Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 220605 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1205 AM MDT Wed Mar 22 2017
06Z TAF CYCLE
East wind shift progressing westward over eastern NM will make it
into the Rio Grande Valley around 08Z. Low confidence on gap wind
speeds for KABQ and KSAF but some guidance is indicating a brief
burst with gusts of 25 to 30kt. Will be closely monitoring short
term trends for TAF amendments. Model soundings continue to show
MVFR cigs developing thru 12Z behind the front. No indication yet
on satellite but upstream observations suggesting cigs may hover
on the VFR/MVFR threshold. Surface humidities progged in the 90
to 100% range also suggest some fog but MOS guidance limited in
that respect. Once current challenges pass the main focus will be
increasing southwest winds with gusts up to 30kt for most of the
.PREV DISCUSSION...309 PM MDT Tue Mar 21 2017...
Changes are on the way as our exceptionally warm and dry conditions
come to an end later in the week into early next week. Three storms
will impact the Land of Enchantment through early next. The first
one is fast approaching the west coast. It will strengthen and slow
as it reaches NM Thursday night then take all day Friday to cross
the state, with a closed low over the TX Panhandle Friday evening.
The second storm will cross NM quickly on Sunday. The third system
will arrive Tuesday of next week.
Another warm and dry day across NM although cooler air has filtered
into northeast NM behind a back door cold front. This front has made
it south through Clovis but has stalled. It will gather speed again
tonight and push farther south and west. Low clouds could form behind
the front in northeast and east central areas tonight. There could
even be a little light rain in the Des Moines and Capulin area.
Our first in a series of storms will come on shore the west coast
Wednesday, then deepen and slow as it meanders toward the state
Thursday, crossing NM Thursday night with a closed low of around 548
dm near the NM, CO, OK, TX borders. A surface low will also deepen
significantly to around 995 mb in the same location. This vertically
stacked low will produce strong winds around it. They will peak over
eastern NM Thursday afternoon.
Prior to this, dry conditions and well above normal temperatures are
forecast again Wednesday, although not as toasty in the east as some
cooler air filters in overnight behind the front. Winds will pick up
with moderate breezes across central and northeast areas Wednesday.
A few rain showers and high peak snow showers may develop Wednesday
night over the northwest.
A potent Pacific cold front will sweep across the state Thursday with
a big cool down in the west, up to 25 degrees lower than Wednesday.
Breezy to windy conditions will be common, with strong winds possible
in the east. Precipitation will expand east Thursday and Thursday
night, then linger over the northern mountains and northeast Friday.
Snow levels will drop to around 6000 or 7000 feet Thursday night
into Friday but snow amounts should be light, with several inches
of snow confined to the high peaks of the western and northern
mountains. The cold air will continue to plow east Thursday night
with a much cooler day in the east on Friday.
Saturday will be dry and milder with NM between systems. The second
system will be faster, impacting the state Saturday night and Sunday.
areas well north of I-40 will have a chance at some precipitation
during this time, but mostly light rain and snow amounts. Sunday will
be cooler in most areas as well.
The models go their separate ways with the third storm. The CMC is
much farther south, taking a closed low across far southern NM
Tuesday night and Wednesday. The GFS is farther north and a bit
faster, taking a closed low across northern NM Tuesday night. The
ECMWF has a weak short wave zipping by Monday night, then has a
deepening closed low over the four corners region late Wednesday
and with the upper low crossing northern NM Wednesday night and
Thursday. Bottom line is we are going into a pattern change with
cooler and more unsettled weather expected late this week through
Breezy conditions continue this afternoon with high based cumulus
developing over much of the area. Temps continue to be well above
normal with records possible again this afternoon. A weak back door
cold front over the northeast and east central plains will surge
south and westward this evening and overnight. Behind the front,
dewpoints will rise and it is expected that abundant low clouds
and/or fog will develop over much of the east as humidity recoveries
near 100%. The front should nudge up to the central mountain chain
and perhaps weakly squeak through the central mtn chain into the
Santa Fe and ABQ metro areas. West of the central mtn chain, poor to
fair humidity recoveries will be common.
An approaching storm system will increase southwesterly flow over NM
on Wednesday. Winds will increase into the breezy category nearly
areawide, with a corridor of stronger winds stretching from near
Socorro north-northeastward toward Las Vegas and Raton. This is the
area of concern for critical fire weather conditions Wednesday
afternoon. Across the plains, the moisture associated with the front
overnight will not mix out completely, thus humidities should stay
above 15 percent. However, in the corridor of stronger winds,
humidities should fall between 6 and 15 percent, with several hours
of single digit RH noted near and south of ABQ. Haines remain high
as well. Will keep the Fire Weather Watch as is for now, and let the
night crew take a look to see how the front progresses overnight.
The storm system is still set to cross NM on Thursday at which time
moisture across the plains will mix out and a new batch of moisture
will move into the west along and behind a Pacific front. As for the
east, continued dry conditions, with above normal temperatures and
high haines will be forecast. Additionally, winds will increase
further with gusts near 50 mph common. Thus, widespread critical
fire weather conditions are expected for the plains. Meanwhile,
across the west, the front will usher in cooler temperatures and
additional moisture. Winds will quickly change from southerly or
southwesterly to westerly as the front moves through. Some areas of
wetting precipitation is expected for northern and western NM, with
snow possible across the highest terrain. Temperatures will cool
below normal across western locales.
A bigger temperature tumble will be felt on Friday across the
plains. High temps will be near normal area wide. Additionally, very
strong northerly winds on the back side of the system are expected
across the plains. Gusts near 60 mph will be possible, especially
across the northeast. Strong northwesterly winds will be possible
elsewhere. Some wrap-around precip may linger over the north as
Lighter winds and temperatures creeping back up above normal are in
store for Saturday as shortwave ridging moves overhead. Another
storm system looks cross northern NM on Sunday. Some light
precipitation is expected for the north, while winds increase
elsewhere. Critical fire weather conditions will again be possible
for the east central plains. An active pattern looks to persist into
Ventilation will drop into the poor and good categories across the
plains on Wednesday behind the front. Excellent vent rates are
expected elsewhere. Excellent ventilation is expected for the
remainder of the week.
Fire Weather Watch from Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday
evening for the following zones... NMZ103-106-107.
Fire Weather Watch Thursday afternoon for the following zones...