Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 211811
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1211 PM MDT Fri Apr 21 2017
18Z TAF CYCLE
MVFR/IFR cigs near KCAO will gradually dissipate toward the early
aftn period. Meanwhile, VFR cond will prevail with moderate NW flow
areawide. Stronger/advisory level winds will favor the EC Plains with
sfc gusts ranging from 25-35kts for most terminal sites. MVFR/IFR
cond will redevelop across the eastern plains overnight behind
another back door cold front that will shift winds E/NE for terminal
sites along and east of the central mtn chain. The front will stall
along the mountain chain Sat before pushing westward toward the
ConDVD...developing gusty east canyon winds for KABQ Sat evening.
.PREV DISCUSSION...254 AM MDT Fri Apr 21 2017...
Cooler air has started to filter in to northwest New Mexico this
morning, thanks to a storm system moving southeast through Colorado.
Winds will increase today, continuing to transport cooler air in from
the northwest. As the system moves east out over the Central Plains
tonight, a backdoor cold front will surge south through eastern New
Mexico, pushing west to the AZ line Saturday. High temperatures
Saturday east of the central mountain chain will range from 5 to 15
degrees below average. Near average temperatures are forecast central
and west. A warming trend will get underway across all but the
southeast plains Sunday. This warming trend will continue early next
week along with the likelihood of increasing winds.
Pacific cold front currently pushing sewd through the northwest
third or so of the state early this morning. This front is associated
with an upper level trough moving east through the central Rockies.
Lingering convection across the northeast plains expected to push
east of the area by around sunrise. The Pacific front will continue
sewd through the day, resulting in cooler temperatures and breezy to
windy conditons. Models agree that the upper level trough sliding
east-southeast through CO today will close off and move east over KS
tonight. A backdoor cold front on the backside of the closed low will
push south through eastern NM tonight, then west through central and
western NM Saturday. This feature will result in areas of upslope
stratus clouds east of the central mountains along with below average
high temps. Central and western areas will remain near average.
A warm up will get underway Sunday underneath an upper level ridge.
The ridge slides east late-day Sunday and zonal flow aloft becomes
the rule through Wednesday. High temperatures Monday and Tuesday will
range from 5 to 15 degrees above average, cooling slightly by
Wednesday. This warmth will allow the strong west winds aloft to mix
downward each day. Breezy to windy conditions look likely for all
areas through at least Wednesday.
Models agree that a broad upper level trough will develop essentially
across the entire country Wednesday. Model solutions begin to
diverge Wednesday night and Thursday. ECMWF sends a closed low
ewd through northern NM Wednesday night while the GFS develops and
keeps a closed low over Utah. Confidence is high with regard to a
pattern change to cooler conditions for mid next week and beyond but
remains low with regard to precipitation timing and placement. Both
GFS and ECWMF still have quite the potent Pacific cold front moving
through the region Thursday or Friday.
Additionally, the recent warmth has resulted in a rise of higher
elevation creeks, streams and rivers. Of particular note is along
the Rio Ojo Caliente south of where the Rio Vallecitos and Rio Tusas
join to form the Rio Ojo Caliente. The river forecast keeps the Rio
Ojo Caliente near minor flood stage (7 feet) through Tuesday night
with peak levels and flow expected during the late afternoon and
early evening when snow melt is greatest.
A Pacific cold front will push across the area today, with gusty
west to northwest winds combining with very low humidity, above
normal temperatures, excellent mixing and Haines of 5 to 6 to
produce critical fire weather conditions. However, cold air
advection associated with the front will preclude critical fire
weather conditions across the Northwest Plateau, so will drop the
warning there. The warning for the Middle Rio Grande Valley is
looking a little on the weak side as well, but will hold onto it for
now. The backdoor portion of the cold front will spread from east to
west across the area Saturday through Saturday night and provide a
short-lived cooling/moistening trend for much of the area. The front
will mix out of western New Mexico by Sunday afternoon, where
elevated fire weather conditions are forecast with a dry and
unstable atmosphere as the westerlies punch back in.
A critical fire weather pattern is setting up for Monday, with
forecaster confidence on the uptrend. Widespread Haines of 5 to 6
with very high mixing heights, well above normal temperatures and
many hours of single digit relative humidity are forecast with windy
conditions. Poor humidity recovery will follow Monday night, but
Tuesday is looking a little iffy in terms of critical conditions
with clouds forecast to move in from the northwest. If anything,
critical conditions on Tuesday may be limited to south central and
east central portions of the forecast area. Clouds will definitely
be a limiter on Wednesday, with moisture advection underway as the
jet stream dips further south along the west coast and swings toward
The jet stream will carve-out a deep trough/low going into late next
week that will bring chances for wetting precipitation and below
normal temperatures to the region. Both the 00z GFS and ECMWF
operational runs show this troughing pattern developing, but differ
on the timing/evolution. The take-away is relatively high forecaster
confidence on this pattern change, but lower confidence in the
details for late next week at this time.
Red Flag Warning until 8 PM MDT this evening for the following
Wind Advisory until 6 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...