Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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142
FXUS65 KABQ 261151
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
551 AM MDT Wed Apr 26 2017

.AVIATION...
12Z TAF CYCLE
The upper level low is shifting into west Texas early this morning
and the precipitation associated with it in east central NM will
continue to diminish through 14Z. MVFR to IFR cigs will slowly
dissipate through mid morning as well. Breezy westerly winds will
develop across much of western and central NM, but may not make it
all the way to the TX border. Strongest winds will be near KCQC
where gusts near 35kt will be possible. Though winds will diminish
after sunset, they may ramp back up again before sunrise along and
just downstream of the high terrain thanks to a weak disturbance
that crosses northern NM late tonight. This disturbance will also
bring rain and mtn snow showers to north central and northwest NM.
Mt obscurations are possible.

34

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...325 AM MDT Wed Apr 26 2017...
.SYNOPSIS...
Unsettled weather will dominate through the upcoming weekend. As one
system exits today, another will bring chances for showers to
northern New Mexico tonight and Thursday. Strong winds are expected
to return Thursday and critical fire weather conditions are possible
along and south of Interstate 40 Thursday afternoon. An unseasonably
strong upper low remains on track for Friday and Saturday. This
system has the potential to bring significant snow to the northeast
third of the state Saturday. Highs Saturday will range from 15 to 30
degrees below average, and much of the north and east could
experience near to below freezing temperatures Saturday night.  Dry
northwest flow aloft moves in on Sunday with another storm system
possible early next week.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
A period of unsettled weather to affect northern and central New
Mexico through the upcoming weekend. An area of precipitation moving
south over the northeast and east central early this morning should
taper off during the morning as the upper low exits to the east this
morning. Will allow the Winter Weather Advisory to expire as
scheduled this morning.

Another disturbance will bring chances for showers and high mt snow
showers to the north tonight and Thursday. Snow amounts to be meager
and shouldn`t have much if any of an impact. High temperatures
Thursday will be warmer but still 5 to 10 degrees below average
north and within a few degrees of average south. Winds will
strengthen again Thursday. Guidance remains consistent forecasting
some sustained wind speeds of 35 to 40 kts from the Clines Corners
area southward along the central mt chain, so a high wind watch will
be issued.

There will be a brief break Thursday night, then a wintry storm
system is on track to invade the state Friday, and linger into
Saturday night before exiting Sunday. Forecast 700 mb temperatures
of -9 to -10 degC over much of the eastern half of the state
Saturday and there is accumulating snow potential for the northeast
third of the state. Highs Saturday will be 15 to 30 degrees below
average and may not make it out of the 30s in the northeast plains
Saturday afternoon. Potential for near to below freezing
temperatures north and east Saturday night, where some locales have
pretty much passed their last freeze dates.

For next week, the ECMWF and GFS suggest there will be another upper
disturbance and cold front around Tuesday, but how they handle the
system are quite different. The ECMWF keep it an open wave which
impacts mainly the east, while the GFS closes off an upper low which
retrogrades southwest over the state until it becomes nearly cut off
over Baja CA. Extended pops trended toward the ECMWF.

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...

Precipitation will continue early this morning across northeast and
east central NM behind a back door cold front and under an upper
level low. The low will shift southeastward this morning and the
precipitation associated with it will diminish by mid to late
morning. Though most of the precip has been rain, there has been
some snow near the Colorado border.  By afternoon, dry westerly
breezes will return. Spotty critical fire weather conditions will be
possible for an hour or two late in the afternoon across eastern
Torrance and much of Guadalupe counties. These areas have not and
will not see much, if any, precip. However, temperatures will remain
below normal areawide today, which will mitigate any critical
concerns.

Another weak upper level disturbance will graze northern NM tonight,
which should bring some locally wetting precipitation to north
central and northwest NM. Much of this precip should diminish by
noon Thursday. However, as the precip diminishes, the winds will
ramp up. A surface low over NE NM will deepen to 990-992 mb while
the 700 mb winds increase between 35 and 50kt. Forecast soundings
indicate mixing heights will be around 600 mb, thus, there is
potential for very strong winds to develop Thursday afternoon. The
strongest winds are expected across the Sandia/Manzano Mountains,
eastward to Clines Corners and southward toward Corona, where gusts
in excess of 60 mph are possible. Humidities will not be excessively
low due to the early morning disturbance and it`s associated
moisture, but humidities will fall between 10 and 15 percent mainly
south of I-40.  Thus, a fire weather watch will be issued for zones
106, 107, 108 and 109. Haines indices in this area vary between 4
and 6.

On Friday, strong winds aloft will continue as NM will be at the
base of a broad trough/upper low. The surface low will not be in as
favorable position as on Thursday, thus winds at the surface should
be shy of Thursday`s readings, though still breezy to locally windy.
Mitigating any fire weather concerns will be higher humidities and
the potential for a band of precipitation to develop along a Pacific
cold front. Models indicate the band will develop from west to east
across central NM before shifting east-southeast Friday evening. As
this occurs, the broad upper low will become more organized and
slide toward NW NM. On Saturday, the low will shift eastward across
northern NM as a back door cold front races through the plains.
Another round of precip is expected across the plains behind the
front. However, if current model projections are correct, much of
this precip will be snow. This system is THAT cold. Temperatures
will begin to drop on Friday behind the Pacific front, but will drop
much further behind the back door segment. High temperatures on
Saturday will be 25 to 30 degrees below normal across the plains,
and 15 to 25 degrees below normal elsewhere. Freezing temperatures,
and potentially a hard freeze, are possible for much of the forecast
area on Saturday night. Even portions of the Rio Grande Valley may
freeze.

The system exits Saturday night, then northwest flow will set up for
Sunday. Temps will remain below normal, but should warm up on Monday
as the flow aloft becomes more westerly. Could see breezy conditions
return on Tuesday, then another back door cold front looks to be in
store Tuesday night.

34

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Fire Weather Watch from Thursday afternoon through Thursday evening
for the following zones... NMZ106>109.

High Wind Watch from Thursday morning through Thursday evening for
the following zones... NMZ521-523-524-526-539-540.

&&

$$



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