Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 260608 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1208 AM MDT Wed Apr 26 2017

Showers are decreasing across southeast NM and will continue to do so
over the next hour or two. A back door cold front will also continue
to move south through this area thru early morning. Meanwhile,
precip will continue to increase over NE NM. RA will be the main
p-type, though SN is expected across the Sangre de Cristo Mtns and
near the CO border north and NE of KRTN. Precip will expand
southeastward across east central NM as an upper level low shifts in
the same direction. IFR to MVFR cigs will be possible across NE NM
with the precip. Precip should diminish by 14Z with cigs improving
shortly after. Westerly winds will increase Wednesday afternoon
across much of central and western NM.



.PREV DISCUSSION...317 PM MDT Tue Apr 25 2017...
Another upper level impulse in strong northwest flow aloft will
bring scattered showers and a few thunderstorms to northern and
central New Mexico this evening. As this impulse moves east of the
Southern Rockies this evening it will become more organized. The
wrap-around moisture will combine with cold air aloft to generate
snow above 6500 feet across the far northeast highlands including
Raton Pass tonight. The storm will shift eastward on Wednesday with
another weak system sliding through northern New Mexico Wednesday
night. A break in between storms systems is expected Thursday. An
unseasonably strong upper low remains on track for Friday and
Saturday. This system has the potential to bring significant snow to
the northeast third of the state Saturday. Dry northwest flow aloft
moves in on Sunday and continues into early next week.


90kt newly jet continues to nose into southern NM this afternoon.
Main upper level trough associated with this jet will swing through
northern and central NM this evening and overnight. Once the upper
trough clears the crest of the southern Rockies later tonight, it
deepens somewhat and wrap-around precipitation sets up across the far
northeast highlands including Raton Pass. Colder air on the backside
of the upper trough moves in, resulting in snow levels dropping to
near 6500 feet late tonight. Issued a winter weather advisory for the
Raton/Johnson/Bartlett mesas including Raton Pass overnight for 2 to
4 inches with locally up to 6 inches of accumulation possible along
the CO line by sunrise Wednesday.

Next upper level short-wave trough is expected to swing mainly
through northern NM Wednesday night. Favored area for measurable
precipitation will be across the northern third or so of the state.
Snow levels Wednesday night will be around 8500 feet.

A break in between systems remains on track for Thursday with the
strongest in the series of the upper level troughs/lows progged for
Friday and Saturday. Strong west winds will be the main weather story
for Thursday and Thursday night. Precipitation is forecast to break
out across central NM Friday along the mid-level front/baroclinic
zone as an upper level closed low sinks southward through UT/CO. GFS
and ECMWF agree that the closed low will sink south Friday night,
settling over northern NM 12z Saturday as a 551 decameter low
(noteworthy for late April). Wrap-around precipitation breaks out in
earnest across the northeast third of the state late Friday
night/early Saturday morning. Both models develop the heaviest
precipitation across the northeast third Saturday morning.
Impressively, snow levels drop to near 4500-5000 feet east of the
central mountain chain Saturday with 700 mb temps dropping to
-10C across the far northeast. Still too far out to try and nail down
details with slight changes in the track of the upper low making
major sensible weather changes.

Models send the closed low eastward Saturday night with a dry
northwest flow aloft moving overhead Sunday into early next week.




Wetter weather north of I-40 has decreased in coverage early this
afternoon, but is expected to increase again in coverage later
Tuesday evening with focus a bit further north with the possibility
of an isolated thunderstorm. Precipitation over the west and north
will dwindle into the early overnight hours, shifting lee of the
Sangre de Cristo`s and NE plains Wednesday morning. Wrap around
moisture and northerly flow, along with 700mb T`s several degree
below freezing will provide the opportunity for several inches of
snow in and around Raton Pass tonight. Westerly winds begin to die
down overnight into Wednesday morning, with stronger winds
persisting a bit longer for southern zones up to midnight. Northwest
flow will help drop temperatures for the northern half of NM
Wednesday and Thursday below average helping keeping RH levels up.

A backdoor front associated with the upper level disturbance will
slide south across the eastern plains, perhaps reaching as far west
as Las Vegas. Northerly winds and moisture will increase with the
passage of the front. Dry westerly flow kicks in over western NM
Wednesday, and spreads toward the the east-central plains, lowering
dewpoints Wednesday afternoon, but not quite reaching the TX border.
Mixing heights have trended up from yesterday for Wednesday
afternoon over the east-central plains, helping to increase the
potential for stronger winds over the east central plains to just
below 30 mph or so. The increase in mixing hgts and winds, coupled
with lowered dewpoints have produced a couple hours of critical fire
late Wednesday afternoon across Guadalupe county, but not long
enough to warrant a Red Flag warning. Zonal flow aloft takes hold
over NM Thursday, as dewpoints rebound back into the upper teens and
mid 20s across the state. An associated surface/20ft wind max is
expected south of I-40 Thursday afternoon coupled with relatively
lower dewpoints near 20. Ventilation rates and transport winds
increase Thursday helping to produce critical fire concerns Thursday
over the southern half of NM.

Zonal flow continues over NM Friday, with a rebound in sfc
dewpoints, reducing critical fire concerns. The next Pacific trough
is still forecast to enter the region Friday evening through
Saturday night. Long range model trends for the GFS and Euro have
tried to meet in the middle it seems, with the GFS tracking a bit
further north, and the Euro a bit further south. This next system is
expected to bring more beneficial precipitation over NM with valley
rain and high elevation snow. Northwest flow behind the trough and
associated cold front will drop temperatures across the state
Saturday and Sunday to well below normal, before high
pressure ridging is expected to warm things back up early next week.


Winter Weather Advisory until 6 AM MDT Wednesday for the following
zones... NMZ527.


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