Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 200528 AAB
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1028 PM MST Fri Jan 19 2018

.AVIATION...
06Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions prevail and are forecast to persist through the TAF
period central and east. VFR conditions will persist at KGUP and KFMN
with lowering VFR cigs Saturday, then deteriorating conditions with a
cold front late Saturday evening. Winds will increase ahead of the
front, but will be even stronger behind it overnight into Sunday.

11

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...254 PM MST Fri Jan 19 2018...
.SYNOPSIS...
Very mild weather continues today across NM, as high pressure aloft
moves across the state. Afternoon temperatures in the 60s and 70s
combined with breezy west winds and low humidity are bringing
critical fire weather conditions to the east central and northeast
plains through 6 PM this evening. A storm off the central California
coast will move rapidly eastward tonight and cross NM Saturday
afternoon through Sunday. This weather system will bring colder
weather with rain changing to snow late Saturday afternoon and
Saturday night and snow on Sunday. Snow showers may linger across
the north central mountains and northeast plains Sunday night. After
below normal temperatures Monday, moderating temperatures are
expected Tuesday through Thursday with weak high pressure aloft
controlling the weather. A weak low pressure system will pass to the
north of NM Thursday night through Friday with light precipitation
possible across northern NM.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
A weak lee surface trough across the northeast plains and eastern CO
this afternoon is producing west wind gusts to around 20 mph across
the eastern plains. These downsloping winds have pushed early
afternoon temperatures into the 60s and 70s in the east central and
northeast plains. Relative humidity in these areas is in the mid
teens, and a red flag warning is in effect for the east central and
northeast plains until 6 PM MST. High pressure will weaken across the
region tonight with winds becoming mainly light, except across the
east central plains, where west winds 10 to 15 mph will persist
overnight. High clouds will keep low temperatures above normal
tonight across the entire region.

A fast-moving trough will track from central CA to northwestern AZ
Saturday. Ahead of this system, a strong Pacific cold front will move
into western NM late Saturday afternoon, bringing a band of rain and
rain mixed with snow, which will quickly change to snow. The cold
front will reach the central mountains by late Saturday evening with
rain and a mix of rain and snow turning over to snow across central
NM. Models are in good agreement in showing the upper low moving
across northern NM Sunday with the GFS track slightly farther to the
south than the ECMWF. These storm tracks would produce light to
moderate snowfall across the northern mountains Sunday with lighter
wrap-around snow for the north central mountains, northeast
highlands and northeast plains Sunday night. Winter storm watches
are out for the northwest and north central mountains late Saturday
evening through late Sunday afternoon for possible snow accumulations
of 6 to 10 inches. Strong northwest winds behind the upper low will
develop late Saturday night across the south central highlands and
the central mountains from the Sandia mountains southward and then
spread eastward into the plains during the day on Sunday. Winds
could gust to near 40 mph late Saturday night and to near 50 mph
Sunday across these areas, and a high wind watch has been issued.

Weak surface high pressure will build across NM from the northwest
Monday, as a weak upper level ridge crosses the state. Cold air will
still be entrenched across the region Monday with highs generally 5
to 10 degrees below normal. A zonal pattern aloft is expected
Tuesday through Thursday with continued dry weather and slight
moderation in temperature each day. A weak trough will move across
far northern NM Thursday night into Friday, bringing light
precipitation to northern NM and a return to near to slightly below
normal temperatures Friday.

28

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Red Flag Warning across the East Central Plains through the
remainder of this afternoon. A second round of critical fire
conditions are possible Saturday afternoon.

Strong winds, low humidities and well above normal temperatures are
resulting in critical fire weather conditions this afternoon. The
Red Flag Warning will be allowed to continue until 600 pm MST.

The winds will diminish quickly this evening allowing for a
comfortable night with well above normal lows.

Winds will pick up again Saturday and combine with low humidity and
well above normal temperatures in the east, resulting in marginal
critical fire weather conditions on the eastern plains in the
afternoon. Will leave the Fire Weather Watch in place for now,
allowing the stellar overnight crew to make the final call Saturday
early morning. The spotty area of critical conditions for only an
hour or two would normally not qualify for issuing a Red Flag
Warning, but given the warmth and super dry fuels it would be
prudent to keep our options open.

The potent storm system moving onto the west coast will continue to
move east tonight and Saturday while slowly deepening, then will
reach the four corners area Saturday night and slide along the NM/CO
border Sunday. Snow in the western and northern mountains and rain
changing to snow in the valleys is forecast during this time. A
strong surface cold front will sweep across the state Saturday night
and Sunday, sending temperatures plummeting. And finally, strong to
high, and potentially damaging winds will impact parts of central
and eastern NM later Saturday night and Sunday. This will be quite a
change with snow, blowing snow, drifting snow, blowing dust and
bitter cold wind chills affecting many of us through the weekend.

Next week will begin dry and cold. Temperatures will moderate later
in the week to around normal. The next storm system may begin to
impact NM late in the week and continue into next weekend.

Improving ventilation Saturday area wide with mostly excellent rates
on Sunday. But a return to mostly poor ventilation is forecast
Monday through Wednesday of next week, before improving late in the
week.

40

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Fire Weather Watch Saturday afternoon for the following zones...
NMZ104-108.

High Wind Watch from Sunday morning through Sunday afternoon for
the following zones... NMZ533>538.

High Wind Watch from Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon for
the following zones... NMZ523-524-526-539-540.

Winter Storm Watch from Saturday evening through Sunday afternoon
for the following zones... NMZ510-513-514.

&&

$$

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