Area Forecast Discussion
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FXUS64 KLUB 191138 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Lubbock TX
638 AM CDT Mon Mar 19 2018

A cold front moving through the area today will shift winds to the
northwest and then to the north by late in the day. The winds will
remain breezy to gusty before beginning to subside in the afternoon,
finally becoming light in the evening. VFR conditions will prevail,
but there is a small chance of some post-frontal stratus in the
Panhandles making it into the vicinity of KCDS this morning,
possibly producing a short period of MVFR ceilings.


Winds have come down below advisory levels a little ahead of
schedule across the western and central South Plains. Thus, we
have cancelled the wind advisory an hour early. Winds will
reinvigorate as deeper mixing occurs after sunrise with a return
to advisory levels winds (this time from a northwesterly
direction) still expected across much of the southern Texas
Panhandle through the Rolling Plains and northeast South Plains,
where a wind advisory remains in effect until 3 pm.


We have converted the Red Flag Warning to a Fire Danger Statement
(RFD) for the entire area as cooler temperatures and somewhat
improved moisture levels have advected in. Regardless, gusty
winds will still create control problems for any fires that
develop today and the RFD will be in effect until 7 pm, when winds
will decrease more notably.


.PREV DISCUSSION... /issued 400 AM CDT Mon Mar 19 2018/

Wind and fire weather concerns remain the focus today. Early morning
water vapor imagery shows a tightly wound system translating
steadily eastward over northwest Oklahoma. South of this system
strong westerly wind fields (50-60 knots at 850 mb) were traversing
the South Plains region. Although thermally driven mixing is at
a minimum, strong subsidence has been fairly efficiently forcing
these stronger winds to the ground with widespread advisory level
winds still occurring over much of the CWA as of 3 am. In fact, we
have had a number of sites briefly gust to 58 to 60 mph early
this morning as a narrow jet of stronger winds has been able to
surface. The strongest wind fields are progged to shift east of the
FA by 12Z, so we expect the winds to gradually drop below advisory
levels toward dawn, perhaps sooner. However, a tight pressure
gradient along with a 30-40 knot 850 mb jet will linger across
the northeastern zones through much of the morning. As deeper
mixing commences expect this area to see wind speeds rise back
into advisory levels, peaking mid-late morning into early
afternoon. Winds should then gradually decrease through the
mid-late afternoon hours as the pressure gradient finally begins
to relax and the upper low races off across the Mississippi River
Valley. Hence, we have maintained the Wind Advisory for the entire
area through 12Z, while extending it through 20Z along and east
of a Dimmitt to Plainview to Jayton line. The winds will turn
northwesterly later this morning as another cold front moves
through. In addition to keeping highs down mostly in the 60s,
improved moisture levels will advect in around the backside of the
departing low.

Winds will finally drop off more significantly tonight with light
winds to follow tomorrow as a progressive surface ridge passes.
Breezy southerly winds and much warmer temperatures (70s and lower
80s) will follow on Wednesday as return flow develops in advance of
an approaching upper ridge. The upper ridge will pass on Thursday
when highs will climb further, potentially eclipsing the 90 degree
mark in spots. A shortwave trough is then forecast to race out of
the Desert Southwest into the central High Plains Friday. This
disturbance will boost winds solidly to breezy or low-end windy
levels, which when coupled with highs back in the 80s and lower 90s,
will also raise fire weather concerns. Weak cooling and lighter
winds should follow this wave for the first half of the weekend.
After that it is less clear, though the 00Z GFS and ECMWF currently
depict an upper trough emerging from the Intermountain West into the
northern High Plains, with an attendant cold front moving southward
through the South Plains by Sunday night. This is a relatively new
development so we`ll have to see if it holds. Regardless, at this
point it looks like dry conditions will prevail for West Texas.

Strong and dry westerly winds behind last night`s Pacific front were
continuing to create elevated to critical fire weather early this
morning, even though temperatures were only in the 40s and 50s. The
winds should decrease modestly through the remainder of the night
before turning northwesterly and increasing behind another front
after daybreak. The northwesterly winds will carry in improved
moisture, so RH values will actually rise through much of the
morning even as temperatures and wind speeds increase. Given this,
the fact that there are no ongoing fires in our CWA, and
temperatures at or below average today, we plan on issuing a Fire
Danger Statement (RFD) for the entire area today (versus a RFW)
after the Red Flag Warning expires at 12Z.

Much lighter winds tomorrow will finally bring a reprieve from
fire weather, but much warmer and increasingly windy conditions
will bring fire weather concerns back to the region for the latter
half of the week.


Wind Advisory until 3 PM CDT this afternoon for TXZ022>026-



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