Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX
FXUS64 KAMA 210655
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
155 AM CDT Fri Apr 21 2017
.SHORT TERM...Today through Sunday Night...
Main focus in the near term remains the severe weather potential
across the Panhandles overnight into the better part of the
daylight hours. We are currently under a lull in convective
activity as the frontal boundary was a little too far south for
developing convection to sustain itself as it moved into the
southern and eastern Texas Panhandles. Convection in this area has
since moved into northern Texas and well into western Oklahoma.
Our focus now turns to the potential development, depicted in short-
range models, over the eastern New Mexico Plains around the 8Z to 9Z
hour. The combination of orographic lift from east to east-southeast
surface flow, and a shortwave embedded in the longwave trough axis
currently located over north-central New Mexico via water vapor
imagery. Forecast models show development to start in the Mosquero
to Tucumcari area before moving eastward into the western
Panhandles. While we are still fairly capped at the surface across
the Panhandles, the convection is expected to be elevated as it
moves into the area. This will limit severe wind potential, and keep
the severe threat limited to hail up to the size of half dollars as
has been mentioned over the past few days. Forecast soundings show
MUCAPE ranging from 500-1500 J/kg within the elevated mix layer
throughout the overnight hours and maximizing near the 12Z hour.
Wind shear in this elevated unstable layer are mainly speed shear
with very little turning with height. This will likely cause any
initial discrete storms to shift to a more linear mode with time and
eastward progression. By sunrise, we will likely be looking at a
line of convection moving across the northern and central zones
(possibly reaching as far south as Amarillo). Once the initial line
moves into western Oklahoma by 15Z at the latest, we could be
looking at a round of fairly disorganized convection into the early
afternoon while also seeing convection clearing the southwest. Some
CAMs have trended towards a secondary round of discrete storms as
our next cold front starts to move southwards. There is some doubt
with this rounds as the initiation areas will have been worked over
fairly well by earlier convection.
As mentioned above, we will see our next cold front impact the
Panhandles this evening. While there is a small chance for a re-
ignition of convection, the primary impact of the cold front will be
in the form of brief but strong post frontal winds. The area likely
to see these stronger winds will be across the western and
southwestern Texas Panhandle. The orientation of the front will be
favorable for a barrier jet to help push the cold front much faster
than forecast. This could result in brief wind speeds in the 30 to 35
mph with gusts to near 50 mph. These would be short lived and we
will likely see the strong winds/wind gusts diminish within an hour
or two of the frontal passage. These strong overnight winds and
cloudy skies will prevent frost conditions across the northwest
tonight into Saturday morning.
Saturday will be fairly cool with high temperatures in the upper 50s
to lower 60s as skies clear throughout the day. Winds will also be
on the decrease throughout the day before dropping below 10 mph
overnight. A late season frost is expected Saturday night into
Sunday morning due to light winds, clear skies, and temperatures
dropping into the 33 to 36 degree range across the northern and
central zones. This will give us a cool start Sunday morning before
we see temperatures quickly rebound into the upper 60s to mid 70s.
.LONG TERM...Monday through Thursday night...
Progressive westerly flow aloft as high pressure begins to become
suppressed by low amplitude longwave trough to the north. As a
disturbance moves through upstream over the Pacific Northwest on
Wednesday the trough will begin to deepen to the west of the
Panhandles allowing for southwest flow to return to the area.
Ahead of the disturbance ample moisture along the frontal boundary
to the north will possibly clip the northern Panhandles as early
as Tuesday night.
As the trough begins to deepen to the west, increased moisture
advection is expected over the forecast area, thusly slight chance
pops will continue mainly for the northern areas of the
Panhandles through Wednesday.
By Thursday models diverge a bit with various solutions. The GFS
has a closed low centered over the four corners region with strong
southerly flow over the region, which will also provide a better
chance for showers/storms Thursday evening. The GFS has this
system slowly progressing eastward through the weekend, allowing
for lingering showers/storms to continue.
ECMWF solution is much quicker and has the disturbance moving
through as a shortwave on Wednesday night, with a dry westerly
flow behind it, shutting down the chances for precipitation by
So right now there is some uncertainty in the extended, but it
does look like there is at least a slight chance that we could see
some showers/storms return to the area mid next week.
Overall, temperatures will still be above normal, mid 70s to mid
80s for the extended. Winds will be standard ranging from 10-20mph
on most days.
.AVIATION...06Z TAF Cycle
VFR conditions will quickly become MVFR to IFR and LIFR at all
three TAF sites after 07Z to 09Z Friday. Showers and thunderstorms
will increase and impact the three TAF sites mainly between 08Z
and 17Z to 18Z Friday. VFR conditions are expected to briefly
return at the Amarillo and Dalhart TAF sites after 16Z to 20Z
Friday, however MVFR ceilings are expected again after 02Z to 04Z
Saturday. MVFR ceilings are expected at the Guymon TAF site after
19Z Friday to 06Z Saturday. East and southeast winds 5 to 15 knots
will shift to the northwest and north and increase to 20 to 30
knots with gusts to around 35 knots after a cold front moves
through between 16Z and 20Z Friday.
.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
Amarillo TX 72 40 60 37 69 / 20 5 0 0 0
Beaver OK 54 39 60 35 71 / 70 20 0 0 0
Boise City OK 61 37 57 35 72 / 40 10 5 0 0
Borger TX 68 41 62 40 72 / 30 5 0 0 0
Boys Ranch TX 73 40 62 37 73 / 20 5 0 0 0
Canyon TX 75 40 61 38 69 / 20 5 0 0 0
Clarendon TX 73 41 62 37 67 / 20 5 0 0 0
Dalhart TX 68 38 60 36 73 / 20 5 0 0 0
Guymon OK 57 38 59 37 73 / 60 10 5 0 0
Hereford TX 77 40 62 38 71 / 10 5 0 0 0
Lipscomb TX 58 40 60 37 69 / 60 10 0 0 0
Pampa TX 67 39 59 37 68 / 40 10 0 0 0
Shamrock TX 69 43 62 39 69 / 40 10 0 0 0
Wellington TX 74 44 64 40 69 / 30 10 0 0 0