Area Forecast Discussion
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FXUS64 KLUB 170855

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Lubbock TX
355 AM CDT Sat Mar 17 2018

3 am observations show a cold front advancing southwestward
across the far southern Texas Panhandle and northern Rolling
Plains. This front should make it through the forecast area by mid
to late morning before stalling out. Weak easterly upslope flow
today will result in cooler temperatures, with afternoon highs
mainly in the upper 60s to lower 70s. There should also be quite a
bit of high-level cloudiness streaming across the area on into
tonight and Sunday morning. The front will begin to wash out this
afternoon and evening in the face of increasing southwest flow
associated with a shortwave approaching from southwest Texas.
Some of the convective-allowing guidance even suggests some weak
elevated shower activity accompanying this wave as it quickly
lifts northeast through the region late tonight into Sunday
morning - but forecast soundings suggest that the lower
atmosphere will be too dry for more than a few sprinkles.

The main show will be commencing Sunday afternoon with a larger,
more vigorous shortwave coming in from the west. This wave will
deepen over the southern High Plains Sunday afternoon and evening
while a strong jetmax of about 100 kts at 500 mb and 50 to 60 kts
at 700 mb overspreads West Texas. As the low-level trough
progresses east across the forecast area in the afternoon, these
winds will being to transfer down through the very dry and deep
mixed layer. The timing of the increase in wind speeds is still a
bit uncertain with some of the guidance lagging others by a few
hours, but it appears that by late afternoon, strong winds will be
quickly spreading out of eastern New Mexico, across the Caprock
and on into the Rolling Plains. This will almost certainly produce
a period of advisory-level wind speeds, generally sustained at 30
to 40 mph with gusts to 55 mph on the Caprock, and slightly lower
in the Rolling Plains. There is also a potential for some high
winds, both sustained and severe wind gusts. The best locations
for this potential will likely be across the western South Plains
and far southwest Texas Panhandle, but we will hold off on a High
Wind Watch for now given the forecast wind speeds just on the
cusp of high wind territory and the uncertainty in the timing. The
gusty winds will likely generate some widespread blowing dust
across the region.

With the core of strongest winds aloft passing across the area
late in the day Sunday into Sunday night, it should remain breezy
to windy overnight. The winds will gradually shift from west to
northwest early Monday and increase again with daytime mixing. A
wind advisory will likely be needed on Monday for approximately
the eastern 2/3rd of the forecast area. The winds should finally
begin to ease up Monday evening as a cold front drops through the
area. It will be cooler Tuesday with highs only in the 60s, but at
least the winds will be light.

Unfortunately, the relative calm will not last long as a
progressive weather pattern across the lower 48 steers the next
upper trough into the west on Wednesday, while our brief surface
ridging is quickly replaced by lee-troughing. This will allow
temperatures to warm quickly into the 70s Wednesday, then 80s
Thursday, but will also bring increasing southwesterly breezes. it
is still uncertain how the upper-level storm system will eject out
into the plains late week and into next weekend but all
indications suggest it will be dry and breezy for our area.



...Critical to extremely critical fire danger on Sunday...

A cold front moving through the area this morning will bring
lighter, northeast winds through the forecast area. By mid to late
afternoon, the winds will return to the south-southwest across
the western South Plains and far southwest Texas Panhandle. Dry
and mild conditions across that area will elevate the fire danger
and a Fire Danger Statement will be issued for later this

An extremely critical fire danger is expected to develop across
the entire area Sunday afternoon. Strong westerly winds will
spread across the area. Some modest moisture advection into the
Rolling Plains and even a low chance of a few light sprinkles
Sunday morning will not prevent very low RH values by mid-to late
afternoon, continuing on well into the night. Coupled with near-
historic values of ERC on the Caprock, and around the upper 10
percent in the Rolling Plains, conditions will be very favorable
for extreme fire behavior. We have extended the Fire Weather
Watch in space and time through the eastern Rolling Plains and
until midnight, although gusty winds will continue overnight and
RH recovery will be poor.

The winds will shift to the northwest Monday as a front passes
through. The cooler airmass will still be very dry and elevated to
Cristal fire conditions are expected, with the strongest winds
expected across the Rolling Plains and eastern South Plains.

The fire danger will improve Tuesday with cooler temperatures and
weaker winds behind the front. However, a quick return to breezy
and warm conditions will bring increasing fire weather concerns
after midweek.


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



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