Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 271734

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1134 AM MDT WED JUL 27 2016

Upper high center setting up over the Great Basin with drier air
aloft spreading over wrn and nrn NM. However, plenty of low level
moisture lingers for sct to nmrs showers and storms central and
ern NM, with only isold convection far nw. mts to be occasionally
obscured with lcl mvfr cigs/vsbys and wnd gusts to 40kt in the
stronger storms. Activity may diminish before 03Z with only isold
activity thereafter.


A mid-level high pressure system building over the Great Basin
will funnel some drier air over northern and central New Mexico
today and Thursday causing thunderstorm coverage to trend downward
both days and temperatures to increase. A moist back door cool
front should increase the chance of showers and storms across
northeast and east central areas on Friday. The high pressure
system will return to New Mexico Saturday, then try to shift
northeast of our state early next week. This will cause
precipitation chances to trend upward again across central and
western areas. After a briefly warmer day Saturday, temperatures
should trend downward.


The main forecast challenges this package are if and how far south the
back door cool front will push on Friday, and whether or not the
mid-level high pressure system will actually migrate northeast of
New Mexico next week.

A weak upper trough exiting the northern and central Rockies onto
the Great Plains should be able to send a front southward, and
models currently have it pushing into the northeast plains during
the morning. However, it remains to be seen how far south the
front will progress. Thunderstorm outflow should help it reach the
east central plains, enabling some thunderstorm development there
as well.

The ECMWF and GFS migrate the mid-level high northeast of the
area early next week, but the ECMWF looks a bit more definite.
Both models depict an upper low moving into the Pacific NW, and
this would help get the high moving. However, both models depict a
ridge axis extending southwestward from the upper high center
toward the NM area...again. We`ve seen this over and over this
summer, and it seems to have limited the moisture and instability
pushes needed for a more robust monsoon. QPF fields suggest some
better rain amounts early next week, but models could be trending
toward climatology.



A drying and warming trend will begin today as the upper high center
begins a slow progression eastward toward the Four Corners. Storms
that fire up today will move south, with smaller wetting footprints
than recent days. Model guidance that was hinting at perhaps not as
much drying Thursday to Saturday is now unfortunately back to very
dry conditions for late July. Surface dewpoints will trend into the
low 30`s to low 40`s for the northwest half, resulting in min rh
into the teens, and perhaps some single digits around Farmington
Thursday to Saturday. Temps will rebound above normal all areas and
some 6 haines values are in the works across the northern third
through this period. Any storms that fire up will hug immediate high
terrain and become more on the dry side with gusty outflow winds. If
guidance continues on track this could mean an upswing in wildfire
activity across northern NM.

Changes are still advertised by guidance beginning Sunday however
forecast confidence remains low. Will remain conservative for a few
more days on any return to significant moisture until guidance comes
into exceptionally good agreement. Tendency has been for the upper
high to remain over NM or even to our west despite extended models
consistently moving it eastward. Latest picture is for a south to
north tap of monsoon moisture over AZ and western NM beginning late
Sunday through all of next week. This would result in temps closer
to normal for late July/early August and much better coverage of
wetting storms.





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