Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 221147
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
447 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017
12Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions expected at all TAF sites through the next 24 hours.
Strengthening wly flow at mt top levels next 24 hrs with sfc lee side
trough developing. Increasing amounts of cirrus and mid level clouds
from west to east over NM during this time. Expect lcl sfc wind
gusts to around 35kt to 40kt KLVS and KTCC this afternoon. Northern
mt rain and snow showers today and tonight with ocnl mt top
.PREV DISCUSSION...331 AM MST Wed Feb 22 2017...
The warming trend will continue today in most places as southwest
flow aloft strengthens ahead of an approaching upper level trough.
Surface winds will become strong across west central and northeast
areas, where gusts in the 40 to 50 mph range will be common this
afternoon. Many locations will approach or break high temperatures
records this afternoon. There will also be a chance for showers and
thunderstorms, some with little or no rain, across central and
western areas this afternoon. Winds will strengthen further Thursday
as the jet stream moves overhead, with gusts from 40 to 60 mph across
much of the area east of the continental divide. Fire weather
concerns will accompany the wind Today and Thursday, mainly in the
east. In addition, a Pacific cold front will cross Thursday causing
temperatures to plummet through Friday before rebounding this
weekend. A deeper upper level trough will cross from the west late in
the weekend and early next week with more wind and another chance
A long wave trough will gradually shift eastward over the northern
and central Rockies through the latter half of the week with some
shortwave troughs dipping southward into northern New Mexico. These
will bring a chance for showers and thunderstorms mainly to central
and western areas today, central areas tonight, then to the northern
mountains and northwest highlands Thursday morning. Precipitation
amounts should be on the light side due to a moisture deprived
atmosphere. New Mexico will be in a deep and gusty warm sector ahead
of the jet stream until it finally crosses tonight through Friday.
The 700 mb flow is forecast to bring a broad swath of 50-70 kt winds
over much of the forecast area tonight into Thursday, when surface
winds should be strongest and most widespread. High temperatures
should fall around 7 to 17 degrees below Wednesdays warm readings on
Thursday, then another few to 15 or so degrees on Friday. Winds will
be breezy to windy again across the east on Friday as the tail end of
the jet streak gradually exits.
In the wake of the long wave trough zonal flow aloft will develop
through Saturday, keeping winds gusty and allowing temperatures to
Early next week another upper level trough will cross gradually from
the west with more wind and a chance for precipitation.Western and
northern areas have the best chance for rain showers and mountain
...CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS TODAY AND THURSDAY...
No significant changes to the current forecast. Red Flag Warnings
(RFW) remain as is with much of the east in a warning today and all
of the east as well as the middle/lower Rio Grande Valley Thursday.
Some differences today and Thursday to the parameters and their
impact on the RFW. Today will be much warmer, more unstable and have
much higher mixing heights compared to Thursday. Strong winds will
be much more widespread and with higher speeds Thursday compared to
today. But enough ingredients are in place both days for significant
critical fire weather conditions.
Mid and high clouds will stream across northern NM today and could
hold down temperatures and winds a bit in zones 103 and 104, but
still think critical conditions will be reached, especially from I
25 on east. These clouds will produce some rain and high mountain
snow showers today. With LI values 0 to -1 and 700mb to 500mb lapses
rate around 8 degrees C we will continue with the dry thunderstorms
in the forecast for the northern, central and western high terrain
and perhaps even in Albuquerque. Highs will be way above normal
again today with more record highs likely in the east. Min RH values
will be 10 to 15 percent in the warning areas today. A couple of
hours will be below 10 percent in the far northeast.
Thursday will be the stronger wind day with a very strong mid level
jet racing across on the state. A classic dry slot will also develop
following the cold frontal passage and lead to rock bottom dewpoints
and low RH. Single digit humidity shows up across the east central
plains for a few hours Thursday. Mixing heights and haines values
will be lower on Thursday although mixing heights still appear to be
high enough to promote some instability...especially with the ample
Friday will be a much cooler day behind the cold front. Temperatures
will be below normal area wide. Strong winds and low humidity will
impact a large portion of the plains with a little single digit RH
values showing up on the east central plains. The unusually dry
airmass will continue Friday and even into Saturday. Locally gusty
winds will also continue on Saturday creating some strong wind and
low RHs across the east. No single digit relative humidities are
forecast for Saturday, though. Even though critical fire weather
conditions will be reached across much of the east Friday and a
little bit in the northeast Saturday, the below normal temperatures
and generally low or very low haines values with preclude the
issuance of any fire weather watches at this time.
The strong zonal wind flow aloft will start to back to the southwest
Sunday and continue to do so early next week. A series of short wave
troughs passing to our north will generate some moistening across
the west and north. This will result in showers and mountain snow
showers Sunday through Tuesday. Temperatures though will increase on
Sunday and Monday especially over the east, where highs will once
again climb above normal Sunday and much above normal Monday. The
warmer and dry conditions will combine with some strong winds Monday
to produce critical fire weather conditions on the east central
The strongest trough will cross NM Tuesday with gusty winds, cooler
temperatures and higher RH values. Widespread showers and mountain
snow showers Tuesday will be followed by dry weather on Wednesday
with high temperatures cool and below normal.
Wind Advisory from noon today to 6 PM MST this evening for the
following zones... NMZ502-505-506-515-523-527>534.
Red Flag Warning from noon today to 6 PM MST this evening for the
following zones... NMZ103-104-108.
Red Flag Warning from noon to 7 PM MST Thursday for the following
High Wind Watch from Thursday morning through Thursday afternoon
for the following zones... NMZ515-521-523-526-528-529-531>534-540.
High Wind Watch Thursday afternoon for the following zones...