Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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FXUS64 KAMA 172320

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
520 PM CST Sat Feb 17 2018

VFR conditions are expected throughout the 00Z TAF period. Winds
after around 15Z Sunday will begin to increase out of the SW
sustained 0f 25-30 kts with gusts near 40 kts continuing to the
end of the TAF period. BKN to some OVC skies above 10 kft will
keep cigs at VFR throughout the TAF period for all sites.



.PREV DISCUSSION... /Issued 458 PM CST Sat Feb 17 2018/


One interesting tidbit is the fact the Amarillo area dry streak has
ended. Last night the Amarillo airport received one hundredth of an
inch of rainfall. This being the lowest "measurable" amount.
However, it should be noted that this is still an unfortunate
drought across the Panhandles. Much of the forecast area has
received little-to-no moisture the last few months. Drought
conditions should still be considered across the Panhandles until
we receive some appreciable amount of moisture. With that in mind,
the main concern for this forecast package will be fire weather
potential the next couple of days due to breezy/windy conditions
Sunday and Monday combined with low relative humidity values.
Confidence for moisture is low the next 7 days with this forecast
package. In other words, we have a dry forecast package in place
at this time across the Panhandles.

Beginning with Sunday`s fire weather potential (see the Fire Weather
section below for more details) there will be a Red Flag in place
across northwestern parts of the forecast area. In addition, there
will be a Fire Weather Watch around the warning area to encapsulate
the overall threat Sunday. Forecast soundings for Sunday show a deep
dry layer near the surface, with deep mixing into an area with
strong wind speeds. Also, there will be a strong pressure gradient
across the Panhandles Sunday as low pressure builds in to southern
parts of the Central plains which will result in strong winds.
Given the breezy/strong winds possible Sunday combined with dry
conditions there will be a threat for fire weather across
northwestern parts of the forecast area. One thing to note is the
fact dewpoints have not been resolved very well lately in the
models, and there has been a bias towards higher dewpoints. This
has been a problem, even with the initialization of the models, so
confidence 24 hours out is not all that high at this time. As a
result, trended towards the drier solution of the models and even
pushed these numbers down manually for dewpoints both Sunday and
Monday. Until the models resolve dewpoints better there is little
faith in the dewpoints and hence the relative humidities, but its
believe this is the best way to go and gives a better picture for
the next couple of days.

On Monday, there will be a similar setup (dry low levels and deep
mixing) combined with low relative humidities. There are
currently no headlines/products for Monday due to the focus on
Sunday at this time; however, there is a good chance for at least
elevated fire weather conditions across portions of the forecast
area. Stay tuned.


For Sunday, a Red Flag Warning has been issued for northwestern
parts of the forecast area. Even with the moisture last night we
have not rebounded from the drought in any appreciable fashion for
much of the forecast area. It is believed favorable fuels should
be in place tomorrow afternoon where no rainfall occurred last
night, or basically northwestern portions of the forecast area.
This combined with breezy to strong wind speeds and low relative
humidity values will result in critical fire weather conditions
across the northwest. Elsewhere across portions of the Texas and
Oklahoma Panhandles elevated fire weather conditions are in place.
Please see the latest fire weather products for more information.

Monday will be similar in the sense we will have breezy to strong
wind speeds and low relative humidities. RH values may not be as
low compared to Sunday, but given the strong wind speeds there
could be elevated fire weather conditions across portions of the
Panhandles Monday afternoon.



.AMA Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
TX...Fire Weather Watch from Sunday afternoon through Sunday evening
     for the following zones: Hansford...Lipscomb...Moore...

     Red Flag Warning from noon to 7 PM CST Sunday for the following
     zones: Dallam...Hartley...Sherman.

OK...Fire Weather Watch from Sunday afternoon through Sunday evening
     for the following zones: Beaver.

     Red Flag Warning from noon to 7 PM CST Sunday for the following
     zones: Cimarron...Texas.



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