Is It True? Could Amarillo See Wintry Weather Next Week?
As a meteorologist and self proclaimed weather nerd, I am no stranger to people asking me what the weather forecast is. Especially when we have weather events such as severe storms, land hurricanes, and winter weather coming our way. You can only imagine the questions I have been getting lately as the forecast is showing some winter-type precipitation for Amarillo next week. With that said, let's dive into the forecast as it stands right now.
I am going to start out with a disclaimer however. The forecast models have had a lot of shifting back and forth on whether or not we will see our first blast of winter on Monday and Tuesday. I know that sounds like I am just covering my butt, but, weather changes and forecasts change. Any long range forecasts have a certain level of uncertainty, and the longer out you look, the harder it is to be accurate. More than a few days out is tricky to forecast and meteorologists try their best to present the information as it is available.
This is a blurb from the National Weather Service Amarillo's "Area Forecast Discussion" that does a really good job of putting the forecast into perspective and reiterating what I was saying above:
Uncertainty in details lies at roughly a 9 on a scale from 1 to 10 in this long term period. That might sound like a cop-out, but here`s the deal with this forecast. The atmosphere works like a river. The jet stream is the "current" of the river and as eddies form in the jet stream they generally move along with the current. Well, next week it`s looking increasingly likely that one of these eddies (in this case a strong upper low) will get cutoff from the main current and set adrift a bit. How fast and where this low tracks are very difficult to determine. If you throw a stick into a river, you generally know where it`s going to go. In this case, it`s a bit more like throwing a stick into a stagnant pond and waiting to see where it slowly drifts. In spite of the uncertainty regarding the track of the upper low, there are two things we know for sure. One, there will be very cold air in place beginning Sunday and two, there will be clouds next week. There is also potential for accumulating rain, snow, sleet, or freezing rain (and maybe a little bit of all of it).
Right now we know that Monday is going to be down right cold. Areas around Amarillo will struggle to get out of the 20's for a daytime high and we will be right around the freezing mark. Winds will be gusty meaning that we will have a wind chill (what the temperature feels like on your skin) through Monday and Monday night. The timing of the precipitation is still up in the air, however we can not rule out a period of some snow flurries, sleet, or even freezing rain. Keep tuned into the forecast and get your warm, winter clothes ready.