Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Midland/Odessa, TX

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FXUS64 KMAF 220534

1134 PM CST Wed Jan 21 2015

See aviation discussion below.


Have a rain/snow mix currently moving across the area... this should
change over to snow overnight and continue through much of Thursday
and fog should increase. There may be some brief improvements
tonight especially after precip moves through, but conditions
should tend toward IFR/LIFR.


.PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 547 PM CST Wed Jan 21 2015/


Will start out with MVFR conditions for most area TAF locations but
will fall to IFR/LIFR overnight as cigs lower. Expect vsbys to
fall also to around a mile as fog develops. Radar currently shows
light rain showers generally north of the Pecos River and this
will change over to snow tonight and may continue through much of
the day tomorrow.

PREV DISCUSSION... /ISSUED 328 PM CST Wed Jan 21 2015/


The main focus this forecast period continues to be a potent
winter storm which will impact the region beginning late tonight
through Friday morning. Per latest water vapor imagery, Pacific
moisture continues to advect across the region, the first
indication of which was an area of showers and embedded weak
thunderstorms that developed over the Presidio Valley and Big Bend
Area late this morning. The aforementioned precipitation is
currently exiting the area to the east, though additional rainfall
will develop this evening and tonight. The trough responsible for
the upcoming winter storm continues to dig southward along the
border of Arizona and New Mexico this afternoon, and is expected
to continue to dig across southern New Mexico and into West Texas
over the next 24-48 hours. Both the GFS and ECMWF are in great
agreement, and in line with the GEFS and SREF mean, maintain a
slower eastward motion, as well as further deepening of the trough
and development of a closed low before the system arrives in West
Texas. While the precipitation associated with this storm is
expected to begin as rain, a transition to a mix of rain and snow
will first occur across southeastern New Mexico, the northern
Permian Basin, as well as higher terrain in the Guadalupe and
Davis Mountains by around midnight tonight. Continued cold
advection could edge the rain/snow transition further south
tonight, with the Guadalupe Mountains, southeast New Mexico, and
northwestern Permian Basin expected to transition to all snow by
Thursday morning.

Temperatures across much of the area will warm into the middle 30s
Thursday, serving to transition some locations back to a rain/snow
mix or all rain prior to Thursday night. While the bulk of the
accumulating snow will be across the Guadalupe Mountains and
southeast New Mexico on Thursday, by Thursday night, strong cold
advection will be enough to transition all precipitation to snow,
with the exception of Terrell county, where temperatures are
expected to remain just above freezing for the duration of the
event.  Thursday night still looks to be when the bulk of the snow
will occur across the area, with the exception of southeast New
Mexico, which will experience substantial snowfall during the day on
Thursday. As the low continues to dig south across the Big Bend Area
overnight Thursday, strong lift through a heavily saturated
dendritic growth zone will occur, supported by the passing low as
well as as the accompanying entrance region of the upper level jet
and a potent 500mb vort max rounding the base of the trough
overnight Thursday.  One feature of note: Both the GFS and ECMWF
indicate the potential development of a deformation zone after
midnight Thursday, extending from the Marfa Plateau northeastward
across the Trans Pecos and Permian Basin.  If this occurs, current
forecast snowfall amounts of a widespread 2 to 4 inches, as well as
5 to 7 inches across higher terrain may be a bit low under the
modeled deformation zone.  For now, will wait and see how this pans
out and if the same trend is reflected in future model guidance.
Highest snowfall amounts, possibly in excess of 8 inches, are most
likely across the Davis and Guadalupe Mountains as well as northern
Lea and Eddy counties in New Mexico. Climatologically, antecedent
conditions continue to indicate that this will be a significant
heavy snow event for eastern/southeast New Mexico and West Texas, so
all are encouraged to be prepared for wintry weather beginning
tonight and lasting through Friday morning.  The Winter Storm Watch
has been replaced by a Winter Storm Warning and Winter Weather
Advisory, please refer to the appropriate products for details.

Temperatures will begin to rebound on Friday as the precipitation
moves out of the area, though with clear skies Friday night and
potential snow cover, have trended toward cooler guidance for this
time frame.  Depending on areal coverage of the snow cover, lows may
need to be further adjusted, but feel that lows Friday night in the
teens to mid 20s are sufficient for now.  The warming trend will
continue through the weekend, with temperatures rising above normal
by Monday and Tuesday as ridging develops over the region, with no
precipitation currently anticipated beyond the departing winter
storm on Friday.


     ZONES... Central Lea County...Eddy County Plains...
     Guadalupe Mountains of Eddy County...Northern Lea County...
     Southern Lea County.

     ZONES... Borden...Crane...Glasscock...Howard...Mitchell...

     FOLLOWING ZONES... Andrews...Big Bend Area...Davis/Apache
     Mountains Area...Dawson...Ector...Gaines...Guadalupe
     Mountains...Loving...Marfa Plateau...Martin...Midland...
     Pecos...Reeves County and Upper Trans Pecos...Van Horn and
     Highway 54 Corridor...Ward...Winkler.



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