Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Amarillo Texas
628 am CDT Monday Mar 17 2014
12z taf cycle
southwesterly winds of 5 to 15 knots this morning will increase to
around 15 to 25 knots with gusts to near 35 knots by 15z to 17z
today at all three taf sites. The southwesterly winds will diminish
by 00z to 02z Tuesday to around 10 to 20 knots with some occasional
higher gusts...then a cold front will shift the winds around to the
northwest between 08z and 12z Tuesday at the Dalhart and Guymon taf
sites. VFR conditions through 12z Tuesday with only some scattered or
broken high level clouds expected.
Previous discussion... /issued 411 am CDT Monday Mar 17 2014/
fire weather concerns remain throughout this forecast /please see
the fire weather section of this discussion/.
The system that spawned persistently strong northerly winds this
weekend has now dug sufficiently south/east of the panhandles. In
its wake...however...Lee troughing is prognosticated to rapidly deepen by
this afternoon as flow aloft become increasingly curved over the
southern rockies through tonight. This pattern shift will support
breezy downslope winds and a dramatic warm up today...followed by the
abrupt passage of another cold front overnight. Northerly winds will
result in a notable cool down Tuesday. Strengthening near zonal flow
and associated downslope regime will moderate temperatures by
Thursday...just before the passage of yet another cold front Friday.
Medium range guidance suggests a broad elevated moisture plume will
increase high level cloudiness during the second half of the work
week...but hopes for precipitation are scant and delayed at least until
late next weekend/early next week...when forecast confidence is too
low to include meaningful gridded probability of precipitation in the forecast as this time.
the current red flag warning remains valid. Overnight humidities
have ranged from 40 percent west of The Caprock to the 60 percent
range east of the Escarpment. South to southwesterly winds will
increase into the 20 to 25 miles per hour /20 feet/ range by afternoon as a Lee
trough deepens. With today/S burning period some 36 to 48 hours removed
from the passage of a cold front...erc values are recovering and are
now solidly nearing/locally exceeding 90th percentile values...
especially over the western Texas Panhandle. A pronounced low level
thermal ridge is prognosticated to extend from the eastern New Mexico plains
over the western/central panhandles...with 30-40 knots 700 mb winds
depicted by the models overspreading the thermal ridge between 21z
and 00z. Surface temperatures within the thermal ridge are prognosticated to
be some 15 degrees above seasonal averages. Thus critical fire
weather will be widespread and persistent this afternoon. Given this
pattern...concern would be higher if wind fields were stronger and
if the thermal ridge were displaced over the eastern Panhandle where
more robust fuel loads have generally corresponded to recent wildland
fire trends. Yet...given the magnitude of warming...alignment of
weather and sufficiently high erc...and a climatological threat level
of 7 out of 10 /rfti/...a moderate threat of significant wildland
fire appears to exist today over the western and central panhandles.
The passage of a cold front overnight will bring a wind shift and
renewed elevated to near critical fire weather concerns again Tuesday.
However...temperatures will be at or slightly below seasonal levels...
thus tempering the overall significant fire threat.
Concerns for elevated to near critical fire weather will exist again
Texas...red flag warning from noon today to 9 PM CDT this evening for
the following zones: Armstrong...Carson...Collingsworth...
OK...red flag warning from noon today to 9 PM CDT this evening for
the following zones: Beaver...Cimarron...Texas.