Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Topeka, KS

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000
FXUS63 KTOP 281730
AFDTOP

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Topeka KS
1130 AM CST Wed Feb 28 2024

.KEY MESSAGES...

- Colder today with wind chills in the single digits this morning
  and highs in the 40s this afternoon.

- Warming back up Thursday through the weekend.

- Fire weather concerns return Thursday and this weekend.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Issued at 336 AM CST Wed Feb 28 2024

Upper troughing is present over the center of the CONUS early this
morning, having shunted yesterday`s cold front well southeast of the
forecast area. Winds have remained breezy overnight with strong CAA
allowing for temperatures to plummet into the teens and low 20s, 40-
60 degrees colder than yesterday`s highs. The elevated winds are
making it feel even colder with wind chills in the single digits
above and below zero this morning. Winds will gradually weaken
through the morning as a surface high moves into the region before
shifting east of the area by this evening. Plentiful sunshine and
neutral temperature advection this afternoon will allow for some
warming with highs generally in the 40s.

The pressure gradient tightens again overnight into Thursday ahead
of a perturbation currently near Baja California that will lift east-
northeast. Winds become south-southwesterly and increase through the
day Thursday with gusts of 25-40mph bumping temperatures back above
normal in the mid to upper 50s. Moisture does increase from the
southwest late in the day, but consensus keeps higher moisture
content south of the forecast area. The dry airmass and windy
conditions will create another day of elevated fire danger (see Fire
Weather Section below for details). As the aforementioned shortwave
moves through the area Thursday evening and night, the column begins
to saturate from the top down, but dry air in the low-levels and a
short window of time for mid-level saturation keep precipitation
chances less than 15%.

Zonal flow takes hold by Friday and transitions to southwest flow
this weekend as a trough deepens across the western CONUS.
Temperatures warm each day with highs approaching 80 degrees by
Sunday. Differences remain in how the western trough evolves as it
ejects across the Plains Sunday and Monday, keeping precipitation
chances in the 15-25 percent range. Some solutions (namely the
GFS/GEFS) develop showers and thunderstorms ahead of a dryline that
is progged to reside along the eastern half of the CWA by Sunday
afternoon. If this scenario plays out, there is a chance for some
severe storms if convection develops; this is supported by both the
CIPS severe weather guidance and the Colorado State University`s
machine learning system. However, storm chances would be lower if
the ECMWF depiction is correct. Details will be ironed out as the
event approaches. There is more certainty in Sunday being another
elevated fire danger day as winds gust at 35-45mph from the south-
southwest. Eastward extent of the driest air is uncertain and will
depend on the advancement of the dryline. Refer to the Fire Weather
section below for more on this.

A cold front moves through the area Sunday night into Monday,
knocking temperatures back into the 50s and 60s to start the new
work week.

&&

.AVIATION /18Z TAFS THROUGH 18Z THURSDAY/...
Issued at 1129 AM CST Wed Feb 28 2024

VFR continues. Winds have decreased under 10 kt and will turn
from the WNW early this afternoon to the south by early evening.
They should veer slightly toward the SSW while increasing
overnight. Gusts return mid to late morning up to around 25 kt.

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Issued at 336 AM CST Wed Feb 28 2024

Elevated fire danger returns again Thursday and this weekend.
For Thursday, winds increase from the south-southwest through
the day with sustained winds of 15-25mph and gusts of 25- 35mph
forecast during the afternoon, strongest across north central
Kansas. Although higher moisture begins to build into the region
Thursday afternoon and evening, the majority of guidance keeps
this higher moisture south of the forecast area. Minimum
relative humidity values fall into the 15-20 percent range,
possibly lower if some of the short-term guidance is correct.
Given only light amounts of precipitation last evening, fuels
should be susceptible to fire spread and conditions could
warrant a Red Flag Warning.

After a relative minimum in fire danger on Friday, elevated fire
danger returns this weekend with Sunday looking to be the most
concerning. South-southwest winds sustained at 25-30mph with gusts
of 35-45mph are expected during the day. The eastward extent of the
driest air is uncertain and will depend on the advancement of the
dryline. Currently, relative humidity values are forecast to fall
into the 17-20 percent range across north central Kansas and near 30
percent across far eastern Kansas. A cold front will move through
Sunday night into Monday, switching winds to the west then northwest
and staying breezy (gusts of 25-30mph) Monday.

&&

.CLIMATE...
Issued at 336 AM CST Wed Feb 28 2024

Record Highs:

March 2
                     Record       Forecast
Topeka             84 in 2022        77
Concordia          81 in 2022        75

March 3
                     Record       Forecast
Topeka             80 in 1910        80
Concordia          79 in 1946        77

Record Warm Lows:

March 3
                     Record       Forecast
Topeka             52 in 1992        54
Concordia          50 in 1983        51

&&

.TOP WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
None.

&&

$$

DISCUSSION...Flanagan
AVIATION...Picha
FIRE WEATHER...Flanagan
CLIMATE...Flanagan


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