Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Midland/Odessa, TX

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FXUS64 KMAF 281238
AFDMAF

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Midland/Odessa TX
638 AM CST Wed Feb 28 2024

...New UPDATE...

.UPDATE...
Issued at 619 AM CST Wed Feb 28 2024

Updated short term grids to reflect faster southwest progression
(around 2 hours earlier than previously expected) and patchiness
of smoke (smoke has taken on average 1 to 2 hours to clear areas
with visibilities mostly dropping into the 4-6 statute mile
range). Highs are still on track to be below average across the
area Wednesday and in the 50s for most of the area aside from 40s
in the higher elevations, northernmost Lea County, and northern
Permian Basin, low 60s in southern Reeves County Plains, and in
the 60s to 70s for much of Terrell County, the region south of the
Davis and Chinati Mountains, and close to the Rio Grande. Lows
Wednesday night remain on track to be near average and mostly in
the 30s aside from areas below freezing in northern Lea County and
higher elevations, and low 40s near the Rio Grande. Highs
Thursday are still forecast to be below average and mostly in the
50s for Lea County, the Permian basin and higher elevations, and
60s for most other places in the forecast area.


Rainfall amounts continue to exhibit a relative maximum of around
0.50 to 0.70 inches from Culberson County and Guadalupe Mountains
into the Davis Mountains and Pecos County, with thunder risk also
present early Thursday morning in these same areas. Highest PoPs
and most extensive low cloud cover is still forecast in same
regions as mentioned in original short term discussion. Snow is
still indicated when precipitation begins late Wednesday night
over the highest peaks of the Guadalupe Mountains and later over
northern Lea County and northeastern Permian Basin, but due to
warm ground temperatures, any accumulations are still only
expected in the highest peaks of the Guadalupe Mountains.

Grids continue to indicate skies clearing from southwest to
northeast from Thursday midday into Thursday evening as subsidence
occurs in wake of the short wave moving northeast away from the
area.

Winds are still forecast to veer from northeasterly to
southeasterly by this evening and for lee troughing to develop
from Eddy County into the Guadalupe into Davis Mountain region
Thursday afternoon, with winds southwesterly west of the lee
troughing and winds remaining southeasterly east of the lee
troughing.


.SHORT TERM...
(Today through Thursday afternoon)
Issued at 340 AM CST Wed Feb 28 2024

Scattered mid level clouds are visible on IR and are moving east and
northeast in advance of the approaching short wave, with another
batch of lower level clouds moving southwest from the northeast.
This other batch of lower level clouds  moving into the northern
parts of the forecast area marks the approximate edge of the sfc
cold front that moves through the area this morning.

As mentioned in the update of the previous AFD, fires that developed
in the Texas Panhandle yesterday paired with a cold frontal passage
and winds shifting to northeasterly for most of the area by
Wednesday morning will result in patchy wildfire smoke from the
fires making its way southwest. Radar as of 08Z already shows
reflectivity signature of the leading edge of this smoke stretching
from central Lea County in New Mexico to Mitchell County in Texas.
It is likely that the smoke becomes more diffuse the farther it
travels southwest, and the southwest progression of the smoke is
expected to slow down considerably along with the cold front as they
both encounter the Guadalupe into Davis and Glass Mountains in West
Texas. HRRR Vertically Integrated Smoke model shows this occurring
after 13Z. As with previous shift, drew in patchy over SE NM plains,
Permian Basin, and Stockton Plateau for Wednesday morning (roughly
07Z to 16Z time frame) to account for the presence of patchy smoke.

Highs Wednesday resemble blend of NBM 25th and 50th percentiles for
most of the area, with exception of the northern Permian Basin,
where NBM 25th percentile showed highs that were too cold (upper 40s
for most as opposed to lower 50s). Going lower than the NBM for most
of the area was done to account for how the cold front should be
well into the central portion of the area by Wednesday morning.
Highs Wednesday will be below average for most of the area ranging
from the upper 40s in the Western Rolling Plains to 50s for a large
portion of the area, and 60s near the Rio Grande. Lows Wednesday
night will be near average and mostly in the 30s aside from a few
spots below freezing in northern Lea County and the mountains of
West Texas, and resemble blend of NBM 25th and 50th percentiles
weighted more heavily to the NBM 50th percentile. Went with 1:1
blend of NBM 25th and NBM 50th percentile for highs on Thursday to
reflect widespread highs less than highs in the NBM, especially for
northeastern and southeastern parts of the Permian Basin. Highs
Thursday will be a few degrees below average for most locations and
mostly in the 50s in Lea County, the higher elevations, and
northeast of the Pecos River, with 60s elsewhere for most of Eddy
County and southwest of the Pecos River.

