Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 170547 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1147 PM MDT Sat Sep 16 2017

Plume of moisture across sern NM to be shunted ewd as upper trof
tracks into Great Basin and sw winds aloft strengthen. Isold tstms
may persist through 18Z before becoming scattered over the northeast
half of NM. Sfc fnt from vcnty KRTN-KCAO-KDHT at 05Z to progress
south and wwd to KAXX- KCQC- KCVS line by 18Z then may mix back to
the east. Isold strong to severe tstms with large hail and wnd gusts
to 50kt may develop over ne and east central NM as the front


.PREV DISCUSSION...349 PM MDT Sat Sep 16 2017...
Drier southwesterly flow aloft has limited thunderstorms across
northern and central New Mexico today. A weak cold front will back
into northeastern New Mexico on Sunday, leading to a few more
scattered storms, some of which may turn strong to severe.
Thereafter, a drying trend is expected through the middle of next
week with temperatures running near normal in western and central
parts of New Mexico and readings climbing slightly above average in
the eastern sections of the state.


Several perturbations aloft are noted across the conterminous U.S.
on satellite water vapor imagery this afternoon, most of which will
not directly have impact or heading on NM in the near term. The
closest one, over southern CA will lift northeastward into Sunday,
potentially giving some weak ascent into NM as it tracks north of the
state. A surface cold front is inching toward the northeast corner
of the state with higher dewpoints northeast of the boundary, and
this will be the primary weather trigger over the next 24-36 hours.

Any showers or storms this evening in the central zones will likely
remain weak, producing more gusty winds than rainfall while a few
stronger storms persist over the southeastern to east central plains
through the evening.

The front on Sunday could provide enough directional shift to the
boundary layer winds, that better bulk shear will be realized within
the lower half of the troposphere. This will couple with decent lapse
rates and convective energy for a few strong to severe cells within
the vicinity of the frontal boundary, most likely draped near I-40
in eastern NM and bending toward the Sangre de Cristos by late

Westerly flow aloft will be the rule on Monday with no blatant short
waves embedded in the flow. Drier conditions should be at work on
Monday with surface winds veering more southwesterly in most zones.
Temperatures will close to average in western zones, and just above
in eastern ones Monday.

Deeper pressure falls will occur over the northern Rockies into
Tuesday as a trough organizes inland. This will continue to steer a
drier airmass into NM with PWATs dropping too low to support any POPs
Tuesday or for Wednesday for that matter.

Any tropical moisture from storm Norma will stay south of the
forecast area until perhaps Thursday and Friday when it gets sent
into the eastern NM zones in a modified fashion. Through this time a
second and deeper mid latitude trough will slide over the western
states, sufficiently forcing new areas of precipitation over the
north central to northwestern zones. Some semblance of this pattern
lingers into Saturday before the trough/low begins to overtake the



Westerlies have mixed down to a few locations thus far this
afternoon. Bdry layer mixing has been intermittent and stubborn in
the RGV, where breezier westerlies have been very inconsistent. The
HRRR, wrf, and NAM12 have all been showing at least a few showers
moving into the ABQ metro area later this evening, and with several
METARS still showing SE winds along the Bosque, this is looking more
and more likely to occur. A few storms have fired off the Sacramentos
and are quickly moving to the NE with outflow bdries likely to keep
precip chances going over the east-central plains this evening.

Sunday will see a continued southerly push of sfc moisture into the
eastern plains and RGV as Norma continues to inch N and the upper
high over the Gulf slides further W into Mexico. A shortwave trough
over southern CA will also weaken and move NE into the Four Corners
area Sunday helping to spark sct showers and storms over ctrl and
eastern NM. With the help of a backdoor front moving into the
eastern plains early Wednesday, replenished sfc moisture, upslope
flow and enough shear could produce a few isold severe storms over
the NE plains Sunday afternoon.

Strong zonal flow sets up over NM Monday with sfc moisture lingering
around in the RGV and E. plains, however the drying trend begins
Monday night into Tuesday. MinRH`s will drop into the low-mid teens
across the west, expanding east Tue. The strongest westerly winds
will be Tue afternoon when the pressure gradient is strongest as a
trough moves over the northern Rockies. Stronger winds combined with
the lower RH`s could lead to a few to several hrs of critical fire
conditions over the west and east-ctrl plains. Dry weather persists
Wednesday with a weak backdoor front possibly reaching into far
eastern NM. Weaker winds will be the limiting factor for any
critical fire conditions Wed. By the end of the week another deep
trough looks to dig into the Pacific NW, with a decent return flow
replenishing sfc moisture over eastern NM. This would give rise to
healthy rounds of afternoon convection over eastern NM, while
keeping western NM dry for the end of next week into next weekend.

Ventilation rates remain good to excellent through the forecast
period, with the exception of behind the backdoor front Tue over the
NE plains. MixHgts trend down Mon-Wed, being their lowest Tue with
the passage of the deep trough over the northern Rockies.

As for Norma, models remain consistent with this morning`s earlier
runs, now lingering it around the southern tip of the Baja. This
would move it into cooler waters weakening the system substantially
and limiting any beneficial moisture it might provide to NM when it
finally looks to be absorbed into the zonal flow over northern
Mexico by mid-late this coming week.





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