Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 301736 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1136 AM MDT Thu Mar 30 2017
18Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions are currently in place and should persist across
northern and central New Mexico through the next 24 hours. Primary
aviation concerns will be gusty winds, first focused in the west
central portions of New Mexico this afternoon with occasional gusts
reaching 35 to 40 kt near KGUP. Winds aloft will spike up overnight
across southwestern and south central New Mexico tonight, spreading
into eastern portions of the state into the daytime Friday. Gust
potential early Friday morning through the day will increase to 35 to
perhaps 50 kt, especially near KSRR. Showers will also develop over
northwestern to north central New Mexico Friday, mainly beyond the
24 hour TAF forecast period, but occasional MVFR conditions and
northern mountain obscurations will develop.
.PREV DISCUSSION...315 AM MDT Thu Mar 30 2017...
Today will be a day in between storm systems as a weak upper level
ridge moves through. A strong and cold storm system is expected to
bring showers and higher elevation snow showers to much of central
and northern New Mexico Friday and Saturday. Significant rain and
mountain snow will favor the northern Sangre de Cristo mountains,
northeast highlands and plains Friday night and Saturday. Strong
winds will accompany this system with high winds possible in the
south-central mountains. The associated cold front will drop
temperatures to below average levels for the weekend. Dry and warmer
weather returns early next week.
Patchy morning fog looking likely this morning across portions of
the mid RGV as well as in the Estancia Valley and portions of the
northeast highlands and east-central plains. Dry and breezy
conditions will result later today as an upper level ridge moves
overhead around mid- day and then quickly shifts ewd by afternoon.
Windy conditions are likely across the west-central plateau (Gallup
area) and Chuska mountains this afternoon, hence the wind advisories
for these two forecast zones.
Winds will increase further on Friday ahead of an anomalously deep
closed low dropping sewd through the southern Great Basin,
especially south of I-40. High winds are possible in the south-
central mountains where a high wind watch has been hoisted for Friday
afternoon. Models agree that the upper low will move to near the
Four Corners around sunrise Friday. Precipitation will likely begin
across far northwest NM tonight. Latest models are significantly
deeper with the low center over northeast AZ, resulting in snow
levels down to 6000 ft northwest of a line from Gallup to Dulce.
ECMWF and Canadian models move the low very little Friday while the
GFS moves it east somewhat to near Navajo Lake State Park. Sensible
weather differences are minor with the favored area for significant
precipitation across the northern mountains and northeast highlands
and plains Saturday. Interestingly, the ECMWF has trended farther
south similar to the Canadian and now elongates the low into two
separate vort lobes. All models fill/weaken the upper low as it
pinwheels over NM Saturday. The associated cold pool aloft will lead
to decent instability and the potential for isolated thunderstorms
across northwest NM Friday afternoon and across much of the area
Saturday afternoon. This closed low is moisture starved initially on
Friday until it can wrap Gulf moisture in and bring up a trough of
warm air aloft (TROWAL) on Saturday. The associated TROWAL wrap-
around precipitation band is forecast to set up across the northeast
quarter of the state Saturday afternoon.
Models continue to fill/weaken the low Saturday night into Sunday
morning. Dry northwest flow aloft develops across the state sunday.
Models still indicating that the next upper level trough to impact
the state will be a glancing blow across northern NM Tuesday. Best
chances for rain and mountain snow will be across the northern
mountains. Cooler/colder conditions along with the potential for
strong winds expected elsewhere on Tuesday. Cooler than average
temperatures continue Wednesday before a warming trend gets underway
...A FEW HOURS OF SPOTTY CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER POSSIBLE IN THE
WESTERN HIGHLANDS OF NM THURSDAY WITH MORE WIDESPREAD CRITICAL
CONDITIONS POSSIBLE FRIDAY...
A warmer day is on tap, with above normal highs and plenty of
sunshine. Winds will be on the uptrend as well, with a deepening lee
side trough as a potent upper level low approaches from over the
Great Basin. A few hours of critical fire weather conditions are
forecast across the Northwest/West Central Highlands this afternoon,
but coverage of critical conditions is not sufficient to trigger a
warning. Winds will continue the uptrend overnight into Friday as
the upper low progresses into northwest New Mexico. The 00z model
solutions trended deeper/colder with the upper low and the timing
may not be as supportive of critical conditions Friday across our
area. That uncertainty, plus the addition of increasing cloud cover
may limit fire behavior. However, the East Central Plains and the
southern half of the Middle RGV are still on track to hit wind and
humidity criteria. Dry/windy conditions will quickly be replaced by
colder conditions with increasing chances for wetting precipitation
Friday night into Saturday as the low progresses slowly eastward
across northern New Mexico. The best chances for wetting
precipitation will be over the Northern Mountains, Northeast
Highlands and Raton Ridge once again.
A new warming/drying trend will begin Sunday as the low pulls east,
but will be short-lived as the next trough approaches Monday.
Elevated fire weather conditions are likely Monday as winds trend up
with a deepening lee side trough. The timing of the next trough
passage Monday night into Tuesday will likely confine critical fire
weather conditions to southern New Mexico as cold air advection
begins late Monday night into Tuesday morning across our area with a
strong Pacific cold front.
A new and potentially longer-lived drying/warming trend will begin
Wednesday and may continue through the following weekend if the 00z
medium range model solutions work-out with increasing westerly flow
and a relatively low amplitude synoptic pattern.
Fire Weather Watch from Friday afternoon through Friday evening for
the following zones... NMZ104-106-108.
Wind Advisory until 8 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...
High Wind Watch from late tonight through Friday afternoon for the
following zones... NMZ526-540.