Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 181741
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1041 AM MST Sun Feb 18 2018

.AVIATION...
18Z TAF CYCLE
MVFR cigs have burned off with lingering low cigs over the Mogollon
and Sacramento Mtns. VFR cigs will prevail through the rest of today
with potential for MVFR to return Monday near sunrise at KGUP, KABQ,
KAEG, and KSAF. Today`s main impacts will be from increasing WSW
winds with gusts up to 25-30kts at most TAF sites, and up to
30-40kts at KGUP, KLVS, and KTCC this afternoon. Winds calm
overnight, but will remain breezy across the forecast area. WSW/SW Winds
increase again early Monday morning with more widespread areas
reaching above 30kts tomorrow afternoon.

24

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...251 AM MST Sun Feb 18 2018...
.SYNOPSIS...
Winds will be on the increase today, especially across eastern New
Mexico ahead of a cold Pacific storm system drops into the Pacific
Northwest. A few showers or sprinkles are possible today as a slug
of sub-tropical moisture moves northeast through western and central
areas. Strong to very strong winds are forecast most areas Monday,
along with areas of snow for portions of the Tusas Mountains and
northwest highlands. Snow chances will increase across western and
north-central New Mexico Monday night as a strong cold front moves in
from Arizona. Much colder air will push in from the west Monday
night and Tuesday. Heavy snowfall is a possibility across the Tusas
and northwest Jemez Mountains by the time time shifts east of the
state Tuesday afternoon.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Low level moisture on the increase from the south this morning as
southerly low level flow increases in response to cyclogenesis taking
place over northeast WY. Expect low level clouds across portions of the
area today. Increasing winds will be the other weather story today
with the surface low over WY dropping south into eastern CO and winds
aloft increasing. No changes to the wind advisories for much of
northeast NM today but winds may not be as strong given the low level
moisture influx and less vertical mixing taking place.

Impressively deep/cold upper low over WA today will drop south-
southeast today and Monday. Strong southwest flow aloft ahead of this
feature will result in areas of snow across portions of northwest NM
beginning tonight and continuing through at least Tuesday morning.
Tusas Mountains east of Chama and Tierra Amarilla could end up with a
couple of feet of the white stuff before it`s all said and done with
Tuesday. Upgraded the winter storm watch to a warning given the
southerly moisture tap/plentiful PWATS and 95kt swly jet moving in
across western and nwrn NM Monday and Monday night. Models have
trended colder with this system, progging -14C at 700mb over ABQ at
15Z Tuesday. Undercut the colder temperature guidance for high temps
Tuesday but it may not be cold enough. Tuesday night still looking
like the coldest night in the past three weeks for all areas.

Models agree that Wednesday will be an in-between day with high
temperatures remaining below seasonal averages. ECMWF indicating that
at a weak wave will bring an increase in clouds and a few showers to
central and especially northern NM Wednesday night and Thursday
forenoon. GFS and ECMWF agree that another cold low/trough will drop
south through CA Thursday night. ECWMF is deep and sharper with the
trough as it translates sewd through NM Friday and Friday night. At
this point it appears western and northern NM will be the favored
areas for snow.

GFS brings another upper trough through NM next weekend but the
ECWMF holds off until day 9 and 10 with quite the cold high amplitude
trough/low over the southwest U.S. Either way, both models remain
active thanks in large part to a strong MJO in phase(s) 7/8 and an
Arctic Oscillation (AO)/polar vortex that`s finally behaving itself.

33

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Moisture advection is underway and surface dewpoint temperatures are
ahead of forecast with increasing cloud cover. Minimum humidity
forecast for this afternoon trended up from the previous forecast
cycle and the critical fire threat for the northeast plains has
trended down, with only 10-20% of that zone now forecast to hit
criteria and only for an hour or two. Will cancel the Red Flag
Warning for zone 104 and mention elevated fire weather conditions
instead. Very windy conditions are forecast Monday ahead of a potent
upper level trough and associated cold front. However, moist westerly
flow will prevent humidity from hitting critical threshold.

Chances for wetting precipitation will ramp-up Monday through early
Tuesday morning ahead of and immediately behind the cold front. Snow
accumulation will favor the western and northern high terrain,
especially along the Continental Divide and west-facing slopes of
the Tusas and Jemez Mountains. Much colder air will move in behind
the front, with well below normal temperatures forecast Tuesday and
Tuesday night. Vent rates may be poor Wednesday across the eastern
plains, but should otherwise be a mixed-bag of fair to excellent for
much of the forecast cycle.

Look for a warming trend to begin Wednesday, but temperatures won`t
reach back to near normal until Friday. Breezy to windy conditions
are forecast Friday ahead of a Pacific cold front, with potential
for the far eastern plains to hit critical threshold for a couple
hours. Temperatures will dip back down below normal for next weekend
behind the cold front.

11

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Wind Advisory until 6 PM MST this evening for the following zones...
 NMZ523-528>534.

Winter Storm Warning from 11 PM this evening to 5 AM MST Tuesday
for the following zones... NMZ510.

Wind Advisory until 6 PM MST this evening for the following zones...
 NMZ513>515-527.

&&

$$


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