Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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000
FXUS65 KABQ 261901 AAC
AFDABQ

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM
1201 PM MST THU FEB 26 2015

.UPDATE...
UPDATE TO THE WINTER STATEMENTS HAS BEEN ISSUED...AND A QUICK
UPDATE TO TODAY`S POPS AND WEATHER ELEMENTS IS ALSO BEING PUSHED
OUT. OVERALL...FORECAST IS ON TRACK...JUST TRIED TO FINE-TUNE THE
ADVISORIES AND WARNINGS. HAVE OPTED TO GO WITH AN ADVISORY IN THE
ALBUQEURQUE METRO AREA WITH SHADOWING EFFECTS FROM THE EAST CANYON
WIND STILL EXPECTED TO BE A LOCAL LIMITER FOR SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS...DESPITE SOME SIGNIFICANT MESOSCALE BANDING
DEPICTED ON THE NAM AND LOCAL HIGH RESOLUTION WRF MODELS. HAVE
TRIED TO SIMPLIFY THE STATEMENTS FOR THE SANGRES AND NORTHEASTERN
ZONES...JUST EXTENDING THEM INTO TONIGHT AND FRIDAY DESPITE A LULL
IN PRECIPITATION THIS AFTERNOON.

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&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...1125 AM MST THU FEB 26 2015...
.AVIATION...
18Z TAF CYCLE
EXPECT WIDESPREAD IFR TO LIFR CONDITIONS ACROSS EASTERN AND
CENTRAL PORTIONS OF THE FORECAST AREA. LVS/TCC WILL BE IMPACTED
MOST WITH SAF/ROW ALSO BEING IMPACTED. GAP WINDS WILL CONTINUE
THROUGH MOST OF THE 24 HR PERIOD. GUSTS TO 35 KT POSSIBLE THIS
EVENING AT ABQ. POSSIBLE AWW DUE TO THE GUSTY WINDS DURING THE
EVENING. -SN WILL EXPAND WESTWARD TONIGHT INTO FRI ACROSS
WESTERN/CENTRAL PORTIONS OF THE AREA. IFR/MVFR CONDITIONS DUE TO
SN IS EXPECTED AT ABQ/SAF/AEG AND EVENTUALLY GUP. THE BIGGEST
FORECAST CHALLENGE WILL BE DETERMINING SN AND WIND IMPACTS AT ABQ.
POSSIBLE AWW DUE TO SN AT ABQ LATER TONIGHT BUT GUSTY EAST WINDS
AND RUNWAY TEMPS COULD COMPLICATE MATTERS.

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...355 AM MST THU FEB 26 2015...
...SNOW TO BECOME HEAVY ACROSS CENTRAL AREAS TONIGHT THEN VERY
HEAVY ACROSS THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS AND NORTHWEST HIGHLANDS THIS
WEEKEND...

.SYNOPSIS...
A CONTINUOUS PARADE OF DISTURBANCES WILL CONTINUE TO MARCH ACROSS
NEW MEXICO FROM THE NORTHWEST THROUGH THE FIRST HALF OF THE COMING
WEEK. SNOW SHOULD DECREASE IN COVERAGE AND INTENSITY ACROSS THE
NORTHERN MOUNTAINS AND EASTERN PLAINS THIS AFTERNOON. THEN A
STRONG DISTURBANCE WILL CROSS TONIGHT WITH PERIODS OF HEAVY SNOW
ACROSS THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL MOUNTAINS AND ADJACENT LOWLANDS.
SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATION COULD ALSO SPREAD EASTWARD DOWN THE
INTERSTATE 40 CORRIDOR TO THE TEXAS BORDER TONIGHT. SNOW IS
FORECAST TO DECREASE ACROSS EASTERN AREAS BY FRIDAY
AFTERNOON...BUT IT MAY CONTINUE ACROSS THE NORTH CENTRAL AND
NORTHWEST HIGH TERRAIN INTO EARLY NEXT WEEK. THE NEW SNOW THAT
ACCUMULATES ACROSS THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL HIGH TERRAIN TODAY
THROUGH THE WEEKEND WILL BE MEASURED IN FEET...WITH THE POTENTIAL
FOR STRUCTURAL DAMAGE IN THE MOUNTAINS NEAR THE COLORADO BORDER
DUE TO HEAVY SNOW.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
THE ONGOING WARNINGS AND ADVISORIES LOOK ON TRACK.

