Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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FXUS64 KAMA 191750

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
1150 AM CST Fri Jan 19 2018

18Z Issuance...All sites will remain VFR through the next 24
hours. Winds will be southwesterly and turning westerly for DHT
and GUY after 05Z. AMA will have some breezy conditions this
afternoon, but winds will calm this evening.



.PREV DISCUSSION... /Issued 418 AM CST Fri Jan 19 2018/

Upper ridge over the Panhandles today will move east tonight and
Saturday. Developing low pressure to the lee of the Rockies will
become established over southeastern and eastern Colorado later
today through Saturday and should gradually deepen. Downsloping
southwesterly winds will begin to increase by this afternoon into
Saturday. The surface low will begin to move south by Sunday and
allow a pre-frontal trough or Pacific cold front to push west to
east across the forecast area Sunday. Models continue to track the
500 mb closed upper low from the Four Corners region Saturday
night and early Sunday eastward across southern Colorado and
northern New Mexico by Sunday afternoon. Although models are
backing off on precip chances for the forecast area, cannot rule
out some light snow or rain and snow mixed across the northwestern
portions of the Panhandles Sunday. Any amounts will be light near
a trace or so. The biggest forecast challenges Sunday will be the
strong winds associated with this closed upper low as it
tracks just north and west of the forecast area. Westerly winds or
northwesterly winds may reach Wind Advisory or even High Wind
Warning criteria by Sunday afternoon. Areas of blowing dust or
patchy blowing dust likely across the southern portions of the
forecast area Sunday afternoon which may reduce visibilities.

Main cold front to push through the Panhandles by Sunday evening
bringing cooler and continued dry conditions for much of next
week. A weak shortwave trough will approach the Panhandles around
the middle of next week, however no precip expected. Stronger
upper trough to affect the forecast area by the end of next week
or next weekend with the closed upper low remaining well north of
the Panhandles. Once again, strong winds possible with this late
next week system but the forecast area should be dry slotted with
no precip expected. Cold front to push through the Panhandles by
late next Friday or Friday night.


With ERC values already climbing into the upper 50s on Thursday in
the Texas Panhandle and continuing to approach the 90th
percentile mark, fire weather conditions have reached the point
where critical fire weather conditions are certainly not out of
the question despite the lack of the 20 foot wind criteria being
met today and Saturday and the lack of the minimum relative
humidity criteria of 15 percent or less being met on Sunday. This
is the biggest reasons why Fire Weather Watches continue to be
issued through the weekend. Cancelled the Fire Weather Watch for
today and issued a Fire Danger Statement for elevated fire weather
conditions instead across the southern Texas Panhandle. Despite
minimum afternoon humidities falling to around 15 percent or less
for much of the Panhandles today, the 20 foot southwesterly winds
speeds will only reach the 15 mph or 15 to 20 mph mark or less during
the afternoon hours today with possibly some occasional gusts
between 20 and 30 mph. The same will hold true for Saturday with
the 20 foot southwesterly winds possibly just as strong or not
quite as strong as today but minimum afternoon humidities are
forecast to be between 10 and 20 percent.

Sunday will be a bigger concern as a vigorous upper low passes to
the north and west of the Panhandles. The upper low will allow a
Pacific cold front or wind shift to push through the Panhandles
and create much stronger downsloping westerly or even northwesterly
20 foot winds of as much as 25 to 35 mph or higher and gusts
possibly approaching 50 to 60 mph. Although the winds will be very
strong on Sunday, the minimum afternoon relative humidities are
expected to be higher than today and Saturday with values of
between 15 and 25 percent or higher. Despite the criteria for
critical fire weather conditions not being met on Sunday due to
the higher humidities, the possibility for critical fire weather
conditions cannot be completely ruled out due to these very
strong winds.



.AMA Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
TX...Fire Weather Watch from Sunday morning through Sunday afternoon
     for the following zones: Armstrong...Carson...
     Collingsworth...Deaf Smith...Donley...Gray...Hemphill...

     Fire Weather Watch from Saturday afternoon through Saturday
     evening for the following zones: Dallam...Deaf Smith...

OK...Fire Weather Watch from Saturday afternoon through Saturday
     evening for the following zones: Cimarron.



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