PoPs for Wednesday, Wednesday night, and Thursday have increased,
especially over Presidio, Culberson, and Jeff Davis Counties, SE NM
plains and central Permian Basin in MAF-ODO area, but so have
rainfall amounts. Therefore, despite climatologically dry conditions
usually resulting in having to lower PoPs above 70, left in PoP
values of 70 or greater and did not lower them. A higher intensity
rain event than previously shown in earlier runs is becoming more
likely over portions of West Texas and SE NM plains, but due to
antecedent dry conditions and lack of frozen soils, not expecting
much in the way of flooding at this time. These areas are also
experiencing severe to extreme drought, so any moderate to heavy
rains will be beneficial to easing drought conditions. Daily QPF for
Wednesday night and Thursday aligns closely with NBM 50th
percentile. Recent runs of the NBM are showing highest chance of
0.50 inch or greater totals are located over the northern Guadalupe
Mountains and Culberson into Pecos Counties, with a relative maximum
close to 0.70 for rainfall totals from southern Culberson County
into the Davis Mountains. Grids again are showing thunder early
Thursday morning for these areas. A few rumbles of thunder cannot be
ruled out in these areas. These areas are where highest precip
amounts and most extensive low cloud cover are expected to track
north through Thursday before skies clear from southwest to
northeast Thursday afternoon as the short wave moves northeast of
the area and subsidence occurs in its wake. The area of the heaviest
precip and most extensive low cloud cover coincides with the track
of upper low that will generate lift to produce this precip behind
Wednesday morning`s cold front. Snow is indicated for the highest
peaks of the Guadalupe Mountains as precip begins there. While a dry
sub cloud layer will be less of a concern than previously indicated,
warm ground temperatures for all but the highest peaks should limit
snowfall accumulations. A mix of rain and snow is also possible
Wednesday night into Thursday morning for northern Lea County and
portions of the northern Permian Basin, but again warm ground
temperatures are expected to limit any accumulation.

Winds Wednesday morning over the Stockton Plateau and to the
southwest will shift from northwest to northeast as the cold front
passes through the area. In the immediate wake of the cold front
Wednesday morning, northeasterly winds could become gusty over the
SE NM Plains and Permian Basin midday into early afternoon before
winds again decrease. Winds will shift to a southeasterly direction
by Wednesday evening. As the upper low moves away, lee troughing
deepening across NM in advance of the next upper system approaching
the Central Plains will lead to southwesterly winds developing on
the windward side of the Guadalupe into Davis Mountains and into the
Eddy County Plains and southeasterly winds persisting to the east of
the lee troughing. Winds will be lighter throughout the period
compared to the strong and gusty winds that occurred Monday and
Tuesday, so unlike past few days, went with the NBM rather than a
blend of NBM and NBM 90th percentile for wind speeds and wind
gusts.

&&

.LONG TERM...
(Thursday night through Tuesday)
Issued at 340 AM CST Wed Feb 28 2024

Not much change to the previous forecast.  Friday,
thicknesses/temperatures will make a big jump as weak, dirty ridging
passes through the region.  Saturday looks to be the warmest day
this forecast as flow aloft over West Texas and Southeast New Mexico
transitions to southwest as the next upper trough begins
strengthening over the western CONUS.  Highs Saturday afternoon
should top out ~ 10F above normal...more like early April than early
March.

Sunday should be similar to Saturday, if not a degree or so cooler
in the northwest due to the approach of the next cold front. Leeside
troughing on the Front Range will increase westerlies out over the
higher terrain, likely resulting in high winds in the Guadalupes and
adjacent plains through the evening hours.  This should also combine
with critical afternoon relative humidity for a critical fire
weather day.

Unfortunately, the previously-mentioned cold front arrives late
Sunday night, w/the latest GFS putting fropa at KMAF ~ 12Z Monday.
This front will be dry.  The upshot is that the models don`t depict
the front as strong as they did 24 hours ago, and should only take
temperatures Monday/Tuesday down to around normal.

&&

.AVIATION...
(12Z TAFS)
Issued at 519 AM CST Wed Feb 28 2024

Smoke will clear at CNM, HOB, INK by 13Z today, with winds
northeasterly at all terminals, veering to southeasterly at all
terminals by 01Z Thursday. CIGs and VIS MVFR in HZ, otherwise CIGs
will be VFR until 00Z Thursday when CIGs fall to MVFR from
southwest to northeast. Showers will be ongoing at FST and PEQ by
01Z, beginning at INK and CNM between 00Z and 02Z, and be ongoing
by 06Z at HOB and MAF. CIGs and VIS may fall to IFR in heavier
rain showers at times. Showers will taper off from southwest to
northeast beginning 08Z Thursday.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
Big Spring               50  35  58  38 /  10  70  40   0
Carlsbad                 55  36  61  39 /  10  90  30   0
Dryden                   66  38  61  37 /  70  70  10   0
Fort Stockton            58  38  64  43 /  60  90  30   0
Guadalupe Pass           51  34  56  41 /  30  80  30   0
Hobbs                    51  33  57  37 /   0  70  40   0
Marfa                    56  30  62  32 /  90  90  10   0
Midland Intl Airport     52  36  59  39 /  10  90  40   0
Odessa                   54  36  59  40 /  10  90  40   0
Wink                     56  36  61  38 /  20  90  30   0

&&

.MAF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
TX...None.
NM...None.
&&

$$

SHORT TERM...94
LONG TERM....44
AVIATION...94


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