Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 191903 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
103 PM MDT WED OCT 19 2016

Upper level trough sliding ewd through the northern and central
Rockies today with west to northwest winds aloft over NM. North to
south surface pressure gradient will keep north winds going
through the day with gusts to 30kt possible across the northeast
and east-central plains. As surface high pressure builds into
eastern CO and northeast NM tonight, east to southeast winds will
develop into the mid RGV including KABQ and KSAF after 06z. Gusts
to 35kt possible at KABQ btwn 11-16Z Thursday. Dry low layers will
keep upslope stratus clouds lcl along the east slopes of the
central mtn chain.



A cold front will drop temperatures across much of northern and
western New Mexico up to 10 degrees below yesterdays readings.
Breezy to locally windy conditions are expected behind the front
this afternoon across the plains, and tonight in the Albuquerque
Metro area below canyons. Cool temperatures will persist on
Thursday, but the warm-up will occur quickly Friday through the
weekend. Precipitation is still not expected until early next week
as a weak shortwave trough crosses the state.


Trough moving across Colorado today will send an associated front
southward into NM. The two-tiered frontal invasion (both traditional
and back-door frontal segments) will cool temperatures up to another
10 degrees below yesterdays readings across much of northern and
western NM. Otherwise, main story with this dry frontal passage will
be some breezy to locally windy conditions both across the eastern
plains this afternoon and overnight in the Albuquerque Metro area.
In ABQ, this would mainly occur below canyons as the back door front
pushes thru the central mtn chain. There was some concern of a
freeze across the Santa Fe Metro area tonight, but the latest
guidance keeps temps just above freezing. Additionally, Santa Fe
is about a week past their average first freeze date, therefore, no
freeze watch will be issued for NMZ518.

The back door segment of the front will continue to push westward on
Thursday into AZ. The easterly flow across the plains will continue
to keep temperatures cool with most areas a few degrees below
normal. Western areas should be at or just above normal. However,
the cooler temps will be short-lived. Upper level ridging will build
in over the Land of Enchantment on Friday as surface winds veer
around to the southwest thanks to a developing lee side trough. All
areas will see above normal temps on the order of 5 to 10 degrees.

The upper level ridge shifts quickly eastward on Saturday, but
locally breezy southwesterly flow at the surface will remain.
Temperatures will continue to climb through the weekend with no
precipitation in sight until early next week.

As an upper low organizes off the WA/OR coast, a weak shortwave
rounding the main low will cross NM on Tuesday. It looks to bring
some Pacific moisture with it, which should result in at least
isolated to scattered showers and thunderstorms. The northwest half
of the state has the best chance at receiving some precipitation,
but some low level return flow across the plains combined with some
weak lift from the shortwave may be enough to spark a storm or two
across the east.



No significant changes to the forecast into the weekend. Therefore
dry conditions to persist with mt top winds moderating and becoming
more northwesterly tonight. A strong ridge of high pressure aloft
builds Friday and Saturday.  Another cold front will continue the
cooling trend today and Thursday with highs within a few degrees of
normal. A warming trend expected Friday and Saturday with
temperatures topping out Sunday.

Main concerns will continue to be related to the lack of moisture as
well as vent rates. Pockets of fair to poor rates inhabit the north
and west today.  Despite cooler temperatures, there will continue to
be areas of fair to poor humidity recoveries tonight, focused over
the west. Poor recoveries are forecast for the northeast Friday and
Saturday nights.

The cold front will move southward today with the back door segment
dominating tonight and potentially pushing into the Rio Grande
valley after midnight. Models wishy-washy suggesting that the wind
may not be true northerly or easterly into the RGV. Timing of onset
of an east wind would be suspect as well, but went ahead with one
starting in the ABQ metro around 3am, with gusts to around 35 mph in
the vicinity of canyons. The tighter sfc gradient appears farther
south however so winds may be stronger south of the metro and into
Socorro county.  A decent low level east to west gradient is
forecast for Thursday so an overall southeast sfc wind over central
NM appears likely, while mt top winds become south to southwest and
fairly light, leading to areas of poor vent rates Thursday north and

Winds aloft diminish Friday, with widespread poor vent rates
forecast. There will be some improvement Saturday but poor rates to
dominate the RGV and northwest. Fair to poor rates anticipated
Sunday for much of the forecast area.

Southwest to west winds may return early to mid next week as the
upper ridge is suppressed or shunted eastward. Still a tough call
but the GFS has reverted back to producing more precipitation Monday
and Tuesday west and central while the ECMWF seems a bit wetter but
timing similar to the GFS. The ECMWF continues it`s trend of
rebuilding the ridge by mid week, while the GFS preference is for a
muddled pattern.





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