Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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FXUS64 KAMA 021731

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
1131 AM CST Fri Dec 2 2016

18Z TAFs - VFR conditions presently will begin to degrade over the
course of the afternoon across the Panhandles. MVFR ceilings and rain
will develop this afternoon, changing over to a rain/snow mix and IFR
conditions this evening across the western Panhandles. The
changeover could take awhile at KAMA, and may hold off until later
tonight as temperatures may take awhile to fall. All snow is expected
at KGUY & KDHT overnight, and confidence is low for KAMA if RASN
will be the primary precipitation type or if it too will become all
snow by tomorrow morning. Precip should taper off late Saturday
morning, but IFR ceilings will likely remain for most of the day.



.PREV DISCUSSION... /Issued 442 AM CST Fri Dec 2 2016/

Focus for the forecast remains on the winter weather expected over
the next 24 to 36 hours across the Panhandles. There still remains a
high degree of uncertainty with regards to the location of p-type
transitions given very slight changes in temperatures from the
forecast could have significant impacts on p-type. With that being
said, there is high confidence that the majority of the Panhandles
will see precipitation later today through Saturday.

We should begin to see precip on the radar scope as early as 10 AM
today but expect better coverage after the noon hour. Precip will
then expand across most of the Panhandles by this evening. Rain
amounts are expected to be fairly light with some localized totals
reaching the quarter inch mark.

We will start to see the transition to a wintry mixture around sunset
as temperatures begin to drop. The transition to snow should be
fairly quick for the higher elevations of the NW Texas and W Oklahoma
Panhandles. A warm nose across the central Panhandles will slow the
transition from rain to a wintry mix however, temperatures wont get
cold enough for any transition from rain across the far southeastern
Texas Panhandle. The initial transition from rain to a frozen
precipitation for the central Panhandles could be to sleet before
the warm nose cools enough to prevent complete melting of snowflakes
for the central Panhandles. The NAM raises questions on the amount of
moisture in the dendritic growth zone for the south-central Texas
Panhandle. If this becomes reality then it wouldn`t be a rain to
sleet transition it could be a transition from rain to freezing
drizzle. The ECMWF also hints at this potential so definitely
something to keep an eye on. After midnight, the warm nose should
cool enough for a rain- snow mixture to become the dominate
precipitation along a line from Amarillo to Beaver.

By late Saturday morning we should see any frozen precipitation
transition back to liquid. While uncertainty remains on exacts, snow
totals should generally be highest (1 to 3 inches possible) across
the SW Texas Panhandle, no snow across the SE Texas Panhandle, and
light snow amounts (generally less than 1 inch) for the remainder of
the Panhandles. While the ground remains warm enough to contain most
of the snow expected to fall to grassy surfaces, bridges and
overpasses could become slick and hazardous. Have decided to hoist a
Winter Weather Advisory for the western and north- central Texas
Panhandle from this evening through Saturday noon. There remains
potential for this area to be expanded as very slight changes in
temperatures both aloft and near the surface could have significant
affects on precipitation type and amounts.

Models linger precip across the southern Texas Panhandles into
Saturday night. Typically with this type of system, we get a fair
amount of dry air which cuts off our precip chances far quicker than
models suggest. But, if precip lingers into the overnight hours then
we might see a few flakes. Amounts would not be significant and
generally a light dusting. At the very latest any precip lingering in
the area will clear by Sunday morning.

Looking beyond the near term, the Arctic surge remains on track for
the middle of next week. Forecast models have started to bring a
mention for precip into the Oklahoma Panhandle with this system.
Have kept chances on the lower end while also keeping any snow
amounts light as well. Expect changes in the forecast as the system
draws closer.


.AMA Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
TX...Winter Weather Advisory from 6 PM this evening to noon CST
     Saturday for the following zones: Dallam...Deaf Smith...




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