Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 231145 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
545 AM MDT TUE AUG 23 2016
12Z TAF CYCLE
SH/TS will fire up by 18z across NW and SC areas and eventually
expand in coverage as the aft progresses. Shortwave trough will
lead to this destabilization. Impacts are likely at GUP/FMN so
went will VCTS and tempo SH/wind impacts at those terminal sites.
The next tier of impact is expected at SAF/AEG/ABQ but only used
VCSH at this time. ROW is a wildcard located and expect some hit
and miss storms near that terminal site. Some of the storms could
produce brief vis/cig restrictions at that location. Will only use
VCSH at this time for ROW. Look for updates accordingly. Gusty
outflow wind/downdrafts will be the biggest concern with gusts
between 30-40 kt.
.PREV DISCUSSION...357 AM MDT TUE AUG 23 2016...
While there will be some day to day variation the active weather
pattern will continue through the upcoming weekend. Somewhat less
shower and storm coverage should be the case today compared to
Monday, especially so across the Gila region and into a good
portion of central New Mexico. Most likely, as it looks
currently, we should see a significant uptick in far northeast
New Mexico as well as across the Gila on Wednesday with the
greatest coverage of showers and thunderstorms over the Thursday
to Friday period. A back door cold front and upper trough will
be the main impetus in the marked activity increase for the latter
half of the work week. Moisture will recycle during the weekend
though a richer pool of moisture may intrude into into some
portion of south NM. It still looks as though significant drying
will occur early to mid week next week.
An upper level trough over AZ today will slowly drift east into
northwest NM late today and perhaps decelerate further still
across the state Wed. Enough atmospheric instability and
recycling moisture will help ensure a healthy crop of showers and
thunderstorms across the nw quarter to third of the state, while
locales farther south should see a modest to moderate downturn in
shower and storm numbers. Did add mention of small hail and gusty
winds to roughly nw third due to trough approach and given its
tumultuous history well to our west Mon, though its dynamic punch
should be a little less today. Also, added the same plus heavy
rain potential wording to roughly se quarter of the fcst area,
roughly in line with SPC marginal risk area.
Back door cold front still looks on track to reach ne NM later
Wed, pushing south and west that night and into the Rio Grande
Valley late Wed night or Thu morn. The added low level moisture it
will bring will likely engender a significant increase in shower
and storm coverage Thu and probably Fri with locally heavy rain
and at least a slight to moderate increase in localized flash
A southerly low level flow between Fri and early Sun may drag even
deeper/richer moisture into at least south NM so that area may
need extra special attention due to at least the possibility of an
increased heavy rain threat. This scenario though is not shared by
all the mid to longer range fcst models so we shall see.
A drying trend may begin Sun, then intensify roughly the first
half of the work week. High pressure off Baja CA is forecast to
build toward NM and hang out for at least awhile over the four
corners area by midweek next week.
No major changes to the gridded forecast. Models appear to be
settling in on a downtrend in the thunderstorms today but increasing
activity Wed/Thu. Some residual wetting storms would continue Friday
into the weekend. Mid range models appear to be a little more
bullish with the drying across the west...especially NW on Sunday.
Models are also bullish for the drying trend next week due to a
stronger subtropical high developing over the area.
Current satellite imagery shows a drier wedge of air over central
portions of the state. Low level moisture levels remain high. The
parent shortwave located over southern NV and northern AZ will nudge
closer to the state today and provide increased storm coverage
across the NW third. A secondary area of increased coverage would be
found across far SE portions of the fire forecast area. Some wetting
rain will occur but the footprint should be less overall...compared
to yesterday. Due to the mid level drying across central
areas...downdrafts/outflow winds should be stronger or more
prolific. Humidity values will trend lower while temperatures will
trend higher. High temps will remain a few to several degrees below
normal across the western half while near to a few degrees above
normal across the east. Wind speeds will be less overall across the
east compared to yesterday but still be breezy at times due to a
residual lee side surface trough. Storm motion will remain on the
quicker pace with movements towards the ENE. Residual higher
ventilation rates expected today.
As mentioned above...storm activity will go on the increase Wed/Thu.
This is due to the combination of the shortwave trough passage and
back door cold front. The cold front is expected to slide into the
eastern plains Wed aft/eve. Wetting rain footprints will increase
and favor central areas and the northeast half during the two day
period. Went a little above model dewpoint/humidity guidance across
central/eastern areas to account for this shortwave/cold front
interaction. Main wind component during this period would be tied to
the cold front and gap winds along the central mtns. Humidity values
will rise...especially across the eastern two thirds of the area.
Vent rates will lower during this period although more so on Thu
compared to Wed.
Storm activity would go into recycle mode Friday and last into the
weekend. Temperatures are expected to warm. Models are bullish with
more significant areawide drying on Sunday. This is when the
footprint of wetting rain should noticeably drop off.
A drying/warming trend would continue through next week due to a
strengthen upper level high over the area. Past couple of GFS model
runs has placed the upper high center more over NM versus a little
further west with earlier runs. This jives with the latest ECMWF.
Confidence is still low to moderate based on the past several weeks
but is starting to increase some. Temps would get back to above
normal areawide with lowering RH values and small footprints of
wetting rain. Perhaps a good period for burning although transport
wind speeds would be lower if the upper high center is found over