Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Midland/Odessa, TX

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046
FXUS64 KMAF 231017
AFDMAF

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Midland/Odessa TX
517 AM CDT Thu Mar 23 2017

.DISCUSSION...
An active weather day is on tap for today as we are set to deal with
a variety of hazards including high winds, extreme fire weather
conditions, and severe weather.

The upper trough that will be affecting West Texas and southeast
New Mexico has moved onshore and will move eastward through the
central and southern Rockies through tonight. As cyclogenesis
occurs eastern Colorado and eastern New Mexico, we will see and
strong southerly winds on the east side of the surface trough
crank up through the afternoon. As the winds increase throughout
the day, we could see some areas of blowing dust. A dryline will
set up just east of the TX/NM state line and be the focus for
severe storms. Moderate instability will be present east of the
dryline with very strong shear and steep mid level lapse rates.
This should be more than enough to support severe storms. A strong
cap should hold off convection until late afternoon/early evening
when a broken line of storms develops along and north of the I-20
corridor with the aid of the large scale accent from the
approaching upper trough. Best chances will be across the central
and northern Permian Basin, but may also see a few storms develop
further south in the Lower Trans Pecos through the evening. Main
threats with these storms will be damaging winds and hail as the
system moves eastward through the evening into the overnight
hours. To the west of the dryline, very dry air and high winds
will lead to extreme fire weather conditions. For more information
on the fire weather situation see the Fire Weather Discussion
below. For the high winds, we have a tale of two wind maxima.
Surface pressure gradient east of the dryline will likely yield
sustained winds of 35 to 45 mph across portions of the Permian
Basin this afternoon and evening. West of the dryline will see 40
to 60 kt jet winds at 700 and 850 mb. These winds should mix down
and lead to high winds across the higher elevations and the
adjacent plains. Will expand the High Wind Warning to the east
into the Permian Basin and south towards the Big Bend and Davis
Mountains and a Wind Advisory will be issued for the remaining
counties.

The upper trough will have moved into the Central Plains by
Friday and associated Pacific front will have pushed any moisture
to the east. Critical fire weather conditions will again be on the
slate and discussed more in the fire weather discussion below.
Cooler temps will be in place and will cut down high temperatures
into the 70s for the majority of locations expect along the Rio
Grande where locations will see temperatures in the 80s. A front
will move south across West Texas Friday evening and result in a
wind shift to the north before turning southerly in response to
the next approaching trough. Saturday will be the best day of the
weekend before things begin to pick up again.

On Sunday we will see the passing of another trough and a slight
warm up with downsloping winds before another potent trough will
bring more unsettled weather to the area. Models still disagree at
this point on how they want to handle the system, so will keep
rain chances on the low end until they can come into more
agreement.

Fire Weather Discussion...
WV imagery shows the upper trough moving thru CA/NV, and still
forecast to be over the Four Corners by 00Z Fri, and near the
intersection of CO/KS/OK 12 hrs later.  A sfc trough ahead of this
feature has increased return flow across the area, pushing the 60F
isodrosotherm as far west as KCNM and sharpening up a dryline to the
west.  Latest obs show single-digit RH west of the dryline,
coincident w/the low-lvl thermal ridge (LLTR), and this is poised to
push east later today as mixing commences.  The GFS is the model of
choice wrt dewpoints, winds, and mixing.  By 21Z Thu, forecast
soundings mix to 800mb (40kts) east to 500 mb (55-60kts) west.  This
will push the LLTR to the central CWA, w/the dryline just to the
east.  Needless to say, very critical Red Flag conditions are
anticipated west of the dryline, especially over the Trans Pecos, where
extreme Fire Danger and ERC in the 90th percentile are forecast.  As
the dryline moves east, and benefits of the current moisture return
will be rendered moot.

Friday, as subsidence sets in on the backside of the trough,
critical fire wx conditions look likely roughly along and west of
the Pecos.  Forecast mixing isn`t quite as deep, temps are a little
cooler, RH higher, and RFTIs lower than what`s expected today.  To
avoid sowing confusion w/complicated products, we`ll forego issuing
any watch/warning products attm, and emphasize the threat in the
HWO.  Sunday looks to be critical fire wx in the Guadalupes as a
secondary trough passes to the north.  Again, we`ll mention this in
the HWO.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
Big Spring                     83  50  76  46 /  10  50  10   0
Carlsbad                       88  45  78  41 /  10   0   0   0
Dryden                         84  52  81  51 /  10  20   0   0
Fort Stockton                  90  51  77  47 /  10  10   0   0
Guadalupe Pass                 78  40  67  47 /  10   0   0   0
Hobbs                          85  44  72  40 /  20  20   0   0
Marfa                          87  39  70  39 /  10   0   0   0
Midland Intl Airport           84  52  77  48 /  10  40  10   0
Odessa                         85  50  77  47 /  10  30  10   0
Wink                           91  47  78  44 /  10  10   0   0

&&

.MAF WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
NM...Red Flag Warning from 11 AM this morning to midnight MDT tonight
     for Guadalupe Mountains-Southeast Plains.

     High Wind Warning from noon today to 9 PM MDT this evening for
     Central Lea County-Eddy County Plains-Northern Lea County-
     Southern Lea County.

     High Wind Warning from noon today to 6 PM MDT Friday for
     Guadalupe Mountains of Eddy County.

TX...Red Flag Warning from noon CDT /11 AM MDT/ today to 1 AM CDT
     /midnight MDT/ Friday for Big Bend Area-Davis/Apache
     Mountains Area-Guadalupe Mountains-Loving-Marfa Plateau-
     Pecos-Presidio Valley-Reeves County and Upper Trans Pecos-
     Van Horn and Highway 54 Corridor-Ward-Winkler.

     Wind Advisory from 1 PM this afternoon to 10 PM CDT this evening
     for Borden-Dawson-Glasscock-Howard-Martin-Mitchell-Pecos-
     Presidio Valley-Reagan-Scurry-Terrell.

     High Wind Warning from 1 PM CDT /noon MDT/ this afternoon to 10
     PM CDT /9 PM MDT/ this evening for Andrews-Big Bend Area-
     Crane-Davis/Apache Mountains Area-Ector-Gaines-Loving-Marfa
     Plateau-Midland-Reeves County and Upper Trans Pecos-Upton-
     Van Horn and Highway 54 Corridor-Ward-Winkler.

     High Wind Warning from noon today to 6 PM MDT Friday for
     Guadalupe Mountains.

&&

$$

44/06

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