Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 030601 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1101 PM MST Fri Dec 2 2016

Upper level low continue to dive southward into MX late this eve.
A mix of rain and snow showers have developed across the southwest
mtns and lower RGV and continues to move northward. Strong gap
wind continues at KABQ and will likely keep most of the showers
out of the area, though light winds at KAEG may mean a better
chance for snow impacts there through sunrise. Elsewhere, light
snow continues across portions of NE NM, though this will decrease
through 12Z as the low dives southward. Best chances for precip
thru 12z will be south of I-40, then persisting thru much of
Saturday across the southeast plains to include KROW and perhaps
KTCC. Main precip type will be -RA at KROW, but at KTCC, precip
should change over to SN shortly after it begins. SN will be the
main precip type across the SW Mtns. Widespread MVFR and IFR cigs
are likely overnight into Sat morn, clearing across NW and Central
NM during the daytime Saturday.



.PREV DISCUSSION...323 PM MST Fri Dec 2 2016...
Moisture continues to surge northward into New Mexico as an upper
low strengthens over Arizona. An east wind has also developed
across central and eastern areas of New Mexico, and gusty canyon
winds are expected overnight within the central to lower Rio
Grande Valley. The focus for precipitation will continue to shift
to southern and eastern NM overnight and into Saturday with a
wintry mix over east central areas. Snow will favor higher terrain
areas elsewhere. Look for precipitation to taper down Sunday as
the upper low pushes into central Texas. Drier, windier and cooler
conditions will follow Tuesday and Wednesday.



Cyclogenesis continues over southern AZ with the looks of a
baroclinic leaf shaping up over NM, according to infrared
satellite imagery. Precipitation will abruptly blossom over SW NM
into the early evening. Into the late night hours, the upper low
will work south of the AZ/Sonora border, pumping healthy diffluent
flow aloft into NM. Isentropic upglide will be readily abundant,
especially over the southern and eastern tiers of NM while the
synoptic surface winds aid in the form of easterly, moistening
flow. Consequently, precipitation will expand in coverage,
primarily over the southern and eastern tiers of the state tonight
with snow levels lowering. Forecast soundings continue to indicate
challenging temperature/dewpoint profiles for the east central
plains, suggesting a wintry mix with bouts of rain, freezing
drizzle, sleet, and snow while the majority of the Chaves county
plains remain warm enough to stay in the liquid form. Winter
weather advisory was expanded earlier for many of the southern
zones for snow and the east central zones for the wintry mix.

Into Saturday the upper low will dive farther south into the
southern reaches of Sonora, Mexico with the precipitation re-
focusing over the south central mountains to the east central to
southeastern plains. Temperatures will warm enough to bring most
lower elevation locales to rain as the primary precipitation type,
allowing travel impacts to temporarily abate. Issues with re-
freezing and a precipitation changeover back to a frozen mix could
then commence Saturday evening in the east central plains of NM.

By Sunday, the low will be pushing due east through Chihuahua with
the southeastern quadrant of NM holding onto sufficient dynamics
to keep precipitation going, but elsewhere drier and warmer
conditions will prevail. In fact, some northern zones will creep
close to climatological averages.

As the low pushes beyond the Big Bend area, precipitation should
fully exit NM into the daytime Monday with a stiff west northwest
flow aloft lingering in its wake. Forecast models continue to
advertise that the strong gradient aloft will tighten and
eventually cause a bowing of the flow for early to middle parts
of next week. The GFS continues to remain more progressive and
drier for the middle of next week, and now the European model
has started to steer a bit closer with this drier notion. The
latter member still indicates a trough/front passage with some
precipitation, mostly for northern NM, but the amounts are
substantially less than previous model runs. POPs have been
trimmed, but not eliminated with colder temperatures still making
an invasion into the Land of Enchantment.



Precipitation, more snow than rain so far, has developed earlier,
with more gusto at times and also a little farther south than fcst
guidance has so far indicated. This has been true especially
across the area from the general vicinity of Sandoval, Santa Fe
and Torrance Counties on northeast into the NE highlands where
snowfall has gotten moderate if not briefly heavy at times. But
due to banded nature of the snow, it has been has been either
intermittent or at least highly variable in intensity which has
kept amts quite light. As we go through the eve and overnight
hours what remains across the north will diminish with the bulk of
the precip shifting to the se half or so of the fcst area, most of
it being snow or mixed freezing/frozen variety nw of a line from
Clovis to Ruidoso. Generally the east central plains west to the
central highlands, as well as Socorro County and west toward the
northern Gila region, should see 1 to 4 inches of snow or a wintry

The precip will erode from NW to SE between Sat aftn and Sun as
the closed low aloft centered south of the state pushes eastward.
Humidity levels will lower slightly but remain elevated. Aftn high
temps will rise modestly to moderately, but generally remain near
to mostly below seasonal normals. Mixing heights will certainly
not be impressive, leading to vent rates mostly in the poor
category over the weekend, improving slightly Mon but more so on
Tue as transport winds pick up.

Second storm system is expected to impact the area Tue/Wed, but
it`s looking drier for our fcst area on the ECMWF model than was
the case the past 2 days, meaning that it trended more toward the
previously, and still, drier GFS model solution. Still looks like
a wind bag for the most part for our fcst area. Kept wind speeds
somewhat above model guidance levels, espec for the southern half
or so of our area. Vent rates will be markedly higher during this
period, espec Tue. Precip is being de-emphasized even for north
and west central areas. While there is certainly still a chance
that the system could track farther south the trend is certainly
currently arguing against that.

Ventilation ratings look to ease back Wed and Thu due to some
shortwave ridging into the area. The earlier Fri/Sat. system seems
to be looking weaker and/or farther north tracking, which means
little to no precip, but still some wind.



Winter Weather Advisory until 9 AM MST Sunday for the following
zones... NMZ526-533>537-539-540.

Winter Weather Advisory until noon MST Saturday for the following
zones... NMZ508-520-524-525.


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