Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 201814 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1214 PM MDT Sun Aug 20 2017

Sub-tropical upper low over the NM bootheel will continue lifting
north- northeastward this afternoon and overnight. Sct-numrs showers
and thunderstorms will continue to develop through afternoon with an
organized circulation of convective precipitation expected by early
evening. Convection will continue most areas overnight with areas of
MVFR to IFR cigs/vsbys in light to moderate precipitation. Best
chances for -TSRA/TSRA expected across eastern NM this afternoon
through approx 21/06Z. As the low ejects northeastward Monday
morning, drier air will move in from the southwest, reducing areal
coverage of lower and mid level cigs.



.PREV DISCUSSION...1113 AM MDT Sun Aug 20 2017...
The latest radar, satellite, and model trends suggested shifting the
focus of the more persistent showers and storms today farther east.
Also increased pops within the south-central high terrain and lower
Rio Grande Valley. Unfortunately models have really diverged on how
the precip pattern will evolve tonight. Will need to examine latest
near-term model runs later in the day to get a better idea how things
will take shape into Monday. Temps may also be 1-3 degrees cooler
than current forecast for today.



.PREV DISCUSSION...300 AM MDT Sun Aug 20 2017...
Showers and thunderstorms will be widespread today
through early Monday as generous monsoon moisture moves over New
Mexico. Locally heavy rainfall and possible flash flooding will
favor central and eastern New Mexico. A slight decrease in storm
coverage is expected Monday afternoon and Monday night. A frontal
boundary on Tuesday may lead to another surge in storm activity by
Tuesday night. A wet pattern persists for mid to late week as an
upper disturbance passes over the state. Western New Mexico may be
drier next weekend but the east will continue to be affected by
passing disturbances and frontal boundaries. High temperatures this
week will remain below normal.

Model differences make placement of highest pops and rainfall
amounts somewhat low confidence for the next 24 to 36 hours. Heavy
rain may favor the southwest and along the Contdvd initially before
shifting to the central mountain chain and eastern plains later this
afternoon and tonight. GFS not as wet as the NAM12 with forecast
rainfall amounts and have some doubts about that and areal coverage
contained in QPF grids. Think QPF might be underdone over the
eastern plains where there is a swath of higher rainfall forecast
but the 06Z NAM12 is trickling in with a much different areal
coverage pattern. Otherwise, the far northwest looks to have the
least chance for recording some rain the next 24-48 hrs.

After the upper low passes Monday, the remainder of the day should
be a little less active, as well as Tuesday, at least initially
before a front sparks more activity Tuesday night central and east.
An upper high circulation will be centered somewhere close to El
Paso or the Bootheel midweek, before being suppressed by an ejecting
weak upper trough. This results in another surge of convective
activity Wednesday night into Friday before the high center regroups
over the Great Basin Saturday/Sunday. The west should see fewer
showers and storms, while the east will stay active. High
temperatures this week will remain near to below while lows will be
near to above normal.


Deep layered sub-tropical moisture will continue to stream northward
today between a developing cut-off low along the southern CA coast
and resident upper high over southeast TX.  The more important
player in the near-term will be a mid-level wave/soon-to-be closed
low that was centered about 100 miles south of Douglas, AZ. Nice
looking inflection point becoming better defined per latest mid-
level water vapor channel imagery. Models generally track this
feature NNE to central or west-central NM by early evening/03Z with
the GFS farthest west(south of GUP) while the ECMWF is farthest east
(west of ABQ). Thereafter, model solutions diverge even more on the
timing/placement of this feature with the GFS still farther west and
slower than either the ECMWF or NAM that have the remnant
circulation exiting the northeast corner of NM Monday midday or
early afternoon.

Numerous organized, slow-moving storm clusters are likely along and
east of the above mentioned track where the deepest sub-tropical
moisture will get drawn northward and contribute to locally heavy
rainfall. A more westward track would strongly favor the Rio Grande
Valley, but either way areas east of the Divide to the east slopes
of the central mountain chain look primed for fairly widespread
footprints of 0.50" to 1" rainfall totals next 24-36 hours with
locally higher amounts expected.  This will impact areas that have
been hard hit since 1 August and localized flash flooding will be a
concern.  Active showers and thunderstorms,  much more than this
past night, will continue Sunday night into early Monday.

Ample moisture looks to remain in place Monday and Tuesday for
decent rounds of showers and thunderstorms although high pressure
aloft should recenter more over south-central and southwest NM
during this period. Seems the GFS is reverting to its tendency to
dry things out too quickly for Tuesday particularly with 500mb
heights building over the area.  Next backdoor cold front slated to
push into northeast NM Tuesday evening before sagging west and south
through early Wednesday. This should further bolster moisture
profiles going into mid-week beneath an upper high that should
remain centered over southwest NM.  Meanwhile, the southern CA low
should finally open up late week and provide a window of enhanced
convection Thu/Thu PM and possibly Fri before a drying trend
commences next weekend.  KJ





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