EXPANDED TONIGHTS WINTER STORM WATCH SOUTHEASTWARD ACROSS EASTERN
LINCOLN...DE BACA AND ROOSEVELT COUNTIES. GFS AND ECMWF WERE IN FAIR
AGREEMENT ON A MORE NORTHERLY SPREAD OF QPF BULLS EYES...BUT THE
06Z GFS DRAWS THEM FARTHER SOUTH LIKE THE NAM. THERE IS ENOUGH
UNCERTAINTY TO KEEP THE SACS AND CHAVES COUNTY OUT OF THE WATCH
FOR NOW...BUT HEAVY SNOW COULD IMPACT THOSE AREAS TOO. THE BULK OF
THE SNOW WITH TONIGHTS SYSTEM SHOULD FALL BEFORE
SUNRISE WITH LIGHTER AMOUNTS LINGERING INTO THE MORNING HOURS
ACROSS THE PLAINS. BUT...AS ELUDED IN THE SYNOPSIS...THE ONGOING
TRAIN OF STORM SYSTEMS SHOULD KEEP SNOW GOING ACROSS THE NORTHERN
AND CENTRAL HIGH TERRAIN THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

A DEEP UPPER LEVEL LOW PRESSURE SYSTEM WILL DROP SOUTHWARD THROUGH
THE GREAT BASIN THIS WEEKEND WITH FAVORABLE DYNAMICS FOR A STREAM
OF MOISTURE TO PERSIST FROM WEST CENTRAL TO NORTH CENTRAL NM IN SW
FLOW ALOFT. THIS WILL BE A WARMER FLOW THAT WILL ALLOW SNOW LEVELS
TO LIFT ABOVE 7000 FEET ACROSS MUCH OF THIS AREA BY SATURDAY
AFTERNOON...AND POSSIBLY ABOVE 7500 FEET BY SUNDAY AFTERNOON.
THEN THE UPPER LOW WILL OPEN INTO A TROUGH AND SHIFT EASTWARD OVER
NM SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY...LOWERING SNOW LEVELS.

ANOTHER DEEP UPPER LEVEL TROUGH IS FORECAST TO DROP SOUTHEASTWARD
ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUNTAIN STATES MONDAY THROUGH WEDNESDAY KEEPING
THE LIKELIHOOD OF ACCUMULATING SNOW IN THE FORECAST ACROSS
NORTHERN...CENTRAL AND WESTERN AREAS.

NOT SURPRISINGLY...BELOW NORMAL HIGH TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED FOR
THE NEXT 7 DAYS.

44

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
ACTIVE WEATHER PATTERN TO CONTINUE THROUGH THE FORECAST PERIOD.

CURRENT STORM SYSTEM IMPACTING EASTERN NM WITH SNOW...SOME RAIN AT
THE ONSET OF THE PRECIPITATION IN CHAVES AND SOUTHERN ROOSEVELT
COUNTIES. THE SNOW WILL DIMINISH BY AFTERNOON. THE BACK DOOR COLD
FRONT ASSOCIATED WITH THIS SYSTEM HAS PRETTY MUCH MADE IT THROUGH
THE EASTERN PLAINS AND PRESSED UP AGAINST THE EAST SIDE OF THE
CENTRAL MOUNTAIN CHAIN. IT WILL OOZE INTO THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY
TODAY THEN STRENGTHEN QUICKLY THIS EVENING...ESPECIALLY IN ABQ.
THERE WILL BE NO WIDESPREAD POOR VENT RATES TODAY...WITH GOOD TO
EXCELLENT VALUES IN THE WEST AND FAIR TO GOOD IN THE EAST. HIGHS
TODAY WILL BE 20 TO 30 DEGREES BELOW YESTERDAY ACROSS THE EAST
WHICH IS AROUND 30 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. MINIMUM RH VALUES WILL BE
UNUSUALLY HIGH ACROSS THE EAST TODAY. RH RECOVERIES TONIGHT WILL BE
EXCELLENT.

THE NEXT UPSTREAM SHORT WAVE TROUGH WILL SWING SOUTHEAST THROUGH
NM TONIGHT AND MOVE EAST FRIDAY. WITH THE COOLER AND MORE MOIST AIR
POURING INTO THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY TONIGHT SNOW WILL EXPAND WEST
WITH WIDESPREAD SNOW TONIGHT INTO FRIDAY. VARIOUS WATCHES...WARNINGS
AND ADVISORIES ARE IN EFFECT. WE WILL ADD A COUPLE MORE ZONES TO THE
WATCH THIS FORECAST PACKAGE. VENTILATION WILL LOWER ON FRIDAY THANKS
TO LOWER MIXING HEIGHTS. HUMIDITY VALUES WILL AGAIN BE UNUSUALLY
HIGH...THIS TIME ACROSS THE ENTIRE AREA WITH THE MUCH COOLER THAN
NORMAL AIR MASS. HIGHS ACROSS THE EAST FRIDAY WILL BE AN IMPRESSIVE
30 TO 40 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL.

