Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 202335 AAA
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
435 PM MST Tue Feb 20 2018

.AVIATION...
00Z TAF CYCLE
Winds slowly subsiding over the Sacramento/Capitan/Guadalupe
mountains in south central portions of the state. Showers continue to
diminish with only sprinkles and flurries expected this evening.
Occasional MVFR/IFR ceiling and visibility reductions will be
possible in western and central NM tonight, especially near the
higher terrain where mountain obscurations will be persistent. But
western and central TAFs expected to remain VFR tonight. As the cold
front in the northeastern plains sags farther south and west tonight,
widespread batches of low stratus clouds are expected to expand over
eastern New Mexico with more persistent MVFR to IFR ceilings and
perhaps some freezing fog. This will impact KLVS, KTCC and KROW.

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...334 PM MST Tue Feb 20 2018...
.SYNOPSIS...
New Mexico will remain in the storm track through at least the
weekend with rain and snow primarily confined to western and
northern New Mexico. Accumulating snow is likely in the western and
northern mountains Wednesday night into Thursday morning. Temperatures
will remain below seasonal averages through the week as reinforcing
shots of cold air move in. Moderate to locally strong southwest winds
are forecast to increase across southern and eastern New Mexico
Thursday through Friday as another Pacific storm system approaches.
Snow returns to western and northern New Mexico Friday night and
Saturday.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Upper level trough axis remains over UT and AZ this afternoon with
southwest flow aloft over NM. An associated backdoor cold front is
currently pushing southward through eastern CO. This front will
continue to push south into eastern NM this evening, surging wwd into
the mid RGV after midnight. Moderate east winds (15-25mph) in the
ABQ metro will likely break through Tijeras Canyon 3-4am and continue
through noon or so, mainly impacting the I-40 corridor from Tramway
and Central area west to the Sunport.

Weather prediction models agree that the next short-wave in the
long- wave trough over the wrn U.S. will lift newd from AZ Wednesday
night into Thursday morning. Accumulating snow is likely across
western and northern NM Wednesday night, shifting ewd to the upper
RGV and northern Sangres Thursday morning. Still looking like
advisory snow amounts for the northern mountains and valleys and most
likely for the Hwy 550 corridor from San Ysidro to Aztec. Main
question at this point is whether or not enough snow will fall along
the I-40 corridor between Grants and Gallup to warrant travel
impacts. 18z NAM12 forecast for 700mb temps of -9C would suggest that
an impact to travel is likely.

Another weak wave slides from sw to ne Thursday, continuing areas of
light snow across the north along with increasing winds for
locations south of I-40 and east of the central mountain chain. Next
wave is forecast for Friday night into Saturday morning with areas of
light snow across western and northern NM. Brisk northwest flow
aloft behind Saturday`s trough could result in windy conditions from
the central mountain chain east to the central and northeast
highlands Saturday night and Sunday.

Both the GFS and ECMWF indicating the possibility of a sub-tropical
moisture tap for yet another upper trough/low for early next week.
Keep em` coming.

33

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Unsettled weather is still ongoing over much of NM as one
disturbance exits with a train of subsequent perturbations taking
shape upstream. Breezy to windy conditions will periodically impact
the state over the next several days, but bouts of cloud cover and
cooler temperatures should limit the threat for critical fire by
traditional definitions. Overall, wind speeds will decrease this
evening, but a cold front will briefly produce some gusts along its
leading edge as it spills farther into the plains. Overnight RH
recoveries will be good to excellent in most areas of the state
tonight into early Wednesday morning.

Spotty light showers will be possible on Wednesday with breezy
conditions developing over most of the highland and mountain areas,
and cooler than average temperatures will prevail. Precipitation
will become more widespread into Wednesday night and Thursday,
mostly in northwestern to north central NM, as the one short wave
trough rolls through the longer wave feature blanketing the western
states. Winds will also increase a bit Wednesday, and this should
keep smoke ventilation rates elevated outside of the eastern plains
before increasing more into Thursday.

The core of the longer wave trough will deepen upstream of NM into
Friday, spreading new batches of precipitation into northwestern
parts of the state. Similarly to previous days, Friday`s winds will
be strongest along a corridor stretching from the southwestern
mountains to the northeast highlands.  Temperatures in the plains
will finally reach closer to normal on Friday with RH dropping to
less than 20 percent, still above critical thresholds. The trough
axis will then overtake NM into Saturday, and as it sweeps the
associated cold front over the state, strong west northwest flow
will accompany. Despite the cooling temperatures, RH is pegged to
drop to critical levels in the eastern high plains Saturday
afternoon. Slightly warmer temperatures will then be observed both
Sunday and Monday.

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
None.

&&

$$



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