Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 222345 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
545 PM MDT THU SEP 22 2016

Aviation wx impacts to ramp up this period. First, fast moving
SHRA/TSRA to impact mainly central to north-central NM this
evening with motions generally toward the NE at 25kts. Main
concern will be outflow wind gusts to 45kts although very brief
MVFR cigs and mt top obscurations cannot be ruled out. SHRA/TSRA
activity should wane mid to late evening before the focus shifts
to a potent upper level low expected to reach central UT by
daybreak Friday. Associated cold front will punch into the Four
Corners region extending southwestward shortly after midnight
between 08Z- 10Z. A narrow but potentially impactful band of
SHRA/TSRA likely to develop along this frontal boundary with the
most significant pre- dawn impacts at FMN and GUP where brief MVFR
cigs possible. The front and best precip chances will then
progress eastward Friday with widespread windy conditions
developing with gusts to 30-40kts especially east-central to
northeast NM. KJ


A stout low pressure system moving over the western United States
will usher in some moisture over New Mexico through the evening with
scattered showers and thunderstorms possible, mainly in the
central sections of the state. An associated cold front will
advance eastward into New Mexico on Friday, kicking off
additional showers and thunderstorms before setting temperatures
back a few degrees. Storms will be most common in central to
northwestern parts of New Mexico Friday. A drier day is expected
Saturday with near to slightly below normal temperatures
prevailing. Stronger winds will arrive Sunday as a second segment
of the cold front arrives from the east.


Best ribbon of higher mid to upper level moisture is stretching
south to north over central New Mexico. While healthy surface
dewpoints are in place, this mid level moisture and the large
scale ascent ahead of the western U.S. low will be the primary
catalysts for storm development this evening. With a decent
700-500mb flow, steep temperature lapse rates, and sufficient
CAPE, a few organized to strong cells will be possible with small
hail, gusty downburst winds, and brief heavy downpours.

A lull or dry slot will reside west of this ribbon of better mid
level moisture, continuing to work into western NM overnight, but
the Pacific front will be encroaching toward daybreak Friday. The
front will provide sufficient lifting processes due to
frontogenetic forcing with a secondary ribbon of better moisture.
Expect a broken line or band of showers and thunderstorms,
oriented from the SSW to NNE to trek across western NM Friday
morning, losing steam and moisture as it gets toward the central
mountain chain. POPs have been somewhat limited in the eastern
plains zones Friday afternoon, as the front would likely have
difficulty overcoming moisture limitations and downsloping. Have
currently built in mostly isolated coverage toward the TX
panhandle border. The other noteworthy element will be winds, as
speeds could reach close to wind advisory status in the
northeastern quadrant of the state for a couple hours. For now,
will hold off on advisory issuance due to the brevity and

A drier spell is expected on Saturday as the primary upper low
lifts northward into MT/ND. Cooler and drier Pacific maritime
airmass will continue to filter into NM then, while a secondary
vort lobe dives south toward NM. Temperatures will run 5 to 10
degrees below normal in the western zones and closer to average in
the east.

As the aforementioned secondary vort lobe comes into NM, most
forecast models hint at signs of it deepening and cutting off
Saturday night. The operational GFS member is the least enthused
about this, basically an outlier, and even the GFS Ensemble mean
indicates a cut-off low over southwestern NM. Have leaned the
forecast toward the NAM/SREF/GFSEnsemble. Still the finer details
of the precipitation distribution is very ambiguous as a high
variance exist amongst these members. Look for generally an
initially favored sector in SE NM with expansion across the
remainder of the southern tier of the state into Monday.

Would expect the remnants of the cut-off low to eventually ease
northeastward into late Tuesday and Wednesday, likely dragging
some sparse precipitation along with it, but dynamics would be
limited. This would point toward a subsident and drier pattern for
the end of the work week, but this is a very low confidence
outlook, given the cut-off low scenario which is routinely
mishandled by forecast models.


Scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue the rest of the
afternoon into the evening across central areas, with greater
emphasis along the central mountain chain. Storms will travel
northeast around 15 to 25 mph. Expect moderate showers with
occasional to frequent cloud to ground lightning and gusty outflow
winds. Storms will lessen as they move east of the central mountain
chain overnight but coverage will refocus across western areas as a
Pacific cold front heads toward the state. Meanwhile, expect breezy
to gusty south-southwest winds elsewhere. Look for good to excellent
overnight recoveries.

Friday...Expect daytime highs west of the central mountain chain to
drop 5 to 10 degrees below normal followed by increasing west-
southwest winds central and east with scattered showers favoring the
north central mountains; all followed by invasion of the Pacific
cold front. Drier air will follow behind the front lowering Min RH
values to 35 percent and below areawide. Overnight lows will also
drop to freezing, below freezing values across the northern and
western mountains. Winds look to be the strongest Friday especially
across the northeast plains where values will reach advisory levels
but for a short duration. Winds will gradually taper down overnight
but remain breezy across mountain peaks.

Saturday will definitely feel like fall with temps remaining 5 to 10
below normal while Min RH values fall below 20 percent central and
east. By Sunday, a secondary upper level low will drop southward
over the state developing a back door cold front that will increase
shower chances east and south while developing gusty northeast winds
central and east. We could see a period of gap winds along the
central mountains Sunday morning before washing out mid afternoon.

Forecast confidence going into next week is low because of major
differences in the GFS and Euro models. If the GFS model goes as
plan, upper level ridging will build over the Great Basin allowing
drier and warmer conditions to persist toward the week`s end. If the
models move toward the Euro, the upper low pushing south will become
a cut off low, hovering over the Southwest region filtering sub
tropical moisture northward.

Ventilation will be good to excellent Friday, with a downtrend
across the south central mountains Saturday, improving central and
east Sunday before falling to poor values central and west Monday.





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