Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 290008 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
608 PM MDT Fri Apr 28 2017
00Z TAF CYCLE
Widespread significant impacts to aviation the next 24hrs as a potent
late season winter storm system moves across NM. Currently, a band of
RA, SN, and isold -TSRA stretching from SW to NE over central NM is
generating MVFR cigs/vsbys with local IFR in heavier precip. This band
will shift east and consolidate over eastern NM thru 06Z while winds
become east then northeast overnight across the plains. A potent back
door cold front will then race down the plains aft 06Z and change RA
to SN along and north of the I-40 corridor east of the Rio Grande
Valley. FG is also possible aft 06Z, especially if breaks develop in
the cloud cover around KABQ and KSAF. Accumulating SN will impact
KSAF, KLVS, and KTCC Saturday with IFR likely. There are some big
differences on how far west the precip develops but confidence was
high enough to keep KABQ and KAEG in the precip all day.
.PREV DISCUSSION...357 PM MDT Fri Apr 28 2017...
An impactful late season winter storm is bearing-down on New Mexico
and the initial round of precipitation is already underway. However,
the more significant round of precipitation is forecast to develop
late tonight through Saturday as the unusually strong upper level low
pressure system moves southeast across the state. The most
significant snow totals are forecast across north central and
northeast portions of the state where Winter Storm Warnings and
Advisories are currently in effect. A late season hard freeze will
follow the departing system late Saturday night into Sunday morning
across a much of the area. A warm-up is forecast from Sunday through
Tuesday, with temperatures return to norther across southern portions
of the area but remaining below normal across the north. Another cold
front will push through Wednesday and may bring a round of
precipitation to the eastern half of the area.
...MAJOR LATE SEASON WINTER STORM COMING TONIGHT/SATURDAY...
A major late season winter storm is shaping-up for tonight through
Saturday as the combination of an anomalously cold upper level low
and strong backdoor cold front wreak havoc on much of central and
northeast New Mexico. Temperatures aloft associated with the upper
low will be -3 to -4 standard deviations from normal per the GEFS
standardized anomaly forecast. This is the type of system we`d
normally see at the beginning of March, but instead will bring winter
into late April. The previous forecast is on track, but the 12z model
solutions bring snow impacts further south and west with both the NAM
and GFS showing considerable qpf along a low level convergence zone
late tonight through Saturday morning between the Jemez Mountains,
Sandia/Manzano Mountains, Santa Fe Metro and Estancia Valley. Decided
to expand the warning to include a few more zones and add a few zones
to an advisory given the latest model data. The Albuquerque Metro is
a bit more tricky, as usual, with snow possible but perhaps limited
to the foothills and up a bit higher on the west mesa. That said,
snow levels may fall to the Sunport early Saturday morning, although
impacts would be minor at best with melting on relatively warm
surfaces anticipated. If measurable snow falls at the Sunport, this
would be the 4th latest measurable snowfall on record at the
airport. The latest on record is May 4th of 1935. Snow will
diminish from west to east late Saturday into Saturday night as
the upper low pulls out into the Texas Panhandle.
Snow on the ground will make for a tricky temperature forecast
Sunday. A hard freeze is forecast early Sunday morning across a
majority of the area, but the Albuquerque Metro will likely escape a
hard freeze with only the lowest portions of the valley forecast to
hit 28 degrees. Despite 10-20 degrees of warming Sunday with plenty
of sunshine, high temperatures are still forecast to be 10-20 degrees
below normal and up to 30 degrees below normal across the northeast
where clouds will be last to clear-out and a blanket of snow will be
on the ground.
The warm-up will continue into Tuesday with mostly dry northwest flow
aloft, although temperatures will barely make it back to normal
across the southwest half of the area with the northeast remaining
below normal. A clipper-type system will move southeast out of
Colorado into northeast New Mexico and the Southern U.S. Plains late
Tuesday into Wednesday, pushing a strong backdoor cold front across
our area and bringing chances for precipitation to the eastern half.
A renewed and rapid warm-up will ensue Thu/Fri as a large and
dominant ridge of high pressure transitions east from the Desert
Southwest over the Southern Rockies.
A band of rain and snow showers will continue eastward along and
north of the I-40 corridor the rest of the afternoon into the
evening hours as the Pacific cold front continues pushing
southeastward. The Pacific low will shift southeastward through the
Four Corners region into central NM tonight through Sat...at the
sometime a back door cold front invades the eastern plains during
the same time period. Snow showers will ramp up along and east of
the central mtn chain overnight into Sat as energy from the upper
low and the back door cold front collide over central NM. Look for
snow amounts to range from 5 inches to near a foot or more across
the central and NC mtns to the NE Plains. 2-4 inches of snowfall
will favor lower elevations elsewhere. Anticipate strong northernly
winds across the NE Plains Sat as the back door cold front pushes
south and east.
A colder air mass will follow behind the low plummeting temperatures
20 to 40 degrees below normal areawide as the Pacific low crosses
the state Sat before exiting Sun. Look for overnight lows to fall
into freezing/subfreezing values tonight through Sun night which
will definitely affect vegetation.
Temperatures will warm Sun-Tues but will remain below normal toward
the latter half of next week. Another cool down with increasing
wetting precipitation will impact the eastern plains Wed as an upper
level shortwave trough dives through the state. By the following
weekend, look for a warmer, drier trend to unfold as upper level
ridging develops across the Great Basin.
Look for poor vent rates within valley areas Sat but good rate
elsewhere. Rates will improve greatly Sun-Tues of next week, except
across the NE Plains Mon and Tues.
Winter Weather Advisory from midnight tonight to 3 AM MDT Sunday
for the following zones... NMZ510-516-517-532-533.
Winter Storm Warning from midnight tonight to 3 AM MDT Sunday for
the following zones... NMZ511>515-518-521>523-527>531.
Wind Advisory until 9 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...