Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS

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FXUS64 KLUB 152257

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Lubbock TX
557 PM CDT Thu Mar 15 2018

Windy continues will prevail the remainder of the afternoon well
into the evening hours with speeds only diminishing to near 20
mph overnight. Blowing dust (with the possible addition of smoke
at KPVW from a wildfire about 50miles west of Lubbock) will bring
periods of MVFR visibility. More wind and dust tomorrow though
mostly VFR conditions are expected. Just not pleasant flying VFR.


Expanded the wind advisory eastward to the edge of the escarpment
given the observed trends.  The speeds should start to diminish
after sunset with the advisory valid until 9pm.  Wind speeds will
remain up near 20 mph tonight.

We continue to analyze data for tomorrow`s winds and RH and will
likely be upgrading tomorrow`s fire weather watch to a red flag
warning near the current red flag warning`s expiry at 9pm.

Elevated cumulus is evident on visible satellite. There is a low
risk of a storm or two popping up this evening. The primary
hazards will be downburst winds (under fairly benign looking
storms) and the occasional flash of lightning.


.PREV DISCUSSION... /issued 340 PM CDT Thu Mar 15 2018/

Fire weather concerns remain the main story in the forecast along
with some breezy to windy days ahead.

Mid-level cloud deck developed as the models indicated yesterday
but the aerial coverage was a bit smaller than expected. Timing
is also pretty much on track and the band of mid-level clouds is
moving east of the area. GOES-16 Meso1 scans shows that any form
of clouds that could produce precipitation are well east of the
area and elevated CU field pushing in from the west likely won`t
have any precip reaching the ground with it so have removed any
PoPs for tonight. Wind speeds are ramping up out west and we are
starting to see conditions fall into Red Flag criteria so will let
the current warning and wind advisory continue. Boundary layer
never really decouples overnight so we will see continued strong
wind speeds through the night into tomorrow with a gradual shift
to the west as well. This will help to hold low temperatures a few
degrees warmer than this morning thanks to the ongoing mixing
through the night. In contrast to today, wind speeds will be
decreasing through the day Friday as the upper-level level low
continues to push across the Central Plains allowing the pressure
gradient to relax through the day. However, any low-level moisture
will rapidly push east with dewpoints falling into the single
digits by the afternoon. High temperatures will be cooler than
today especially across the Caprock but we should still see low
80s across the Rolling Plains due to good downslope component
coming off the Caprock.

A weak cold front will push in from the northeast Saturday morning
with the general consensus in the models getting the front as far
west as the edge of the Caprock by Saturday afternoon. This will
give us a brief reprieve from the fire weather conditions as
dewpoints behind the front could manage to get into the low 40F
range. The front will knock highs back into the low to mid 70s but
there is some uncertainty on how strong the cold airmass will be
behind this front. We could be a few degrees cooler than this if
we get a good surge behind the front. The dryline starts to slosh
west overnight Saturday into Sunday morning as a strong mid-level
trough pushes across the western U.S. towards the Rockies. Flow
aloft will become increasingly cyclonic with time which will start
the development of a surface trough near the TX/NM state line
helping to pull the moisture west. As we head through the day
Sunday, increasing wind speeds through the depth of the atmosphere
combined with veering to the west will rapidly mix the
dryline/surface trough east of the area through the day Sunday.
Downslope warming and drying will probably result in another
critical fire weather day Sunday afternoon depending on if we can
warm temperatures across the Caprock out of the upper 60s/lower
70s. Monday remains a bit uncertain as the mid-level trough
continues to strengthen, deepening into a closed low across the
Central Plains. Models try to wrap moisture around the low both
aloft and at the surface while pushing a cold front into the area
during the day Monday. This will likely be another day with
breezy to windy conditions in the morning and gradually decreasing
in speed through the day.

We should finally have a break from breezy to windy conditions
Tuesday through Thursday as we see weak ridging aloft approach the
region from the west. Decent low-level moisture return may also
occur by the very end of the forecast but the models are already
starting to decrease how much moisture there is so we aren`t too
confident seeing any relief from the current dry and dusty


Fire weather conditions are slowly worsening across the region
although we are still above critical levels at the time of this
AFD. We will likely see a window of Red Flag conditions
especially along and west of I-27/US 87 before sunset as wind
speeds ramp up and drier air pushes into the region.

Wind speeds will remain around 15-25 to 20-30 mph overnight
tonight but wind directions will swing more towards the west
through the morning. Friday will see Red Flag conditions through
the first half of the day but wind speeds will decrease through
the afternoon providing some relief from red flag conditions late
in the day.

The next day with potential critical fire weather will be Sunday
as another storm system swings across the Rockies and strengthens
as it swings into northern OK/southern KS late in the day Sunday.
Some moisture recovery will take place behind a cold front on
Saturday but low-level moisture will quickly be pushed east
through the day Sunday. Wind speeds will once again climb into the
20-30 mph range so we will need to watch this day for a Fire
Weather Watch.

Monday is looking more uncertain as strong wind speeds will be in
place early in the day being a hold-over from Sunday. A weak front
will try to push across the region on Monday which would bring in
slightly higher moisture levels while also keeping temperatures
down closer to normal. Wind speeds will be decreasing through the
day after shifting to the northwest behind the front so there may
be a narrow window for Red Flag conditions early in the day.



Fire Weather Watch from Friday afternoon through Friday evening
for TXZ021>044.

Red Flag Warning until 9 PM CDT this evening for TXZ021>035-039-

Wind Advisory until 9 PM CDT this evening for TXZ021>024-027>030-



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