Area Forecast Discussion
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FXUS64 KLUB 200826

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Lubbock TX
326 AM CDT Tue Mar 20 2018

The storm system that was generous enough to share all the wind
with West Texas over the past day and a half was now racing
toward the mid-Atlantic, leaving dry northwesterly flow aloft in
its wake. A progressive surface ridge will traverse the Llano
Estacado today providing dry but light winds and near average
temperatures. Southerly winds will return tomorrow west of the
departing surface high and this will help boost readings back
well into the 70s. Moisture return will initially be meager but
will slowly improve as southerly flow continues through the
remainder of the week beneath an approaching upper ridge.
Eventually a quiescent and capped dryline should be wandering the
region by late week, mixing east during the day and retreating
westward in the evening. West of the dryline the fire danger will
increase during the afternoon hours, particularly by Friday when
solidly breezy conditions are expected as the upper ridge yields
to a shortwave trough lifting from the Desert Southwest into the
central High Plains. Afternoon temperatures will continue to climb
in this pattern with highs well into the 80s on Thursday and
perhaps breaching the 90 degree mark for many spots by Friday
afternoon. These temperatures will threaten record highs. For
reference, the current records are:

            Thu (Mar 22)      Fri (Mar 23)      Sat (Mar 24)

Lubbock    87, set in 2016   87, set in 2015   88, set in 1929
Childress  94, set in 1907   92, set in 1907   92, set in 1929

Minor cooling will follow the passing wave, though highs will still
remain primarily in the 80s this weekend. After that things are less
clear as the NWP is trying to sort out how much energy stays out
west and how much emerges through the Upper Midwest. A stronger wave
advancing eastward well to our north would likely drive a cold front
through the South Plains just in time to kick off the new week. On
the other hand, if the bulk of the jet energy lingers out west that
would delay any front and also keep low-level moisture closer by,
perhaps to be utilized by the western system as it ultimately
advances east. It is too early to tell which way to lean with any
confidence, so the forecast has maintained the blended guidance
which does advertise a decent cool down toward average by Monday.
We have also kept PoPs below mentionable levels until a better
consensus can be reached on how the synoptic scale will play out.




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