Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 281144 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
444 AM MST Tue Feb 28 2017
12Z TAF CYCLE
High wind impacts rapidly increasing across the area this morning
with strong to potentially damaging winds accompanying the passage
of a potent Pacific cold front that will reach the Rio Grande Valley
18Z to 19Z before pushing into the eastern plains this afternoon.
Gusts to 50kts if not slightly stronger likely at LVS, TCC and ROW.
An airport weather warning anticipated for KABQ with the frontal
passage around midday and gusts around 40kts. Did not include LLWS
for ABQ area terminals but pronounced SWLY speed shear noted in
observational data early this morning. VFR mid- level cloudiness will
dominate eastern areas with potential for BLDU at KTCC and KROW.
Meanwhile, relatively moist SW flow ahead of potent upper level
trough yielding widespread MVFR/IFR conditions in rain and snow and
frequent MT top obscurations across much of the north and west. Brief
periods of LIFR conditions at KGUP later this morning in wake of
cold front with predominately snow. MVFR conditions at KFMN, KSAF and
KAEG. Improving conditions are forecast across the central and west
by 23z. KJ
.PREV DISCUSSION...338 AM MST Tue Feb 28 2017...
Snow showers will continue across northern and western
New Mexico through this evening. The heaviest snow accumulation will
favor areas around and above 7500 feet west and north but lower
elevations will also see snow impacts as well. Meanwhile, strong to
damaging winds will impact southern and eastern areas today as gusts
top 55 to 65 mph. Drier and warmer conditions will return Wednesday,
prevailing toward the end of the week. Temperatures rebound to
above normal readings by Friday.
Winter weather highlights will continue for the previously selected
areas across portions of the western and northern mountains through
tonight. Models still depict decent moisture advection north and west
with higher snow amounts favoring the western slopes of the northern
mountains because of decent orographic lifting ahead of the passing
upper level trough. Meanwhile, as the trough passes over the state
snow levels will lower but much of the activity will lessen during
the late afternoon/early evening period. Drier, colder air will then
filter in behind the trough clearing and cooling things down
overnight. Look for overnight lows to plummet 15 to 25 degrees from
previous with readings well below freezing north and west.
Meanwhile, winds will rip across the southern and eastern plains
today with gusts possibly topping 55 to 65 mph. Several wind
advisories/warnings have been issued for much of central and eastern
NM including a Fire Weather Watch out for portions of the EC/SE
Plains this aftn. Blowing snow will also favor high terrain areas
across the West Central Highlands, the San Juan, Jemez and the Sangre
De Cristo Mtns through this aftn. Decided to also add blowing dust
to the far eastern plains because of drier and windier condtions
favoring the area.
The warmer, drier pattern is still in the works beginning Wed and
lasting through the weekend. Temperatures will start rebounding
Thurs before reaching above normal Fri. Decided to go above guidance
on temperatures...especially with highs Fri and Sat across the
Major high wind event unfolding across much of central and eastern
New Mexico today. Fortunately, air mass moistening ahead of the
incoming Pacific wave/frontal system resulting in minimum RH values
that are trending significantly higher as compared to Monday
especially west of the central mountain chain. However, farther east
across the high plains, concern for critical to locally extreme
fire weather remains very high despite RHs that will be generally in
the 15 to 20 percent range. Given magnitude of the winds, sustained
35 to 45 mph with gusts topping 60 mph at times, combined with
above average temperatures and dry, unstable conditions, prudent to
issue Red Flag Warning for mainly the southeast portion of zone 108.
Otherwise, no significant changes to previous forecast trends.
Widespread rain and snow will persist across northern and western
areas today as a moisture-laden air stream ahead of a potent
Pacific trough gradually shifts eastward. Many high elevation
locales of the north and west expected to see total liquid amounts
between one half on one inch with isolated higher amounts favoring
the west facing slopes of the northern mountains. Snow levels will
gradually rise ahead of the front before rapidly falling later today
as colder air aloft arrives from the west and northwest. Associated
cold front already making its way into far western New Mexico early
this morning and should reach the Rio Grande Valley around midday
before punching eastward into eastern areas during the afternoon.
Rapid drying to commence this evening as the upper trough translates
eastward. Northerly wind shift into the northeast plains may pose
some concern should any wildland fires start but much improved
conditions expected on the plains by mid to late evening. Lingering
snow showers possible for the Sangres and high peaks of then north.
Beyond tonight, fast but dry northwest flow aloft indicated for the
day Wednesday as much cooler air filters southward. Maximum
temperatures will be as much as 15 degrees below normal across the
northwest and 5 to 10 degrees below normal for the east and south.
Dry and warmer weather Thursday and Friday with much less windiness.
Ventilation rates will not be a concern in the near term but they
will trend downward with fair to poor vent conditions Wednesday and
Thursday, then slowly improve Friday through the weekend.
High Wind Warning until 7 PM MST this evening for the following
Wind Advisory from 10 AM this morning to 7 PM MST this evening for
the following zones... NMZ507-518>520-527.
High Wind Warning from 10 AM this morning to 7 PM MST this evening
for the following zones... NMZ530>538.
Red Flag Warning from noon today to 5 PM MST this afternoon for the
following zones... NMZ108.
Winter Weather Advisory until 8 PM MST this evening for the
following zones... NMZ502-504-506-508-511-515-516.
Winter Storm Warning until 8 PM MST this evening for the following
Wind Advisory until 7 PM MST this evening for the following zones...