Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 251131 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
531 AM MDT Sat Mar 25 2017


Clear skies and VFR conditions are currently in place across most of
New Mexico, the exception being in the Moreno Valley of the Sangre
de Cristos near KAXX where some localized low ceilings/fog will
continue through the morning. Some breezes are expected late this
afternoon, but gusts should be limited to about 25 to 30 kt, mostly
in the higher terrain. Some increasing mid to high lvl clouds will
also be observed, but VFR conditions will prevail through dusk. A
trough aloft will then cross into northern New Mexico tonight,
spreading lowering ceilings, rain and high elevation snow, and some
mountain obscurations across the northern tier of the state.



.PREV DISCUSSION...227 AM MDT Sat Mar 25 2017...
Tranquil weather is on tap for today as an upper level ridge of high
pressure moves through New Mexico. A weak storm system will move
through northern New Mexico tonight and Sunday, bringing a few rain
and snow showers above 8500 feet mainly to the northern mountains. A
much stronger storm system will bring better chances for rain and
high mountain snow to much of the area Tuesday and Wednesday. Current
weather prediction models suggest that this system will tap deep
Gulf of Mexico moisture, bringing the potential for significant rain
and high mountain snow, especially to the eastern half of the state.


A fairly high amplitude upper level ridge will slide east through NM
this morning. A relatively weak upper level trough is then forecast
to move through northern NM tonight and Sunday. This feature is
moisture starved and is only expected to bring a few rain and
mountain snow showers to the northern third or so of the state
tonight and Sunday. The main impact from this upper trough will be an
increase in northwest winds for most areas Sunday afternoon,
especially from the east slopes of the central mountain chain east.

A break in between systems remains on track for Sunday night and
Monday as a rather flat and broad upper ridge translates east
through the Rockies. All eyes then turn to a much stronger closed
low that is forecast to drop southeastward through the western Great
Basin and nwrn AZ Monday night. Models are in good agreement with the
track of the upper low through 96-hrs (0Z Wed), diverging
thereafter. GFS elongates and drops the closed upper low southward
through central NM Wednesday. This evolution results in a deep Gulf
of Mexico moisture tap and strong frontogenetic forcing the likes of
which NM rarely experiences (00Z GFS progging a 6-hrly QPF amount of
2 inches from the east slopes of Sandias east to the TX line). ECWMF
on the other hand remains fairly progressive, keeping the closed low
trekking slowly ewd through northern and central NM Tuesday night
and Wednesday. Canadian model is somewhere in the middle but closer
to the wetter GFS solution. Interestingly, the 51 member ECMWF
ensemble mean is significantly slower than the operational run. At
any rate, it`s likely going to take a day or two more for the models
to settle on a likely track and evolution of this system. The stage
will be set in terms of copious moisture availability if this upper
low elongates and takes its time moving east. Global models are in
good agreement that surface high pressure nosing south through the
Great Plains will result in a long-lived and moist low level sely
flow into the state.

00Z models are in good agreement that another deep closed low will
drop sewd through the Great Basin and then ewd through NM toward the
end of the work week.



A short wave ridge of high pressure has quickly moved in behind
yesterday`s departing low pressure system, but the fair weather
traits of this ridge will not last too long, as another trough of
low pressure will quickly move toward the Land of Enchantment late
today into tonight. The clear skies early this morning will soon be
lost as a canopy of mid to high clouds arrive. Despite these clouds,
temperatures should still climb, rising a few to several degrees
above yesterday`s highs. In fact, most locales will exceed normalcy
today. Breezes will be light at first, but will increase for many
zones this afternoon from the south and southwest. Good to excellent
smoke ventilation rates are forecast over most of the area today,
and humidity will drop below 15 to 20 percent in many zones.

The aforementioned trough of low pressure will cross northern NM
tonight as a quick-moving open wave disturbance. Upper level winds
will increase some, with surface/20ft winds shifting more westerly
overnight and eventually northwesterly into Sunday, and even
northerly in the plains. Some stronger speeds of 15 to 25 mph will
be observed in many locales with locally higher speeds of 25 to 35
mph mid day Sunday in the central highlands of NM. With the trough
passage early Sunday, cooler temperatures will work in behind the
attendant cold front, and this should preclude any major humidity
drops. Some brief and localized critical humidity could be
juxtaposed with the stronger winds over the east central plains
(southern fringe of FWZ108) and perhaps a few spots in the middle
Rio Grande valley, but at this time the expected coverage and
duration of these critical conditions does not warrant the issuance
of a Fire Weather Watch on Sunday.

Another brief-lived short wave ridge will cross NM Sunday night into
early Monday morning, momentarily reducing wind speeds aloft. This
will provide a brief and subtle warm-up going into the daytime
Monday. Otherwise breezes will kick around from the south southwest
across the forecast area with light to moderate speeds and excellent
ventilation rates in most of NM.

The so-called wave train will continue with yet another Pacific
trough moving inland and slated to deepen into a low as it crosses
into NM Tuesday. The current forecast track of this low is quite a
bit farther south than its predecessors, and it will certainly
induce shifting wind directions across the state, but the extent and
the coverage of precipitation continues to evolve with each forecast
model run. All models indicate some NM beneficiaries of wetting
precipitation, but the placement varies from each member.
Temperatures would cool some with this low passage, and this would
seem to sufficiently limit humidity reductions and preclude
widespread critical fire weather conditions.

This repetitive cycle will finish out the end of next week, as one
more additional low pressure system passage will be in the works.




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