Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 212343 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
443 PM MST Wed Feb 21 2018

Another approaching disturbance aloft will begin to spread moisture
and instability into western and central New Mexico tonight into
Thursday. Periodic MVFR to IFR ceilings and visibility will develop
as snow falls with more persistent mountain obscurations and lower
ceilings/visibility in higher terrain areas of northwestern to north
central New Mexico tonight into early Thursday. TAFS most likely
impacted by the lower ceilings/visibilities are KFMN and KGUP.
Improving conditions are expected Thursday afternoon. Breezy to windy
Thursday afternoon at most TAF sites. Gusts to 40kt expected at KLVS.


.PREV DISCUSSION...331 PM MST Wed Feb 21 2018...

A vigorous disturbance will eject from the southern Great Basin
northeastward across the Four Corners and northern New Mexico tonight
and Thursday with a few to several inches of snow accumulation. After
a break in the weather Thursday night, an upper level trough will
cross the Four Corners region from the west with additional snow
accumulation across the west central and northern mountains, as well
as the northwest plateau, late Friday through Friday night. A third
system will clip northwest areas with a brief period of light snow
accumulation Sunday. The start of the work week will feature warmer
and drier weather, but another storm system may cross from the west
with additional precipitation starting late Tuesday.


Three westerly upslope flow events will impact northern and western
areas tonight through Sunday.

The tonight/Thursday system is projected to bring upwards of a foot
of snow in the Tusas Mountains, with over half a foot in Dulce, so we
are upgrading to a Winter Storm Warning in those two zones. We are
also adding the Santa Fe Metro Area and Espanola zones to the Winter
Weather Advisory. They are expected to come in with just under
advisory criteria snow amounts in Espanola and Santa Fe, but the
snow will impact roads during the morning rush hour. Also, the Pecos
Wilderness Zone will be added as those high peaks should be able to
wring out at least 4 inches of snow from the moist southwest flow
that will cross with this disturbance.

At this time, models aren`t cranking out quite as much snow with the
late Friday and Friday night system. However, the northern mountains
should be able to squeeze out a few to around 6 inches of snow,
especially on west slopes. That system will usher a sharp Pacific
cold front across the state causing high temperatures to fall around
5 to 12 degrees between Friday and Saturday.

Sunday`s system will be a quick hitting upper level trough that may
produce a few inches of snow across the northwest mountains,
especially near the CO border. The system isn`t particularly deep.

The storm system for late next Tuesday looks like a deep upper level
trough that could produce wintry precip over much of central and
western NM.



Southerly surface flow will continue to stream just enough moisture
into northern NM to be utilized by an approaching shortwave trough
to produce another round of northern mountain snow tonight into
Thursday. A few stray showers with some flurries early Thu morning
could also reach valley locations across western and northern NM.
This system will quickly exit the region Thu, with temperatures
warming a few degrees, but remaining below normal. The highest
snowfall amounts will be up to 6-9 inches across the Tusas, with a
few inches possible over the surrounding highlands.

Temperatures across the east will warm above normal with breezy
southwest flow producing a few hours of elevated fire weather
conditions Fri afternoon. The next Pacific storm system will bring
more snow across western and northern NM Fri night into Sat. This
system will be another quick-hitter with clearing skies by Saturday
afternoon over much of the state. Sunday will see a general warming
trend for most of the state with another weak shortwave trough
bringing a few snow showers to the northern mountains along the CO
border. MinRHs across the east will remain very low sparking
critical fire weather conditions for portions of the NE plains Fri
afternoon, and most of eastern NM this weekend and into early next

The warming trend digs in Mon-Tue with breezy southwest flow
bringing elevated fire weather conditions each afternoon Mon and
Tue. Ventilation rates will remain excellent through the forecast
period, except Mon when most areas will be fair with pockets of
poor across the northwest mountains and central mountain chain. The
next potent Pacific storm system looks to arrive mid next week.
Model discrepancy still exists with timing and strength, but it
appears the train of systems providing beneficial moisture will



Winter Weather Advisory until 5 PM MST Thursday for the following
zones... NMZ504-511>514-516>518.

Winter Storm Warning until 5 PM MST Thursday for the following
zones... NMZ503-510.


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