Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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FXUS64 KAMA 161705

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
1105 AM CST Fri Feb 16 2018


For the 18Z TAFs:

VFR conditions are expected at the terminals throughout the valid
TAF period. There will be a wind shift through this cycle going
"around the dial". After a lull in winds, they will pick back up
this afternoon and tonight. There is also a small chance there
could be some low clouds around the KAMA and KDHT area. Confidence
wasn`t too high in this occurring but did mention a scattered deck
around 2000 feet. These ceilings could be thicker and a little
lower, so MVFR is on the lower end of possibilities tonight.



.PREV DISCUSSION... /Issued 557 AM CST Fri Feb 16 2018/

12z TAF Cycle:

A period of MVFR cigs will extend into the mid morning before the
deck of low stratus begins breaking up. VFR conditions can be
expected through the afternoon before another round of possible
MVFR cigs will come back in. The enhanced cloud cover this evening
is associated with an upper level disturbance that may provide
enough lift for some precipitation over the southern Texas
Panhandle (KAMA). Current thermodynamic profiles suggest any
precip will be a cold light rain, but a few snowflakes could mix
in at times. Very light freezing rain appears unlikely, but not
out of the question if surface temps are colder than expected. Any
rain/snow should end shortly after 06z, but cigs may not improve
until early in the next TAF cycle. Winds will start out northerly
and begin veering to southeasterly during the afternoon, the
southwesterly overnight.


PREV DISCUSSION... /Issued 406 AM CST Fri Feb 16 2018/

Most interesting part of the short term will be the possibility
for precipitation to the southern Panhandles later tonight. Recent
guidance has increased the moisture to the southern Panhandles,
and with a shortwave moving through, there is decent lift in that
a rain/snow mix may not be out of the question for the southern
Panhandles. This includes Amarillo that is now on 125+ days
without measurable precipitation. Right now the timing looks to
be between 6 PM and Midnight tonight. Overall it looks more
favorable to be rain, but soundings have indicated the outside
chance that mixed precipitation can`t be ruled out. If it does
snow, it will likely melt on contact with the ground. By 6 AM all
precipitation should be east of the Panhandles, and then we move
back to the dry pattern again for the remainder of the forecast

Cold front moved through the Panhandles last night, temperatures
will be much colder today with highs in the 40s across the
Panhandles. Moisture expected to clip the southern Panhandles
bringing a chance for rain or snow, as mentioned in the previous
paragraph. By late tonight winds will be shifting back out of the
south as warmer air returns to the Panhandles. Highs on Saturday
should be back in the 60s, with 70s on Sunday and Monday. Breezy
winds possible Sunday and Monday as well (See Fire Weather

Next cold front expected Monday night as upper level trough digs
down the western CONUS. Trough will expected to take a positive
tilt over southern CA. Southwest flow will return as a cut-off low
separates from the trough, bringing milder temperatures to the
Panhandles. There is a hint that this cut-off low may bring
another surge of moisture to the Panhandles at the end of the work
week. But given the prolonged dry streak, confidence is not high
that precipitation will happen. Will continue to watch this system
and make adjustments accordingly.


Southwest flow over the Panhandles will lead to downsloping winds.
Thermal ridge over the western Panhandles, will favor this area
the most for critical Fire Weather potential. Winds not that
strong at 500mb, however decent mixing to a 40-50kt low level jet
at 850 will bring strong wind gusts down to the surface. Expect
gusts to be in the 30 to 40 mph range. RFTI values around 2 to 3
for the majority of the Panhandles, with a 4 to the northwest.

Monday the thermal ridge shifts further east, but the winds aloft
will be a bit weaker, and may only become an elevated day for Fire
Weather, as minimum humidities will be closer to 20 percent and
winds will be in the 15 to 20 mph range. RFTI values around 1 to
3 for the Panhandles. Cold front comes through Monday evening,
with a wind shift out of the north.


VFR conditions are expected throughout the 06Z TAF period. The
cold front has already moved south of KGUY/KDHT with northerly
winds of 20-25 kts. The front should be approaching KAMA within
the next hour before 06Z Friday. Mainly mid to high ovc skies will
remain throughout the day tomorrow behind the front with some
clearing before the end of the TAF period. Winds will also
diminish from the north and become more easterly after 18Z Friday
to around 00Z Saturday of 5-10 kts. Toward the very end of the TAF
period, winds will then shift back to southerly around 10 kts.
with scattered high clouds.


.AMA Watches/Warnings/Advisories...



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