Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 301806 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1206 PM MDT TUE AUG 30 2016
18Z TAF CYCLE
MVFR conditions to remain fairly common south of a line from
Clayton to Tijeras for the majority of this fcst period with
more localized pockets of IFR conditions also occurring within
this area. Some rain and fog-reduced vsby conditions also to reach
these categories. There may be a little improvement between 19z
and 03z, but thereafter CIGS will likely lower at least in spots
back to at least MVFR lvls. Elsewhere VFR conditions to be the
rule, though higher-based isolated to locally sct SHRA and TSRA
will develop with the higher terrain favored initially, then a few
of which will survive for awhile into the lower terrain a little
later this aftn. Areas of rain with at least isolated embedded
thunder are fairly likely to continue mainly south of a line from
Clayton to Pecos overnight and into the early morn hours of Wed.
Low clouds, mt obscurations and patchy fog will also be likely in
this area during this period.
.PREV DISCUSSION...310 AM MDT TUE AUG 30 2016...
A wet and relatively cool week is shaping up for much of central
and eastern New Mexico. Good chances for soaking rains will focus
along and east of the central mountain chain today, then gradually
spread west to near the Continental Divide Wednesday. By Thursday,
chances for showers and storms will encompass most of the state.
Look for a downtrend in rain chances and an uptrend in daytime
temperatures over the weekend as drier air moves in from the west.
By Sunday, daytime temperatures will be back to normal central and
west and generally above normal across the eastern plains.
Except for some slight mid level warming, the atmosphere remained
relatively unchanged per the 00z soundings indicating the higher
PWAT environment across eastern New Mexico and the Texas
Panhandle, with a fairly average late August moisture profile
across western portions of the state. A gradual PWAT uptrend is
still forecast over the next 24-36hrs as moisture creeps northwest
across the state with the upper level low continuing to fill.
Surface dewpoint temperatures are already coming up in the Rio
Grande Valley thanks to easterly flow in the lowest portion of the
boundary layer and are an average +5 compared to 24hrs ago. Latest
regional composite radar imagery shows scattered showers across
the west Texas moving northwest into eastern New Mexico, but
dynamics are dwindling and surface based instability is low. The
overall lack of dynamics will be a limiting factor on heavy rain
potential and a cooler lower boundary layer will limit instability
through Wednesday. Moisture definitely won`t be lacking, with
PWATs forecast to be between +1-2 standard deviations from normal
across eastern New Mexico. Locally heavy rainfall is still
possible, but is most likely along the east slopes of the central
mountain chain today and Wednesday where low level upslope flow
will help with forcing. Moderate east canyon/gap winds will kick-
up again later today/tonight, with some gusts to between 30-40 mph
likely. Daytime temperatures through Wednesday will generally be
below normal central and west, and well below normal east.
Thursday and Friday are shaping up to be active days with a
warming trend resulting in improved surface-based instability and
increasing veering wind profiles improve storm structure and
sustaining updrafts. This transition involves a potent west coast
trough that will be moving inland Friday and a flattening upper
level ridge to our south. Increasing westerlies will bring drier
air across the state over the weekend and result in even warmer
daytime temperatures and a convective downtrend. By Sunday, highs
will be near normal central and west and above normal across the
eastern plains offering quite the contrast to the cooler midweek
Lower forecaster confidence for early next week given some subtle
differences between the 00z GFS and ECMWF with regard to the
amplification and orientation of the upper ridge to the east and
resulting northward moisture transport from Mexico. In short, the
ECMWF is dry next Mon-Wed.
Areas along and east of the central mountain chain of NM will be
favored for thunderstorms and wetting rainfall today and this
evening. Storms will be less numerous, but still possible in much of
the western half of the state, the exception being in the far
northwestern corner where little to no activity is expected.
Easterly winds have been prevailing over a large portion of the
state and these will persist with some areas downwind of central
gaps/canyons observing accelerated speeds early this morning and
again this evening. Otherwise wind speeds will predominantly be
light to moderate. While atmospheric moisture and surface
dewpoints/RH will be highest in the eastern plains, all zones should
observe minimum RH at or above 25 percent today. Temperatures will
run near to slightly below normal in central to western NM today
with departures being farther below normal in the east by some 12 to
15 degrees. Haines indices will remain low at 2 to 3.
Low level moisture will creep farther north and west across NM
tonight and into Wednesday with some additional mid level moisture
also slowly arriving. This will make the southern and eastern zones
of the forecast area favored for storms and wetting rainfall
Wednesday. The San Juan basin in northwestern NM will again observe
little, if any, rainfall Wednesday. While the eastern plains will
rise a few degrees, temperatures will still be several degrees below
normal there with near to slightly below normal readings elsewhere.
Low Haines indices and sufficient dewpoints/RH along with widespread
light east southeast winds, no critical fire weather is expected.
On Thursday, the deeper moisture will finally have advanced a bit
farther west, allowing the continental divide and the central
mountain chain to be most susceptible to storm development. Less
storms in the eastern plains will allow temperatures to rise a few
more degrees, but still stay slightly below average. By Friday a
deep long wave trough will dig farther into the Intermountain West
with some stronger southwesterlies aloft dipping into northwestern
NM. At this time it does not appear that any dry air will work into
NM by Friday, but rather this could be an active storm day for most
zones as the moisture plume holds its ground before the dry air
makes more of an intrusion into the state late Saturday and Sunday.
Storms would consequently decrease this weekend with temperatures
meeting or exceeding seasonal averages.