Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Amarillo, TX

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FXUS64 KAMA 161049

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Amarillo TX
549 AM CDT Fri Mar 16 2018

Fire Weather continues to be the main story for the forecast
period (See Fire Weather discussion). However, a new addition to
the forecast for Sunday afternoon/evening, is the introduction of
possible thunderstorms the the northeast Panhandles. In addition,
SPC has a marginal risk for severe thunderstorms in this area on
Sunday. Will get into that soon, but first on to the today

Another windy day today as the overnight winds that have been in
the 20 to 30 mph range, will continue through the early afternoon.
There could be a period between 8 AM and noon that winds reach
Advisory level, but confidence is not high enough that we will
meet the sustained criteria, 35 mph for two hours, to issue the
product. However, there is potential for wind gusts to exceed 50
mph, mainly across the southern Panhandle this morning. Widespread
critical Fire Weather will result from the winds today. Highs
today will be in the upper 60s to the north, with the low 80s to
the southeast.

Northeast winds tonight with a cold front will spread across the
Panhandles. Lows tonight will be a lot colder, with temperatures
in the 30s to low 40s. South winds will kick back in on Saturday
across the western Panhandles. Highs across the Panhandles will be
right around 70.

Sunday will have threats for multiple hazards, from High Wind
potential, to maybe even a slight risk for thunderstorms that
could be marginally severe, to Fire Weather. Shortwave trough to
move across the Panhandles, but timing and position of this trough
will play havoc with the forecast. Mid level moisture to start he
day across the central and eastern Panhandles will pose for a
possible morning spot shower. Have not put any pops in as sounding
still indicate a strong inverted V across much of the area. So
although models are generating some precipitation, it may just be
virga. Most likely will just be a broken to overcast mid level
cloud deck. At the same time we are dealing with a setup that
favors strong winds across the Panhandles. Lee side surface trough
set up over Kansas and Colorado late Sunday afternoon. The
position of the upper level trough has been in question, and
models continue to go back and forth. Last couple of ECMWF runs
have slowed down the progression of the trough and brought the jet
maxima south of the area after sunset. This means we lose our
peak heating and the ability to tap into the stronger winds aloft
to mix down to the surface, not to mention the jet further to the
south makes for a problem for our area to get strong winds at all.
The NAM also seems to follow suit with this solution. The GFS
remains the outlier, but still suggests around the peak heating
that a 50kt Jet at 700mb, 60-80kts, and 100kt jet at 300mb will be
over the far southern Panhandle counties. If we can mix into the
higher winds aloft, there could be High Wind potential. But again
the EC and NAM model have the jet further south and it could just
be a breezy day.

Now moving on to the mid level moisture transport to the northeast
Panhandles. Right now there is the potential for 300-600 J/kg of
CAPE to tap into across this area, and given ample forcing due to
the shortwave trough, and position is in the left exit region of
the jet, there is the potential for marginally severe wind gusts
with storms, if they manage to form. These storms will likely be
elevated with cloud bases in the 7 to 12kft range.

As the shortwave trough pushes through the Panhandles there will
be a cold front with strong winds on the back side. Models are in
good agreement with northwest winds sustained in the 30 to 35 mph
range through the overnight hours and into the early daytime hours
on Monday. So in addition to the possible wind, fire, and
thunderstorm highlights for the Panhandles on Sunday, we might
need post frontal wind highlights as well. Highs on Monday look to
be in the low 50s to near 60.

Looks like the Panhandles get a break from Tuesday onward, with
cool northwest flow, fairly light winds, and temperatures back on
a gradual rise to near 80 by Thursday.



The Fire Weather threats will continue over the next several days.
Strong west winds that have been in play overnight, and will
continue through the early afternoon. While breezy conditions will
continue into the evening, the relative humidities across the
Panhandles will be in the single digests to very low teens.
Thusly, Red Flag conditions will continue today.

Elevated to possibly critical Fire Weather will be in play for the
far western Panhandles on Saturday. Mainly southwest winds right
around 15 mph with relative humidities in the 15 to 20 percent
range are expected. With the ERC`s above the 90th percentile,
expect that even an RFTI of 1 can make for a low end critical day.

Sunday will still be a day to focus on, for the next potential
significant Fire Weather Day. Latest trends are shifting the
threat further south. But for now winds across the southwest
Panhandles could still be near Advisory level 35mph sustained, and
the southeast Panhandle may be favored for 20-30 mph winds with
RH`s below 10 percent. This starts to get close to the extremely
critical Fire Weather parameters. However, there are some new
issues that have been raised on Sunday. Increased moisture ahead
of this system, suggests significant cloud cover through about
early to mid afternoon. Thereafter, decent mixing is forecast to
occur, but the timing and position of the stronger jet aloft is
still uncertain. As a result this could just end up being a breezy
day. We will continue to monitor this system and make updates
accordingly. Cloud cover has always been a big problem in
inhibiting high wind potential.

Sunday night into Monday. Although models are still struggling
with the systems position and timing on Sunday, they continue to
trend up on the cold front northwest winds overnight Sunday into
Monday morning. Latest model soundings indicate that gusts could
be between 50 to 60 mph. This could be a huge problem if we have a
significant fire day on Sunday, then deal with a wind shift on
Sunday night. Sustained winds 25 to 35 mph out of the northwest
is expected to continue through at least early to possibly late
afternoon. These winds combined with low relative humidities will
once again pose the potential for critical Fire Weather
conditions. Critical conditions could start to occur as early as
10AM on Monday morning.



Westerly winds will pick up into the 25 to 30 knot range by mid
morning. Winds will then decrease toward sunset to around 10 knots
and become northwest to north at DHT and GUY, but southwest winds
will prevail at AMA at around 12 knots. Skies are expected to
remain VFR.


Amarillo TX                73  37  69  41  74 /   0   0   0   0  10
Beaver OK                  72  32  67  38  73 /   0   0   0   5  10
Boise City OK              67  30  67  35  69 /   0   0   0   0  10
Borger TX                  74  38  70  44  75 /   0   0   0   0  10
Boys Ranch TX              74  37  74  41  75 /   0   0   0   0  10
Canyon TX                  73  37  70  41  74 /   0   0   0   0  10
Clarendon TX               76  37  68  41  77 /   0   0   0   5  10
Dalhart TX                 72  31  71  35  71 /   0   0   0   0  10
Guymon OK                  72  32  68  38  73 /   0   0   0   0   5
Hereford TX                73  39  73  41  73 /   0   0   0   5  10
Lipscomb TX                74  35  68  40  73 /   0   0   0   5  10
Pampa TX                   74  37  69  41  75 /   0   0   0   0  10
Shamrock TX                78  37  69  43  75 /   0   0   0   0  20
Wellington TX              80  41  70  44  78 /   0   0   0   0  20


.AMA Watches/Warnings/Advisories...
TX...Red Flag Warning from 11 AM this morning to 9 PM CDT this
     evening for the following zones: Armstrong...Carson...
     Collingsworth...Dallam...Deaf Smith...Donley...Gray...

OK...Red Flag Warning from 11 AM this morning to 9 PM CDT this
     evening for the following zones: Beaver...Cimarron...Texas.



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