Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 250543 AAB
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1143 PM MDT Fri Mar 24 2017

.AVIATION...
06Z TAF CYCLE

Clear skies and VFR conditions are currently in place across most of
New Mexico, the exception being near the Sangre de Cristos and the
upper Rio Grande valley where some localized low ceilings/fog could
expand through the morning hours. Winds have drastically subsided,
and while some breezes are expected Sat afternoon, gusts should be
limited to about 25 to 30 kt, mostly in the higher terrain. Some
increasing mid to high lvl clouds will also be observed, but VFR
conditions will prevail.

52

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...340 PM MDT Fri Mar 24 2017...
.SYNOPSIS...
Strong winds and lingering snow flurries central and east
to slowly diminish this evening while skies clear from west
to east. Some colder and more seasonal temperatures tonight
with potential for near to below freezing lows over the
Northwest Plateau, Upper and Middle Rio Grande Valley. Saturday
will be warmer under a brief ridge of high pressure aloft
although a few showers could develop across the northwest in
the afternoon. Showers will spread over the north Saturday night
and exit later Sunday as the next system passes overhead. Winds
may be gusty at times also. Temperatures will be closer to average
through Monday before a stronger storm system impacts the region,
and highs fall to below average west and central. Unsettled
weather will continue through the end of next week.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Snow/wind event continues to taper off this afternoon. Winds have
decreased from the RGV westward enough to cancel the wind
advisories for that area, but left remainder of the wind
highlights intact. Will allow remaining Blizzard warning to
expire at 4 pm also. It will be colder tonight, with some areas
such as the Northwest Plateau, Upper RGV and possibly valley areas
of the middle RGV near freezing, but that`s actually closer to
what should be expected for the season. A special weather statement
was issued earlier to highlight this, and especially considering the
unsettled weather lined up for the next 7 days or so.

Saturday should be warmer for most areas, but a few showers not out
of the question in the northwest in the afternoon, as the next system
approaches from the west. This one looks to be drier as it skims the
northern border of NM Saturday night/Sunday, but the winds look to
increase again west and south, but nothing like we just experienced.
Forecast precipitation amounts fairly meager for the nrn high
terrain and seems reasonable given the forecast track. Northwest
winds will be increasing Sunday central and east, with potential for
spotty wind advisory criteria being met as the system exits to the
east of the state.

The next and more substantial system will be moving into wrn NM
Monday night. There could be a dryline setup near the ern NM/wrn TX
border and some instability associated with the closed upper low, so
went ahead and put some thunderstorms in the wx grids. Temperatures
will yo-yo as well, with highs 5 to 10 degrees below average Tuesday
over the west. With this system, there will be better potential for
high terrain snowfall west and north.

Yet another system, which appears more dynamic than the Tuesday one,
is forecast for late next week. Rain, snow, wind and thunderstorms
will be possible.

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
A potent early spring storm system exiting northeast NM late today
dropped tremendous snowfall over portions of the northern mountains
eastward along the Raton ridge. Amounts ranged from 4 to 8" in the
upper Rio Grande Valley to between 16 and 22" over the Sangre de
Cristo Mts. This was a much needed addition to dwindling snowpack
after a prolonged period of record warmth. Melting will likely
impact boundary layer humidities for several days. Despite the cold
advection in place behind the departing low, high temps have still
managed to rise above normal over much of central and western NM.
Red flag conditions are not really panning out within the middle Rio
Grande Valley as winds tapered off a bit sooner than anticipated.
The eastern plains are still very windy with a grass fire reported
in the Grady area of Curry County. A hard freeze is likely over
lower elevation areas of northern NM that have not seen one in a
couple weeks.

A very active weather pattern will continue for at least the next 7
days with lots of yo-yo`ing of temperatures, wind, and precipitation
chances as several storm systems traverse NM. A shortwave ridge will
crest over NM early Saturday morning then break down through late
afternoon. Winds will quickly turn back around to the southwest and
be breezy to locally windy within central NM, including the Rio
Grande Valley. Marginal critical fire wx conditions are likely for
several hours however even with forecasting winds above guidance the
coverage was too spotty to warrant a Red Flag Warning. Coordination
with NWS El Paso and SPC was also key in this decision. Winds remain
elevated into Saturday night as the next upper wave crosses northern
NM. Light snowfall accums are likely in the northern mts.

Winds will be windy again Sunday behind the departing wave with
another shot of cooler and drier air. The main focus for a more
solid area of critical fire wx will be over southeastern NM. A back
door front will slide down the plains behind this wave and introduce
a north wind shift through Monday morning. A brief period of zonal
flow will develop Monday with more windy conditions and above normal
temps areawide. Min humidity values will likely warrant at least
marginal critical fire wx conditions with more substantial mixing
expected.

Yet another impressive upper level wave is shown to carve out near
the Four Corners region then shift slowly southeast across NM into
Wednesday night. Not much precip is shown with this system but more
cloud cover, scattered showers, cooler temps, and higher humidity is
likely. No rest for the weary as a potentially major storm system
develops over the state next Friday and Saturday.

42

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
None.

&&

$$



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