Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 231139 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
539 AM MDT Fri Jun 23 2017

A backdoor front is bringing an abrupt wind shift to the E/NE this
morning across the eastern plains. It washed up into the Rio Grande
Valley briefly overnight but has already begun to swash back this
morning evident by north winds coming back to KABQ. NW flow will
continue over the west and will battle the edge of the front near the
central mtn chain today, making wind directions a bit challenging
this afternoon for KSAF and KABQ where if the front pushes a bit
stronger the easterly winds could kick in a bit earlier than
forecast. Afternoon storms are expected to fire up along the central
mtn chain today before drifting to the SE over the upper plains. MVFR
cigs are possible across the east Saturday morning.



.PREV DISCUSSION...344 AM MDT Fri Jun 23 2017...
A big swing in temperatures is expected across eastern New Mexico
today with some relief to the recent heat wave finally arriving. As a
cold front spills into the plains and pushes toward the central
mountain chain, gusty north winds will usher in cooler than normal
temperatures, along with some moisture and a few thunderstorms,
namely along and east of the central mountain chain. In the central
to western sections of New Mexico, the temperatures will remain warm
to hot ahead of the cold front with 90s and even some triple digit
temperatures expected again through the afternoon. Temperatures will
finally drop early this evening when the cold front arrives in the
Rio Grande valley and advances toward the Continental Divide. Showers
and thunderstorms will develop in western and central New Mexico on
Saturday along the leading edge of the front with more storms
redeveloping on Sunday across much of the state. Some storms could
turn strong to severe.


Busy weather pattern on tap for today and the weekend as a potent cold
front advances into New Mexico, finally breaking the heat wave and
shifting the pattern to a more stormy one. Storms today will be
concentrated across the Sangres through the late morning and early
afternoon, expanding southward along the mountains of central to
south central New Mexico through the afternoon. The front is so
speedy and dynamic, models appear to be having difficulty pinpointing
the timing, stability, and other correlated parameters as it races
into NM. There is certainly some potential for strong to severe
storms in eastern NM through the afternoon, but the highest
confidence for decent directional shear profiles being juxtaposed
over sufficient CAPE/instability would be in the southeastern
quadrant of the forecast area today.

Central to western zones are still going to have to endure the heat
today before the front arrives this evening and into the overnight.
Heat advisory that was issued yesterday will stand, although many
locales will likely run a degree or two or three less than
yesterday`s reading due to a slight reduction in mid tropospheric
pressure heights and a slightly cooler morning temperature to start
the day. Winds will surge through gaps/canyons within the central
mountain chain early this evening, prompting a wind advisory for the
eastern ABQ metro area.

Into the evening and the overnight the front could ignite a few
storms as the boundary races up the east faces of the Continental
Divide. The timing and speed of the boundary will dictate how long
these sustain themselves, but fairly short-lived cells are expected
as the front races toward the AZ-NM border tonight.

Temperatures will run 10 to 20 degrees below normal in the eastern
half of NM on Saturday with the western half hovering near to
slightly above normal. An upward surge in dewpoints associated with
the front will set the stage for scattered to numerous storms around
the higher terrain of west central to southwestern NM Saturday with a
secondary focus along the central mountain chain.

Modest temperature changes are anticipated on Sunday, but a healthier
and more widespread crop of storms will be likely as ample moisture,
surface convergence and even some faint upslope in a few areas
persists. Much like today, sufficient directional wind shear would
be present for strong to severe cells on Saturday and Sunday in many
areas of the state.

As the upper high loiters to the southwest of NM into Monday, the
orientation of both the upper and boundary layer flow will be such
that the moisture persists over the state, fueling additional rounds
of showers and thunderstorms. Temperatures would rise a couple more
degrees in the plains, but still remain below normal. Into Tuesday
and the mid week period, the ridge of high pressure takes a hit from
stronger westerlies to the north. This will suppress the ridge some
while introducing dry air aloft into NM that will subsequently limit
storm chances.




A backdoor front is racing down the eastern plains tonight sharply
dropping temperatures. Daytime highs look to fall 20F-30F over the
NE plains and 5F-15F for the SE plains today. The front will push
into the Rio Grande Valley and to the AZ border Saturday morning
where highs will fall to several degrees below normal for central NM
and a few degrees above normal for the western highlands.

Dry NW flow will continue over NW New Mexico this afternoon stalling
the front at the central mtn chain today. Breezy winds, high Haines
and 6-10 hrs of single digit RHs allowing for a few areas of
critical fire conditions will still be present over the NW portions
of the state Friday. Depending on just how strong the initial frontal
push is today, NW winds will battle with SE winds along portions of
the Rio Grande Valley...with a buffer zone through the Rio Grande
Valley. Winds within this area could bounce back and forth b/w NW
and SE, with the two potentially squeezing to S winds in the upper
RGV, and N winds in the middle RGV south of the Sandias. The front
will bring in strong gusty canyon winds into the ABQ and SAF metro
areas between 1800-0000 Friday night as it surges forth to the AZ
border by midnight.

Mixing hgts and vent rates fall sharply behind the front, staying
high/excellent over the far NW. The moisture replenishing will also
allow for very good RH recoveries each night this weekend into early
next week, while also allowing for the potential for areas of patchy
morning fog over the eastern plains through Tuesday morning.
Increased sfc moisture will also allow for increased afternoon tstm
activity, with the central mtns favored first Friday and then
spreading over the western high terrain Saturday into early next
week. Models are depicting high CAPE values near 2000 J/kg, steep
lapse rates near 9C/km and decent bulk shear 20-40 kts focusing over
the SW mtns Saturday. These factors could allow for some of the
afternoon tstms to become severe Saturday afternoon/evening while
outflow bdries could force some of these storms into the valleys.
Afternoon tstm activity will continue each day into early next week.

Long range, models continue to show the upper ridge being shunted to
the Baja coast with zonal flow aloft over the central Rockies. This
will push in drier westerly flow over the northern half of NM
starting Tuesday and more-so Wednesday. Precipitation coverage
becomes limited to the southern portions of the state. Temperatures
also begin to rebound to above normal by mid-week. By late next week
the GFS shows the ridge attempting to build back over AZ. The
previous runs showing what appeared to be a weak monsoon-like push
into the Chihuahuan Desert and southern NM have backed off somewhat.
However another backdoor front could replenish moisture and bring
another break in hot temps across the east by the end of next week.



Heat Advisory from 2 PM this afternoon to 8 PM MDT this evening for
the following zones... NMZ505>509-519-520.

Wind Advisory from 6 PM this evening to 2 AM MDT Saturday for the
following zones... NMZ519.


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