Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 300011
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
611 PM MDT MON AUG 29 2016
00Z TAF CYCLE
Abundant moisture is in place along and E of the central MT
chain, where low clouds and some fairly persistent precipitation
will probably produce areas of MVFR and IFR conditions. There are
some differences between the mesoscale models, but the east slopes
of the central MT chain, SE plains and E central plains are
favored for convection. Some models suggest the flight category
restriction may last through much of the day Tuesday. W of the
central MT chain spottier showers and storms will generally
diminish with sunset. In the ABQ area gusty E canyon winds driven
by thunderstorm outflow could necessitate an Aviation Weather
Warning for wind gusts to 35 KT at the Sunport this evening.
.PREV DISCUSSION...338 PM MDT MON AUG 29 2016...
An upper level low pressure system weakening over New Mexico will
still continue to generate showers and thunderstorms through late
tonight. The heaviest rainfall is expected over the eastern plains.
Southerly flow will increase over the state Tuesday through Friday
as high pressure over the lower Mississippi river valley moves west
into Texas. This will allow for a potential significant increase in
the coverage of thunderstorms with heavy rainfall. A drying and
warming trend is possible by the weekend.
The center of upper level low pressure along the NM/CO border is
weakening and drifting westward. A well-defined axis of moisture
extends from this low southward to a remnant convective cluster
north of Puerto Vallarta. Low level winds have shifted to the
southeast and are advecting deeper moisture westward into central
NM, as evidenced by gap winds at KABQ and increasing dewpoints. As
was mentioned on previous discussions, abundant cloud cover and cool
temps have limited instability across the plains today, and storm
coverage is very slow to develop. Near-term high res guidance is
still very bullish with developing an axis of very heavy rainfall
tonight across southeast NM. Not all guidance members agree on this
area of rainfall so confidence is just not high enough to support a
Flash Flood Watch. However, the evening/overnight shift will need to
monitor closely. For now, have likely/definite POPs in the area and
mention heavy rainfall in weather grids.
Tuesday through Friday will feature upper level high pressure over
the lower MS river valley drifting westward toward NM. Models are
still not in good agreement on how the tropical disturbance over MX
will shift northward along the western periphery. The GFS is still
very wet Wednesday through Friday for central and western NM. The
NAM remains focused over eastern NM Wednesday and the ECMWF is
wet for southern NM. Essentially went with a blend of the guidance
and coordinated boundaries with surrounding forecast offices. Will
continue to mention the locally heavy rainfall to account for lack
of greater confidence.
There is still no improvement in extended forecast guidance with
respect to the approaching trough from the west by the weekend. The
GFS indicates much drier air moving in on rather breezy southwest
flow. This would allow for stronger diurnal temperature swings with
min temps quite chilly across the north and west. The ECMWF solution
is again out of phase with respect to storm coverage. Will show a
slow decrease in storm coverage through this period.
Moisture will be be most abundant for much of the week across the
east half of the state and, at least from tonight into Wed, it
looks like that region will see the most significant rainfall from
waves of showers and thunderstorms. There should be some increase
in showers and storms west half Tue and Wednesday, but overall
wetting rain footprint size and actual amounts will mostly be
greater east than west. That may change Thu when the west may be
the more favored area, though not all fcst models agree on that just
yet. As much as 2 to 4 inches of rain may tally up through Thu or
Fri across primarily the southeast third of the fcst area. Even very
locally up to 5 inches or so may be realized at just a few spots
there. Elsewhere in the east amounts through the aforementioned time
period should reach a minimum of three quarters of an inch to an
inch on the low end of the range to nearly 3 inches on the high end.
Western locales will see considerably lover amounts overall, also
with less overall coverage, at least through Wed.
While little precip is forecast for the far northwest corner
of NM through Wed, nighttime RH recoveries will range from good to
very good while elsewhere in the very good to excellent range. This
general trend should continue into at least Fri if not Sat night.
Wind speeds will be in the light to at most moderate range with the
exception of the usual stronger but relatively brief thunderstorm
outflows. the one exception to this scenario will be some locally
strong easterly gap winds below canyons into the Rio Grande Valley
between roughly 6 pm and 1 am tonight and to a lesser degree again
Tue night. Fairly high RH levels will preclude any critical fire wx
conditions. Haines values are expected to be mostly at 3 or less
through at least Sat. Ventilation values will range from poor to
fair through Thu with some patchy good rates mainly west. Rates will
improve thereafter through the weekend.