Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 221828 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1228 PM MDT Fri Sep 22 2017

Large closed upper low over the northern Great Basin and northern
Rockies and deep trough extending southward into northwest MX is
producing a band of high and mid-level clouds across eastern AZ and
the northern half of NM at 18Z. Despite the extensive cloud cover,
stronger mid- level winds will mix down to the surface this afternoon
and evening. South to southwest winds will gust to between 25 and
35kts, before subsiding after 03Z. Deeper layer moisture moved into
eastern NM earlier today and will build westward into eastern
portions of central NM this evening. Scattered showers and
thunderstorms are expected to develop across eastern NM this evening
and continue through Saturday. There is some uncertainty in the
timing for the onset of SHRA and TSRA, as the model solutions are
quite disparate. Confidence is much higher Saturday for widespread
thunderstorm activity across eastern NM, including KROW and KTCC.
Although not in the current forecast, MVFR ceilings will be possible
after 11Z at KLVS, KTCC and KROW.



.PREV DISCUSSION...338 AM MDT Fri Sep 22 2017...

A broad upper level low pressure system over the Great Basin will
cause temperatures to begin to trend downward today and southwest
winds to strengthen, with the strongest gusts near 50 mph across
north central and northeast areas. The low will also steer a deep
stream of moisture north and northeastward mainly over the eastern
plains this weekend as the low shifts slowly eastward over the
central Rockies. Showers and thunderstorms that start over the
northwest mountains and eastern plains today will become more
widespread tonight through Saturday, before lingering east of the
central mountain chain Sunday and Monday. Heavy rainfall is expected
across the eastern plains today through Sunday evening, where 1 to 3
inch rainfall totals will be common with locally higher measurements
potentially over 4 inches across east central and northeast areas.
This could lead to flash flooding with the greatest risk on Saturday
and Saturday night. A few strong-to-severe thunderstorms will also
be possible across the eastern plains each afternoon and night today
through Sunday. A moist back door cold front early next week will
cause precipitation to become more widespread by Tuesday, though
probably less intense, while keeping temperatures cool.


Will issue a Wind Advisory around the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and
Northeast Highlands today as a speed max in the jet stream crosses.
Wind gusts could also briefly touch criteria over central and
southwest areas this afternoon. Winds aloft will weaken some on
Saturday, but breezy conditions will redevelop.

The aforementioned upper level low will draw a moist south and
southeasterly low level return flow over eastern NM today into
Sunday, creating a favorable shear profile for a 3-day stretch of
strong-to-severe storms. Some of the greatest instability is
expected today across the east, where there is a marginal risk of
severe thunderstorms, then again Sunday closer to the TX border. Soil
moisture graphics indicate rain that breaks out today across the
east, then intensifies there tonight, will be falling on some fairly
dry soil. However, heavy rain tonight will set the stage for a risk
of flash flooding on Saturday as rainfall continues to intensify and
become more widespread over the eastern plains. Meanwhile, an upper
level dry slot will gradually progress into western then central
parts of the forecast area as the upper low moves slowly
northeastward from UT to WY Saturday through Monday. The dry air
will result in lighter rain from western storms, and it may make
enough progress over the plains to limit Sunday`s severe storm/heavy
rain threat to our eastern-most counties.

Monday and Monday night the upper level low pressure system will pick
up speed as it exits northeastward from the central Rockies into the
upper Great Plains. In it`s wake the GFS and ECMWF depict a long
wave trough that will linger over the western US, and a gusty back
door cold front that will push southwestward through NM`s eastern
plains. The front is expected to deliver enough moisture to keep
showers and thunderstorms going mainly from the central mountain
chain eastward Monday and Monday night. A gusty east canyon wind
will probably develop in the Rio Grande Valley early Tuesday morning
as the front and associated moisture push into central and western
NM. This should cause showers and thunderstorms to favor the area
from the continental divide to the central mountain chain on Tuesday,
except for smaller probabilities in the notorious east wind rain
shadow over parts of the middle Rio Grande valley.

Both GFS and the ECMWF depict another upper level low pressure system
developing somewhere from the Four Corners to Las Vegas, NV,Tuesday
night and Wednesday, and they differ on its track once it develops.
The new low should keep showers and storms active across the forecast
area and the weather cool through mid week, but there is a lot of
uncertainty in favored locations and timing of the best precip due to
model differences.



An upper level low organizing over the Great Basin is advecting
significant moisture northward into eastern NM and western TX this
morning. Meanwhile, only modest moisture increases are moving into
central and western NM. Stronger winds aloft ahead of the upper wave
will mix down across the entire state today and deliver the most
widespread windy conditions in roughly 3 months. Wind advisories
will be issued for the Sangre de Cristo Mts and adjacent lowlands.
Despite the stronger winds and drier air over central and western
NM, cooler temperature trends will mitigate critical RH values.

Showers and storms will break out over eastern NM late today and
continue through tonight and Saturday. Widespread moderate to
potentially heavy precip is possible east of the central mt chain,
especially along and east of the Pecos Valley. Max temperatures will
trend much cooler all areas Saturday. South to southwest winds will
still remain stout over the area but just in the breezy category.

The base of the upper level wave will slide north of NM on Sunday.
This will drive a deep layer dry slot into central and western NM
for Sunday and Monday. Winds will remain in the breezy category with
the passage of the upper wave and humidities will hover near the
critical range along and west of the Rio Grande Valley. Overnight
low temps will be the coolest so far this season with the drier air
in place beneath a departing upper wave. Low level moisture will
attempt to hang on across eastern NM Sunday and become recharged
Monday as a back door front sags into the region.

The overall pattern beyond Monday is still favoring unsettled and
cooler conditions however details are beginning to disagree moreso
than previous model runs. A secondary upper level wave is still
shown to develop somewhere over the Four Corners region Tuesday
and/or Wednesday. Meanwhile, a prolonged large scale easterly wind
shift develops behind another back door front within central and
eastern NM. Depending on how long the upper wave sticks around and
how much moisture remains in place will determine the overall extent
of wetting precip across the state through late week.



Wind Advisory until 6 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...


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