Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 250602

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1202 AM MDT Thu May 25 2017

Strong west southwest surface winds will develop on Thursday as upper
level trough north of NM causes the flow aloft to strengthen. A
surface trough will also develop in the lee of the Sangre de Cristos
causing some of the strongest winds to develop along the east slopes
of the central mountain chain. Surface winds will decouple from the
strong flow aloft as a low level temperature inversion develops
tonight. Then, winds will become strong again on Friday; though not
quite as strong as today`s winds. Otherwise, VFR conditions are
expected for the next 24 hours.



.PREV DISCUSSION...308 PM MDT Wed May 24 2017...
A Pacific storm system will dive southward out of western Canada and
provide gusty winds and dry conditions to northern and central New
Mexico Thursday through Saturday. A few showers will be possible across
the far northeast Saturday into Saturday night as a back door cold
front slides in. Temperatures will peak on Thursday and be above
normal areawide, then gradually lower each day into the weekend. The
cold front is expected to push moisture further west on Sunday with
residual impacts into next week. This means a daily round of showers
and thunderstorms favoring the higher terrain areas and generally
below normal high temperatures.


Made very little changes to the near term forecast. Pretty straight
forward as the system over western Canada dives southward. The strong
mid level wind gradient associated with the Pacific trough will
begin to move over the forecast area tonight and expand/strengthen
on Thursday. We are getting a few grid boxes of advisory level wind
speeds for Thursday but didnt think it was worthy enough to throw out
a wind advisory at this time. Will let the midnight shift have one
more look at that. The strongest mid level gradient will sag
southward on Friday as the trough digs a bit more. Gusty winds will
remain favoring southern areas on Friday. Critical fire weather
conditions are expected both days but especially on Thursday.

The Pacific trough is expected to dig even further south on Saturday
and lead to some possible showers across the far NE. This digging
trough would be associated with a surface cold front as it dives
southward into New Mexico. The front is expected to push all the way
to the AZ state line and perhaps beyond Sunday into much of next

All eyes will be on the potential cut off low next week that the
extended models are showing off the southern CA/Baja coast. Models
have struggled some with this cut off low which is to be expected so
the duration of the moisture intrusion into the forecast area will
be largely dependent on the strength, duration and position of this
low. The current GFS run is stronger and a tad closer to NM thus
bringing more moisture into the area next week. The ECMWF is a bit
weaker and further to the west thus lessening the impact of the low
on NM. Decided to continue to go with the Super Blend PoP field which
seems to favor the GFS solution. We are expecting more cut off lows
this spring and the eastern equatorial Pacific remains active with
daily rounds of deep convection. That gives more credence to the
forecasted pattern. The only caveat is that storms are usually a bit
drier further west and the GFS is showing wet results at this time.
We shall see!




A ridge of high pressure building in from the SW is keeping skies
clear with a warming and drying trend across New Mexico today. The
rest of today will be a soft preview of increasing dry westerly flow
producing critical fire conditions across western and central New
Mexico Thursday and Friday. Temperatures climb another 5-10F mainly
across the eastern plains Thursday with breezy to windy west winds
through the afternoon. Several hours of single digit RHs coupled
with wide coverage of Haines 6 and Mix Hgts up to 18,000` will
greatly support Red Flag conditions across the western highlands,
middle Rio Grande Valley through to the TX border. Critical fire
conditions also exist across much of the northern mtns and NE
plains, but have continued to withhold issuing warnings there due to
relatively high soil moisture and vegetation green up in those

A trough will pass to the N of New Mexico Friday helping to lower
temperatures a bit, but will still be well above normal. Westerly
winds also die down a few notches compared to Thursday, however
widespread Haines 6, high mixing hgts and several hours of single
digit RHs will continue to support critical fire warnings again

Dry weather persists into Saturday however winds die down
substantially as the trough moves out of the region to our north.
Elevated fire conditions are likely across western and central
portions of NM, but the lighter winds will be the limiting factor
for critical fire conditions. A backdoor front is prog`d to slide
down the eastern plains overnight into Sunday morning lowering
temperatures. Mixing Hgts fall as well as vent rates to poor to fair
across the state Sunday. The GFS and ECM are in more agreement with
the 12Z run on southerly return of sfc moisture across the state
Monday. There are some differences on just how far west this push of
sfc moisture will be with the GFS taking it to the continental
divide and the ECM only to the central mtn chain and central valley.
How far west will determine will affect the coverage of afternoon
thunderstorm activity for the early parts of next week.


Red Flag Warning from 11 AM to 9 PM MDT Thursday for the following
zones... NMZ101-105>109.

Red Flag Warning from 11 AM to 9 PM MDT Friday for the following
zones... NMZ105>109.


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