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Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Amarillo Texas
1123 am CST Thursday Jan 29 2015

18z taf cycle
an upper ridge will prevail across the panhandles through tonight
ahead of an upper trough which will approach the panhandles Friday. A
cool surface ridge will build in over the area today and tonight and
will then shift east and south away from the panhandles Friday. VFR
conditions at all three taf sites through tonight with middle level and
high level cloudiness. MVFR ceilings may impact the Dalhart and
Amarillo taf sites after 14z Friday. Northerly winds 15 to 25 knots
with higher gusts will diminish to around 5 to 15 knots after 22z
today and 00z Friday...and veer around to the east and then south.



Previous discussion... /issued 600 am CST Thursday Jan 29 2015/

middle and high level clouds will prevail across the taf sites through
this conditions will be VFR. Northeast winds will
increase today to around 20 knots with higher gusts. Winds will then
decrease and veer tonight.

Previous discussion... /issued 441 am CST Thursday Jan 29 2015/


Primary challenges are timing of the onset of precipitation Friday
morning and precipitation type throughout the duration of the event.

Current water vapor loop shows plume of subtropical moisture
streaming eastward from the Pacific across the southwest into the
Southern Plains ahead of a fairly deep trough off the West Coast
moving slowly east. Satellite-derived cloud product confirms a
rather expansive area of cirrus is present over the area associated
with this Pacific moist plume. Upper flow was progressive but fairly
amplified across the Continental U.S.. a transient shortwave now over the upper
Midwest has forced a cold front south which should clear the area
this morning bringing an end to the unseasonably warm weather. Focus
then shifts to the magnitude/depth and persistence of second cold
surge that will arrive ahead of the next system and implications
that will have on precipitation type.

Model consensus is for a closed upper low to evolve over the
southwest Continental U.S. And rather expansive but weak isentropic ascent
beneath increasingly diffluent flow aloft. By 12z Friday models
saturate through a relatively deep layer with some residual dry air
at the surface leading to the aforementioned uncertainty on
precipitation onset. Held the onset back slightly in the east from
previous forecast and increased probability of precipitation in the west for early Friday.
BUFKIT soundings show nearly isothermal wet bulb profiles near 0
degrees celsius all day. However...given the magnitude of veering
with height in the low levels am concerned that there will be a more
pronounced warm layer aloft sufficient for a not so clear
differentiation spatially between rain and snow. In fact models have
trended warmer and have followed this trend by being less
deterministic with snow in the west introducing rain and snow wording
and also expanding the all rain area further west. Lowered snow
amounts slightly as well. Confidence in overall scenario remains low
given the inherent nature of closed upper lows in the
southwest...particularly when still off shore. Confidence will
increase at closer time range.

By Sunday the closed low moves southeastward into Mexico and a
northern stream shortwave dives southeastward sweeping moisture
eastward and ending precipitation chances. Our area will remain in
northwesterly flow on the periphery of mean western Continental U.S. Ridging
during the extended period. This will result in a return to near or
slightly above normal temperatures and generally dry conditions for
the first part of next week. The exception might be around Wednesday
night when a weak system brings a slight chance of rain or snow to
the area.



Ama watches/warnings/advisories...




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