Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 162324 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
424 PM MST Tue Jan 16 2018

VFR conditions prevail and are forecast to persist with mostly light
winds. However, low stratus/fog development is possible overnight
with moisture trapped in the frontal layer/inversion. Specifically,
KSAF and KLVS are most at risk of seeing LIFR conditions in freezing
fog late tonight into early Wednesday morning. That said, forecast
confidence is too low to include in TAFs, with no supportive MOS
and/or model guidance this TAF cycle.



.PREV DISCUSSION...340 PM MST Tue Jan 16 2018...
Another cold night is on tap for the region in the wake of an arctic
cold front. Expect low temperatures east of the Central Mountain
Chain in the low teens to single digits with wind chill temperatures
near to below zero in many locations. Temperatures over the remainder
of the area will fall into the upper teens to low 20s. Areas of
freezing fog may develop tonight in the upper Rio Grande Valley and
along portions of I-25 between Las Vegas and Raton. Temperatures will
continue to warm through the remainder of the week ahead of another
weather system which will enter the region this weekend.


The drier arctic airmass is very visible on GOES-East (GOES-16)
imagery this afternoon. Some lingering low clouds are still visible
in the lee of the Sangres currently, and these should be clearing out
through the remainder of the afternoon. Precipitation chances
overnight through tomorrow will be limited to the Southwest Mountains
where there is the chance for some light upslope flow.

The main weather impacts through the short term (18-24 hours) will
be the bitterly cold temperatures tonight and the potential for the
development of freezing fog later tonight. East of the Central
Mountain Chain, a dry and cold airmass is continuing to plunge
southward. Temperatures this afternoon have struggled to get above
32F in many locations and are expected to drop into the low teens to
single digits tonight. This, combined with winds in the 10-15 mph
range will drop wind chill values into the low single digits in many
locations with near zero (or below zero) as far south as Portales.
Elsewhere, expect lows in the upper teens to lower 20s.

Areas of freezing fog may potentially develop tonight over the upper
RGV near the Colorado border and along the I-25 corridor between Las
Vegas and Raton. Confidence is not high in fog development in either
area, but conditions are favorable enough that it has been included
in the forecast and a Special Weather Statement will be issued to
highlight these areas.

Temperatures will slowly begin to warm back up through the week as a
ridge of high pressure build over the region. By Friday, near record
temperatures are expected over the eastern plains. Models are in fair
agreement this weekend with a trough digging down the Great Basin and
through the region. At this point, models are developing widespread,
but light, precipitation Saturday through early Sunday morning. It
is a bit far out to go into details, but further forecast packages
should be monitored for potential impacts.




Widespread poor ventilation to persist through Thursday before
improving to good to excellent over the higher terrain Friday and
overall over the upcoming weekend.

Low level moisture to linger tonight with some areas of low clouds
over central New Mexico as well as the Northeast Highlands possibly
redeveloping or persisting into the evening or even overnight. At
the same time a weak disturbance in northwest flow will track over
western New Mexico, resulting in slight chances for snow showers
along and west of the Continental Divide tonight through about
midday Wednesday. Any snow accumulations are expected to be light.
High temperatures Wednesday will be considerably warmer across the
east, while portions of the west will see little change. Lows
Wednesday night will trend a few degrees warmer for most of the
forecast area.

High temperatures Thursday through Friday will warm considerably,
reaching about 10 to 20 degrees above normal on Friday.  A transient
ridge aloft will be featured Thursday, as surface low pressure
strengthens over eastern New Mexico. This will result in breezy
westerly winds along the Sangre de Cristo mountains and northeast
and central highlands in the afternoon. Winds increase again on
Friday as the flow aloft becomes more zonal and the surface low over
the eastern plains deepens. A few near record highs might be reached
over the northeast and east central plains Friday afternoon. In
addition, forecast high Haines, minimum humidities of 10 to 15
percent and sustained winds of 20 mph or greater lead to an area of
critical fire weather conditions covering the majority of Zone 108
Friday afternoon.

A storm system is forecast to cross New Mexico from west to east
Saturday through Sunday. At this time, the best chances for
precipitation favor the west and central. Temperatures will cool
Saturday and moreso Sunday, with most locations near to a few
degrees below average Sunday. Westerly winds could be strong along
and south of Interstate 40 Saturday but northwest winds Saturday
night and Sunday could also be strong, as the system tracks east of
New Mexico and rapidly deepens. Dry and warmer next Monday.





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