Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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FXUS64 KAMA 160544

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
1244 AM CDT Tue May 16 2017

Active pattern will keep confidence low for the 06Z TAF issuance.
The first concern is a dying off thunderstorm south of the KAMA
terminal. Recent radar/satellite trends shows this storm to be
weakening with time, but might be able to hold together long
enough to merit vicinity mention for KAMA. KGUY and KDHT look to
be in the clear for convection concerns during the overnight
hours. The next concern will be for low clouds at KAMA, but looks
like KDHT and KGUY will remain VFR. Stratus can be seen on
regional satellite surging northward towards the Panhandles, and
cloud reach KAMA around 10Z. Have lowered ceilings to MVFR through
the late morning hours for KAMA to account for this possibility.
If the stratus speeds up then you can expect amends. The third
concern will be with convection around 18Z. KDHT looks to be to
far west to be impacted by convection so have not mentioned in
prevailing. Have inserted a PROB30 group for KAMA and KGUY for the
window of highest chances to be impacted by convection. Given the
scattered nature of storms at the onset, did not have the
confidence to mention thunder in prevailing.


.PREV DISCUSSION... /Issued 347 PM CDT Mon May 15 2017/


Focus for this discussion will be on the threat for severe weather
today/tonight as well as Tuesdays greater threat. Threats for today
include large hail and damaging winds. Tuesday will have a threat
for all severe weather hazards, including possible tornadoes across
central and eastern parts of the Panhandles.

The dryline setup today isn`t as robust as initially thought 24
hours ago. At 20Z, dewpoints for most places were in the 50s (few
60s far eastern zones) with little gradient to speak of across the
Panhandles. Forecast soundings are suggesting we will reach
convective temperatures at the surface, so the dryline may not be as
important as initially thought for a triggering mechanism. Ample
CAPE of around 2000-3000 J/kg of most unstable will be in place
across central and eastern parts of the Panhandles this afternoon.
Bulk shear (0-6 km) is a little stronger than yesterday`s outputs,
but overall still rather weak to support strong rotating updrafts.
Low level shear is also very weak. Initially, I believe storms will
be high based, and given other variables in place the threat for
tornadoes seems low at this time. Thunderstorm wind gusts of 60 to
70 mph and hail upwards around half dollar in size are all possible
in some of the stronger storms today and possibly through early
parts of the evening. Convection should be mostly diurnally driven
and end around sunset or shortly after.

For Tuesday--our better chance at severe weather this forecast
package--we have a lot of variables coming into place for what
appears to be a day for all types of severe weather hazards. In the
upper levels, the 500 mb low will begin to eject over the Rockies
into the Plains Tuesday afternoon. Both the GFS and European both
have the vorticity maximum over the Rockies just west of the
forecast area, placing us under strong southwesterly flow aloft in
the afternoon hours. The 250 mb jet will be nosing in over the
forecast area in the afternoon as well, placing the left exiting
region of the jet over us, which will ultimately help support
divergence aloft and therefore enhance thunderstorm development.
Bulk shear around 50 to 60 knots and 0-1 km helicity values 100-200
m^2/s^2 in the afternoon hours should come to fruition. East of a
dry line in the warm sector dewpoints are forecast to be in the
upper 50s to lower 60s in the afternoon hours, while western
portions of the Panhandles are forecast to be in the 20s to 30s. As
a result, a strong gradient is forecast for dewpoints across the
Panhandles which will aid in a triggering mechanism for thunderstorm
initiation. Mid-level (700 mb - 500 mb) lapse rates are around 6-8
C/km during convective initiation timeframe. Overall, a lot of
parameters are coming into place across central and eastern parts of
the Panhandles for severe weather. Given the likelihood of discrete
supercells moving around 45 mph from the southwest, the window of
opportunity for tornadic development in the afternoon hours before
they push east into Oklahoma looks to be between 3pm and 8pm. Also,
flooding doesn`t look to be of too much concern given the chance for
isolated fast moving cells. However, precipitable water values are
forecast to be in the 90th or greater percentile, so localized heavy
rainfall rates will not be out of the question, but duration should
limit overall flood potential. Given the chance for strong rotating
updrafts, the chance for giant hail will be possible upwards around
softball size. Additionally, strong damaging winds upwards of 75 mph
will be possible. The greatest threat for severe weather is across
eastern parts of the Panhandles, but certainly central parts of the
Panhandles including Amarillo will have the possibility for
severe weather as well.



.AMA Watches/Warnings/Advisories...



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