Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 110011 AAA
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
511 PM MST Sat Dec 10 2016

.AVIATION...
00Z TAF CYCLE

VFR conditions currently in place across New Mexico with
breeziness in the higher terrain western and central areas of the
state, as well as the east central to northeastern plains.
Breezes in the lower elevations will subside into the early
evening, however a stout jet aloft will lead to a rapid increase
in winds over ridge tops and high peaks, producing turbulent
mountain wave activity, especially near and east of the central
mountain chain of New Mexico. Stronger winds will be a factor
into adjacent lower elevation areas during the daytime Sunday,
but it will not be as severe as in highest mountain elevations.
The other concern will be in the Pecos River valley where some low
level moisture could lead to isolated patches of low clouds and
fog, perhaps carrying conditions into the MVFR/IFR category.

52

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...317 PM MST Sat Dec 10 2016...
.SYNOPSIS...
The jet stream will take a southerly dip over New Mexico for the
next couple of days and bring strong to potentially damaging
winds, mainly over the higher terrain. More specifically, the
Central Mountain Chain and adjacent highlands will be vulnerable
to very strong winds tonight through Sunday then again Sunday
night into Monday over the Sangre De Cristo Mountains.
Temperatures will generally be above normal through Thursday,
except for portions of the Eastern Plains behind a backdoor cold
front on Wednesday. A storm system is shaping up for late week
and into the weekend, with much needed precipitation moving in on
Friday. This system will bring very windy conditions Friday,
followed by much colder air bringing temperatures below mid
December normals by the weekend.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
The jet stream is currently oriented over the Great Basin and
Central Rockies and is forecast to dip south a bit overnight
across northern New Mexico. Very strong to potentially damaging
winds will impact the peaks this evening then work down the east
slopes of the Central Mountain Chain overnight, eventually
impacting some lower elevation locations by Sunday morning. It is
unclear exactly where the forecast mountain wind waves will crash,
but locales in the Northeast Highlands, East Central Highlands and
Estancia Valley will be susceptible between 09-15z Sunday. The
High Wind Watch has been upgraded and a few zones have been added
as Wind Advisories. Strong winds will continue into Sunday
afternoon, but gradually trend down. Light accumulating snow is
still possible across the northwest late tonight into Sunday, with
the higher west-facing slopes possibly picking up 1-3 inches. Very
strong winds aloft will persist over the area into Monday morning
and the latest NAM an GFS are showing more mountain wind wave
potential early Monday morning along and to the lee of the
Sangres.

A weak backdoor cold front will poke into the Northeast Plains
Monday night into Tuesday, but the stronger backdoor front will
arrive Wednesday and bring below normal temperatures to portions
of the Eastern Plains. Elsewhere, above normal temperatures will
persist. Thursday looks like the warmest day of the forecast cycle
with increasing southwest flow ahead of a potent trough. KABQ may
event hit 60 degrees Thursday, with the 12z GFS MOS showing 60 and
the ECMWF MOS showing 62.

The flow will finally buckle toward the end of the week and a
potent trough/low will drop south along the west coast. Both the
12z ECMWF and GFS show this pattern transition, but differ on the
timing and open/closed nature of the system initially. Moisture
advection will kick-in Thursday night across our area with the
trough on approach. Friday looks very windy with a cold front
pushing through and precipitation chances ramping-up. The weekend
is looking much colder, with below to well below normal
temperatures and precipitation chances diminishing. However, there
is plenty of forecast uncertainty with differences among the 12z
operational medium range models and their respective ensemble
members.

11

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...

An unusually strong jet stream pattern and Chinook wind scenario is
setting up for portions of the forecast area during the next several
days. There is some signs from the modeling that the drier portion
of this pattern would shift south later next week or weekend and
allow for some better precipitation potential...mainly snow...across
more of the area. That remains to be seen. In the mean
time...periods of better ventilation due to increased transport wind
and gusty wind overall across the higher mountain ridges.

Near term impacts and challenges will be tied to the jet stream and
jet maxes or peak wind areas translating through the main stream.
The first wind maximum is expected to move over the area tonight
into Sunday morning. Another one is expected Tuesday night into
Wednesday morning and a third one Friday into Saturday. These wind
maximums across the mid levels would be 90th to 97th percentile
speeds. As always this time of year...stability is a concern in
terms of how the higher wind speeds aloft mix to the surface and
impact various elevations and aspects. That makes it tricky in terms
of forecasting a 2.5 km grid box. Expect some significant variation
within a fire weather zone as well as forecast grid box. Either
way...tried to value add accordingly...especially zones which are
likely to be impacted by surfacing mountain waves and
Chinook/downslope wind impacts.

Humidity forecasting will also be a bit tricky in areas during the
next several days. The predominant westerly fetch from the Pacific
will keep dewpoints on the higher side...especially lower elevations
across western/central areas. A more significant cold air advection
pattern would alter the airmass areawide by next weekend although
expect that to adjust some as we get nearer to that period. The main
trick will be capturing downslope induced drying/warming to the lee
of the more significant north to south mountain ranges such as the
Sangres/Manzano/Sandias. This will largely be determined by mid
level dynamic dry slots that will be associated with dry side of the
jet stream. The most intense signature shows up across the NE third
Sunday night into Monday so tried to undercut model dewpoint
guidance there. Models show a more pronounced mid level dry
intrusion Wed/Thu. Near term critical RH values are most likely to
be relegated to just the NE third Monday...otherwise...values
should largely remain above 20 percent areawide.

Ventilation will vary widely both in space and time across the
forecast area. Poor mixing today has led to poor ventilation most
areas despite the increasing transport wind. Mixing heights and
transport winds increase on Sunday making for an areawide
improvement. Similar ratings for Monday despite some lowering in the
mixing heights although some poor to fair pockets show up. Suspect
the paltry ratings currently in the forecast for most areas during
the middle of the week will improve some. The NAM model will most
likely increase mixing heights compared to the GFS model. GFS is
very bullish with its mixing heights and transport winds late in
the week.

50

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
High Wind Warning until 4 PM MST Sunday for the following zones...
NMZ512>515-521>523-526-527.

Wind Advisory from midnight tonight to 4 PM MST Sunday for the
following zones... NMZ524-528-529-539-540.

&&

$$



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