% yesterday, justify the issuance of a Red Flag Warning (RFW). Thus, we have upgraded the Fire Weather Watch to a RFW for the central and western South Plains and southwest Texas Panhandle, valid from 11 am to 7 pm. A shorter period of elevated to critical fire weather will affect the eastern South Plains and south-central Texas Panhandle late in the afternoon, and thus we will issue a Fire Danger Statement (RFD) immediately adjacent to the RFW, valid from 2 pm to 7 pm. Conditions will gradually improve this evening as winds and temperatures decrease and the humidity increases.
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&& .LUB WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... Red Flag Warning from 11 AM this morning to 7 PM CST this evening for TXZ021>023-027>029-033>035-039>041. && $$ 23/10/23

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