Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 181730 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1030 AM MST Sat Feb 18 2017
18Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions prevail, with lowering VFR cigs forecast then
deteriorating conditions overnight. MVFR cigs will develop tonight
across western New Mexico with the onset of precipitation and may
briefly lower to IFR at KFMN/KGUP early Sunday morning. Brief MVFR
cigs in rain also possible Sunday morning at KABQ, KAEG and KSAF.
Mountain obscurations will develop late today and become widespread
overnight into early Sunday.
.PREV DISCUSSION...214 AM MST Sat Feb 18 2017...
A couple of disturbances will impact NM through next week. The first
system will bring widespread lowland rain and mountain snow showers
to western NM tonight into Sunday night, along with moderate breezes
and cooler conditions. The second upper trough will zip across NM on
Thursday. Much less precipitation will fall from it, but winds will
be much higher and temperatures much cooler. In between the two
storms temperatures will be well above normal Tuesday and Wednesday.
Winds will not be too strong and it will be mostly dry, although
showers will develop Wednesday over the northwest.
A ridge of high pressure will shift to our east today as a trough of
low pressure moves onto the west coast. A good deal of mid and high
clouds will cross NM today, with clouds lowering in the west and
showers developing. They will be mostly in the form of rain today,
except for the highest mountain peaks. Snow levels will fall tonight
and Sunday, as the trough moves across AZ tonight and NM Sunday. Snow
amounts will be light to moderate and confined to the mountains.
Enough snow will fall to produce winter weather advisory for a few
zones. For now, we will only issue one for the upper Gila Region of
the Southwest Mountains tonight through Sunday. The Jemez and San
Juan mountains will probably need an advisory as well, but much of
their accumulations will be Sunday into Sunday night. So, will hold
off on a third and fourth period advisory with later shifts likely
issuing the advisories. Highs will be above normal again today across
most of the area. It will be cooler Sunday, below normal in the west,
near normal central areas, and a little above normal in the east.
Moderate breezes will develop over the west today then spread to the
The trough will move east of NM Monday, leaving the area dry and
mostly sunny. Temperatures will again climb above normal in most
areas. Northwest flow aloft will tighten behind the trough and mix
down to the surface, producing some strong winds Sunday night and
Tuesday looks to be the nicest day of the week with dry conditions,
lots of sunshine and mild temperatures. Winds will be noticeably less
Wednesday will also be mild but clouds and winds will be on the
increase across the west. A very weak short wave trough will zip
across the state Wednesday, perhaps generating a few rain and high
peak snow showers in the northern mountains.
A little stronger short wave trough will cross Thursday and bring us
plenty of wind but not too much precipitation. Winds will be strong
from the central mountains to the TX border, reaching high wind
warning criteria in some areas. Mountain snow showers and lowland
rain showers will be confined to the northwest third of our forecast
area. Temperatures Thursday will tumble downward by 10 to 15 degrees.
Friday will be dry with less wind, but chilly with highs below
normal. Saturday should be dry and milder with increasing winds. The
next trough will approach Sunday with precipitation developing
Saturday night in the northwest.
Ahead of the next storm system, which will impact the state late
tonight and Sunday, abundant mid and high level clouds are streaming
across the state this morning. These clouds are expected to thin
this afternoon, allowing for some sunshine, and continued above
normal temperatures. Daytime humidities will not fall as far as
yesterday across the northeast plains. However, breezy southerly
winds can be expected areawide today.
This evening, precipitation will begin across the west central
highlands and spread north-northeast through the overnight hours
into Sunday morning. Snow levels will initially be around 8000 feet,
dropping toward 7000 feet by sunrise Sunday. The second batch of
precipitation will arrive Sunday afternoon spreading from west to
east. Areas across north central and northwest NM may not really
see a break between the first and second batch of precipitation.
Snow levels should persist around 7000 feet through Sunday, but the
greatest snow accumulations will remain above 8000 feet. Around 2 to
6 inches of snow can be expected, with locally higher amounts across
the San Juan Mtns. Meanwhile, lower elevation locales across western
and central NM should see good wetting rains. Eastern NM will not
see much, if any, precip from this event. The Pacific front will
quickly rush from southwest to northeast early Sunday, resulting in
strong downsloping winds Sunday afternoon.
Precipitation will come to end Sunday evening and shortwave ridging
will build in for Monday. Below normal high temperatures across much
of central and western NM on Sunday will quickly rebound on Monday.
One change from yesterday is the strength of the winds expected late
Sunday night and Monday behind the system in west to northwest flow.
Increased wind speeds considerably for this time period. Areas from
the Sangre de Cristo Mtns, southward to the Manzanos, and eastward
toward Santa Rosa, Conchas and Yeso will see the strongest winds
with gusts near 45 mph likely. 700 mb winds, or mtn top level wind
speeds, near 50kts are depicted by the models.
Looks like ridging will persist on Tuesday, and Tuesday should be
the nicest day of the week in terms of not much wind and
temperatures 5 to 20 degrees above normal. Daytime humidities will
be near 15 percent along the Texas border.
The ridge will flatten on Wednesday and Thursday as a storm system
slides to the north of NM. The system will bring a little
precipitation to northern NM, but the bigger story will be the winds
on Thursday. Very strong to potentially damaging winds are forecast,
particularly along and east of the central mountain chain.
Widespread critical fire weather conditions will be possible across
the plains as well as the Rio Grande Valley.
Good to excellent vent rates are expected today and Sunday for most
of the area. Vent rates will trend downward on Monday, particularly
across northern and western NM where pockets of poor ventilation is
expected. Poor ventilation is expected for most areas on Tuesday,
before improving again on Wednesday and moreso Thursday.
Winter Weather Advisory from 6 PM this evening to 6 PM MST Sunday
for the following zones... NMZ508.