Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX
FXUS64 KAMA 191050
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
550 AM CDT Sun Mar 19 2017
12Z TAF Cycle
VFR conditions will prevail at all three TAF sites through 12Z
Monday. Southwest winds 5 to 15 knots will increase to around 10
to 20 knots with gusts near 25 knots after 14Z to 16Z today, and
then becoming southwest to northwest 5 to 15 knots after 23Z today
to 04Z Monday.
.PREV DISCUSSION... /Issued 420 AM CDT Sun Mar 19 2017/
Fire weather concerns continue to be the main focus for impacts in
this forecast package. There is the chance for thunderstorms later
in the week, but widespread severe weather does not look likely. If
severe weather does occur it will more than likely be across eastern
parts of the forecast area Thursday. If nothing else, we can
really use the rainfall to help us with these dry conditions as of
A rather difficult fire weather forecast is in store for today. Its
a marginal event, but given the conditions I believe a Red Flag
Warning is warranted in this situation, especially seeing we had
fire outbreaks on a recently marginal day. The dry conditions are
not the concern for today because relative humidity values will be
very low. The wind speeds are in question today. We are
forecasting minimum criteria to support the warning. If those wind
speeds do not verify today (which happens on marginal days),
Mother Nature doesn`t care about a couple miles per hour, and
therefore the threat for potential wildfires does exist
today...even if strict criteria aren`t met. Please see the fire
weather section below for more information about today, and as
well as the potential for fire weather Thursday.
In the upper levels, ridging will be in place for today and tomorrow
before transitioning to a more zonal flow as high pressure sags
south. A trough begins to form over the west coast by mid-week, and
we go to a more southwesterly flow aloft ahead of the trough.
Wednesday night into Thursday is when we will see our first shot at
precipitation in a long time as the trough pushes over the Rockies.
With Thursday high temperatures in/near the 80s and dewpoints near
50 degrees for eastern parts of the forecast area, there will be the
chance for thunderstorms to become marginally severe to severe.
Right now this does appear to be a low chance for severe weather,
and as mentioned previously widespread severe weather is not
anticipated. A few things are not working in our favor for
thunderstorms to develop across our area. For one, the boundary ends
up too far east for initiation over our area. Jet dynamics are not
in our favor for upper level divergence to support lift. Higher
instability values are east mainly across Oklahoma where higher
dew points are forecast. GFS ensemble mean keeps us mainly dry
until Thursday when the synoptic dynamics become more favorable.
But again, chances are better across our eastern counties, even
better farther east into Oklahoma. Unfortunately, chances are a
noticeable portion of our forecast area probably wont see any
Given the synoptic pattern, it doesn`t appear cold air will advance
into the forecast area through next week. Normal high
temperatures for this time of year are roughly around the mid 60s.
Above normal temperatures look likely through the next 7 days.
Today we could have some locations well above normal and hit the
lower 90s for highs. Borger and Dalhart are in contention for new
records highs for March 19th.
Records for March 19th
Borger: 89 in 2004
Dalhart: 85 in 2004
Forecast for March 19th
Elevated to critical fire weather concerns will be realized today. A
Red Flag Warning will be in effect from 1pm to 8pm today for
southern and southwestern parts of the forecast area. Other areas
across the Texas Panhandle will have a Fire Danger Statement out
for elevated fire weather conditions.
Breezy southwest winds around 15 to 25 mph will set up today
across the Panhandles. Gusts will likely be closer to 30 to 35
mph, especially in the warned area. These wind speeds coupled
with low relative humidity values with bring an increased risk
for fire weather concerns. Relative humidity values across
western and central parts of the Panhandles could be as low as
5 to 10 percent.
Although not as dry with relative humidities, Thursday could be a
day where elevated to perhaps critical fire weather becomes an issue
as well. These chances look best for western parts of the
Panhandles. Friday through Saturday will have to be watched for
possible fire weather days as well.
TX...Red Flag Warning from 1 PM this afternoon to 8 PM CDT this
evening for the following zones: Armstrong...Carson...