Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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FXUS64 KAMA 180543 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
1243 AM CDT Sun Mar 18 2018

South to southeast winds early this morning will pick up and swing
around to the southwest by mid day. Speeds will increase into the
25 to 35 knot range with higher gusts. Winds will then decrease
around sunset again and they will become more westerly. Skies are
expected to remain VFR. However, visibilities may be reduced
locally due to blowing dust. An airport weather warning may need
to be considered for AMA by late in the afternoon.


.PREV DISCUSSION... /Issued 643 PM CDT Sat Mar 17 2018/

For the 00Z TAFs, wind will be the main weather element once again
for this fcst cycle. Southeast winds tonight will trend from the
southwest by Sunday afternoon and become strong and gusty as a
Pacific cold front moves across the region just ahead of a
vigorous upper level storm system. An Aviation Weather Warning
will likely be required for KAMA sometime Sunday afternoon into
the early evening hours.


PREV DISCUSSION... /Issued 435 PM CDT Sat Mar 17 2018/

A shortwave ridge is passing over the region today with a weak
frontal boundary stalling against the east New Mexico mountains
and areas south of the Panhandles. This has allowed southeasterly
breezes, along with cirrus aloft, to be the dominant weather
condition today with winds calming after sunset tonight. Overall,
today has been a nice day.

As has been the case for quite sometime, the broken record of
passing storm systems with a strong dryline advancing across the
region returns Sunday. Fire Weather concerns will be addressed in
the section below, as they are expected to be significant. A
strong weather system near the four corners midday Sunday will
eject east to northeast across northern New Mexico and into
Colorado and Kansas with a negative tilt Sunday afternoon.
Cyclogenesis owing to this system will occur in northern New
Mexico to southeast Colorado, with a very strong jet max just
above the surface to H5 supportive of strong lift across the area
Sunday morning to early afternoon. The same jet, though, will
create cross barrier flow across the Rockies and help build a
strong dryline that will rapidly progress east to northeast across
the Panhandles Sunday afternoon. The far east and northeast Texas
and Oklahoma Panhandles may remain ahead of the dryline long
enough to support a low CAPE-high shear (approximately 500 J/kg
with 50-60 kts of 0-6 km bulk shear) environment with possible
inverted V soundings. A slight chance of thunderstorms remains in
the forecast for this area, with a possibility for strong to
severe winds and maybe an isolated chance for quarter size hail.
Behind the dryline, winds will be quite strong owing to the 50-60
kt H7 to H5 jet aloft favoring the western and southwestern
Panhandles. Due to the forecasted wind speeds, have collaborated
with neighboring offices to issue a High Wind Warning for the
southwestern Texas Panhandle Sunday afternoon and evening, and a
wind advisory criteria elsewhere across the west and central Texas

Once the low pressure system progresses east away from the region
late Sunday into Monday, a strong cold front will push across the
area (albeit with little moisture) and bring with it strong
northwesterly winds behind the front. Have held off on issuing any
wind highlights for Monday morning since model trends have been
slowly decreasing on the wind speeds with this front. However,
with present forecasted values, a wind highlight may be needed if
model guidance starts to be more consistent. In addition, showers
could develop across the far northern Panhandles early Monday
morning, though precipitation amounts should be less than a tenth
of an inch.

Tuesday and Wednesday should be much quieter under dry
northwesterly flow. Thursday and Friday may need to be monitored
for another weather system that could pass to the north of the
region for mostly dry but windy conditions. A peak into next
weekend reveals nice conditions with highs in the mid to upper
70s. Beyond what little precipitation is forecast tomorrow and
early Monday, the forecast remains mostly dry.


Today has seen favorable fire weather conditions for most of the
region to help with fire control efforts with any ongoing fires.
Sunday is going to be a far different story. Critical to extremely
critical fire weather conditions are forecast due to a vigorous
storm system passing to the north of the area, with strong low
level winds being brought to the surface behind an eastward
progressing dryline. RFTI values are forecast to be around 5 to 6
(isolated 7) in the western Panhandles and 3 to 4 elsewhere, with
most contribution to this owing to strong winds. A Red Flag
Warning has been issued for the entire Panhandles Sunday from 1 PM
to 9 PM in anticipation of these conditions, with the Red Flag
Warning continuing through 6 AM Monday morning for the west and
central Texas Panhandle due to strong winds and dry air behind a
passing cold front. Wind speeds will become more northerly through
the day on Monday with 20 to 30 MPH winds gusting to 40 MPH,
before finally coming down around sunset Monday. In short, Sunday
and Monday could potentially be a multi-day event with RFTIs of 2
to 4 forecasted even on Monday.

After Monday, neither elevated nor critical fire weather
conditions are forecasted Tuesday or Wednesday. However, another
passing storm system with a strong lee side trough may bring back
elevated to critical conditions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday
of next week. Unfortunately, no wetting rains are in the forecast
and drought conditions will continue to exacerbate the situation
we find ourselves in with dry fuels.



.AMA Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
TX...Red Flag Warning from 1 PM this afternoon to 9 PM CDT this
     evening for the following zones: Hemphill...Lipscomb...

     Red Flag Warning from 1 PM this afternoon to 6 AM CDT Monday for
     the following zones: Armstrong...Carson...Collingsworth...
     Dallam...Deaf Smith...Donley...Gray...Hansford...Hartley...

     Wind Advisory from 1 PM this afternoon to 9 PM CDT this evening
     for the following zones: Armstrong...Carson...Dallam...

     High Wind Warning from 1 PM this afternoon to 9 PM CDT this
     evening for the following zones: Deaf Smith...Oldham...

OK...Red Flag Warning from 1 PM this afternoon to 9 PM CDT this
     evening for the following zones: Beaver...Cimarron...Texas.



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