Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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000
FXUS64 KAMA 211800
AFDAMA

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
1200 PM CST Wed Feb 21 2018

.AVIATION...
Tricky forecast this afternoon with VFR/MVFR scattered/broken
ceilings across the southern TX Panhandle and more solid MVFR
cigs further north. Some light snow is also being reported from
KDHT to KGUY with some areas of IFR vsbys. The light snow is
expected to continue through the afternoon with periods of MVFR/IFR
vsbys, while ceilings should also decrease into the evening area
wide. Snow accumulations will be light and mostly confined to the
KGUY/KDHT terminals as snow ends this evening. Can`t rule out
some patchy freezing fog or freezing drizzle overnight into
tomorrow morning, mainly for the eastern TX/OK Panhandles, however
confidence is too low to include at any terminal at this time.
MVFR/IFR ceilings are expected to continue from tonight through
the end of the period. Wind will stay around 10 knots out of the
north to northeast before decreasing and veering around to the
south overnight.

Ward

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION... /Issued 1135 AM CST Wed Feb 21 2018/

UPDATE...
Minor update this morning to tweak pops/snow/ice based on latest
trends. Leaving winter highlights alone for now. Some light sleet
was reported in Wellington but is now trending down as drier air
aloft is nudging into that area per latest water vapor imagery.
High res models seem to be picking up on the drier air aloft and
have really brought QPF amounts down for the eastern Panhandles
this afternoon. Thus, will also be trending pops down there. The
western and northern Texas Panhandle along with the Oklahoma
Panhandle are starting to see more expansive radar returns, and
light snow is being observed at Dalhart, Stratford and Guymon via
webcams and supported by ASOS reports. This area will need to be
watched as overrunning continues in the low levels this afternoon,
while mid/upper levels are also modestly moist based on water
vapor imagery. This activity should decrease this evening, with
some freezing drizzle becoming more of a concern for the south and
east zones overnight.

Ward

PREV DISCUSSION... /Issued 420 AM CST Wed Feb 21 2018/

DISCUSSION...
To coin a phrase from a popular book series, the theme of the
forecast is of fire and ice (but not quiet in that order).

Our post-frontal airmass remains in place across the Panhandles.
Given the better performance of the short-range models with
mentioned cold front the past few nights, the near-term forecast
will lean closely to the NAM/HRRR. These show as our overrunning
pattern sets up, we expect for a mixed bag of wintry precip to
develop across the Panhandles. Current regional RADAR imagery
shows this precip has already developed around the Midland/Odessa
area. We could see precip develop as early as 6 AM, but chances
really ramp up after 10 AM. This evening we will see precip clear
the Panhandles from west to east before ending around Midnight.

Precip types will heavily depend on how quickly a warm nose
develops this evening. For the daylight hours we will likely see
a combination of snow and sleet. Snow will be favored for the on-
Caprock counties while while sleet will be favored across the off-
Caprock counties. Naturally there will be a transition zone where
a combination of both is possible and this zone should be moving
eastward throughout the day. This evening the above mentioned warm
nose is expected to develop between 700mb and 800mb. The warmer
temperatures aloft will allow for a transition from snow/sleet to
freezing rain. This is mainly expected across the southeastern
Texas Panhandle. Amounts will be greatly dependent on how long
(if any) precip undergoes a transition. As things stand right now,
snow amounts are expected around 1 inch across the eastern
Panhandles while the western Panhandles will see less than 1 inch.
Light ice amounts of a few tenths are possible across the
southeastern Texas Panhandle. As such a Winter Weather Advisory
has been issued for the eastern Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles from
6 AM until Midnight.

One item of note, there is some indication that a higher band of
snow could develop across the northwestern portions of the
Panhandles. If this band does in fact develop then amounts within
the band could result in greater than 1 inch. This will have to be
watched in case the advisory needs to be expanded westward.

Another round of light freezing rain could be possible Thursday
morning before we warm above freezing. Any ice glazing which does
develop should quickly melt. This will be the last round of precip
through the next seven days. A gradual warming trend is expected
through the start of next week.

FIRE WEATHER...
Neither elevated nor critical fire weather conditions are expected
through Thursday. Elevated fire weather conditions are possible
Friday through Monday as relative humidity drops during the
afternoon. There is some question concerning the recovery of the
fuels over the weekend with the expected precip/cold weather over
the next 36 hours. If fuels return to the 90th percentile range
then our Red Flag Threat Index (RFTI) of 1 to 2 may require an
RFD.

&&

.AMA Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
TX...Winter Weather Advisory until midnight CST tonight for the
     following zones: Collingsworth...Donley...Gray...Hemphill...
     Lipscomb...Ochiltree...Roberts...Wheeler.

OK...Winter Weather Advisory until midnight CST tonight for the
     following zones: Beaver.


&&

$$

7/16



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