THE FOCUS FOR PRECIPITATION WILL SHIFT TO THE WESTERN AND CENTRAL
AREAS DURING THE WEEKEND AS A MORE POWERFUL PACIFIC LOW TAKES SHAPE
TO OUR WEST. THIS LOW WILL BE SLOW MOVING AND SHOULD TAP INTO SOME
HIGHER SUBTROPICAL MOISTURE. SNOW LEVELS WILL EVENTUALLY RISE AS
THE WARMER AND MORE MOIST AIR FLOWS UP OVER THE STATE. OROGRAPHIC
LIFT ALONG THE MOUNTAINS WILL PROVIDE BENEFICIAL WETTING MOISTURE
THAT WILL FAVOR THE WESTERN AND NORTHERN MTNS. THE NE HIGHLANDS AND
PLAINS SHOULD BENEFIT FROM MOIST AIR FLOWING OVER A COOLER DOME
FOUND NEAR THE SURFACE. HUMIDITY VALUES WILL REMAIN QUITE HIGH
ALTHOUGH TEMPERATURES WILL MODIFY SOME. HIGH TEMPS SHOULD REMAIN
BELOW NORMAL HOWEVER. AREAS FOUND ALONG THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE
WESTWARD AS WELL AS CHAMA AND THE SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS SHOULD DO
REALLY...REALLY WELL. CONFIDENCE FOR THE WEEKEND THROUGH EARLY NEXT
WEEK EVENT IS QUITE HIGH...ESPECIALLY IN REGARDS TO LIQUID WATER
AMOUNTS. THE TYPE OF PRECIPITATION WILL BE THE MAIN QUESTION AND WE
SHOULD BE ABLE TO NAIL DOWN SNOW LEVELS AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE
EVENT PERIOD.

THE NEXT IN THIS SERIES OF STORMS WILL BE STRONGER AS IT ARRIVES IN
THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FRIDAY AND DEVELOPS A CLOSED LOW ALONG OR JUST
OFFSHORE OF CA THIS WEEKEND. THIS SLOW MOVING STORM WILL TAKE UNTIL
MONDAY TO REACH NM...ALTHOUGH IN A WEAKENED STATE. STILL...WITH LOTS
OF TIME FOR DEEP MOISTURE TO GET PULLED INTO THE STATE...THERE WILL
BE A TON OF PRECIPITATION OVER THE WESTERN AND NORTHERN MOUNTAINS.
A FEW FEET...NOT INCHES...OF SNOW IS LIKELY OVER THE SOUTHERN SAN
JUAN MOUNTAINS BY THE END OF MONDAY. ANOTHER BACK DOOR COLD FRONT
WILL ENTER EAST AS WELL LATE THIS WEEKEND PROVIDING THIS AREA THE
CHANCE OF SOME SNOW AS WELL. CONFIDENCE FOR THIS SYSTEM IS AT LEAST
MODERATE ALTHOUGH DETAILS WOULD MOST LIKELY VARY AS WE GO FORWARD.
VENTILATION LOOKS TO BE PRETTY GOOD THIS WEEKEND AND EARLY NEXT WEEK
BASED ON PROJECTED HIGHER MIXING HEIGHTS AND TRANSPORT WINDS. THE
EXCEPTION WILL BE THE EAST ON SATURDAY WITH LOTS OF FAIR TO POOR
RATES. HUMIDITY VALUES WOULD REMAIN ON THE HIGH SIDE WHILE THE
TEMPERATURES...ALTHOUGH HIGHER...WILL REMAIN MOSTLY BELOW NORMAL.

CHJ

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO NOON MST FRIDAY
FOR THE FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ524-526-536-537-539.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL NOON MST FRIDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING
ZONES...NMZ530-533>535.

WINTER STORM WARNING UNTIL NOON MST FRIDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING
ZONES...NMZ512>516-527>529-531-532.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 5 PM MST FRIDAY
FOR THE FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ517-519.

WINTER STORM WARNING FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING TO 5 PM MST FRIDAY FOR
THE FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ510-511-518-521>523.

WINTER STORM WATCH FROM LATE FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH SUNDAY AFTERNOON
FOR THE FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ510-511.

&&

$$

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