Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 132322 AAA
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
422 PM MST Tue Feb 13 2018

.AVIATION...
00Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions prevail and are forecast to persist, though with
lowering VFR cigs. Increasing southwest flow in the lower atmosphere
will make for breezy/gusty surface winds Wednesday afternoon at a
number of our TAF sites.

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&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...331 PM MST Tue Feb 13 2018...
.SYNOPSIS...
Mild southwest flow will continue tonight into Wednesday with
increasing clouds. Light rain showers will move into southwest New
Mexico late Wednesday, as an upper low off the California coast
moves eastward. As the storm to the west taps deeper layer moisture,
rain and elevation snow will become more widespread across western
and central New Mexico Wednesday night and Thursday. Winds from the
central mountains eastward across the plains will be breezy to
locally windy Wednesday and Thursday afternoons. A backdoor cold
front will move across the eastern plains Thursday night and will
bring rain and elevation snow to southern portions of central NM
Friday. High temperatures Friday will be below normal east of the
central mountains and near normal to the west. Northwest to west flow
aloft Saturday and Sunday will bring drier and warmer air to the
region.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
A closed upper low west of the southern CA coast this afternoon will
continue to slowly drift southward tonight and Wednesday. The large
circulation around this storm is transporting mid and high level
moisture northeastward across northern and central Baja CA as far
northward as AZ and NM this afternoon. Satellite imagery shows
extensive high clouds over much of NM this afternoon, and mid level
clouds will increase tonight. The increasing cloud cover tonight will
inhibit radiational cooling, and lows tonight will be well above
normal. The upper low will move eastward toward the southern CA coast
Wednesday and then become an open wave as it moves inland Wednesday
night. Strong southwest winds aloft will develop Wednesday afternoon
through Thursday across the central mountains and higher elevations
of western NM with wind gusts to near 45 knots. Downsloping winds
east of the central mountains Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from
southwest to west southwest will gust to around 35 knots. A deeper
subtropical moisture plume will move across southwest NM Wednesday
afternoon and then progress further northeastward across western and
central NM Wednesday night and Thursday. Rain and very high
elevation snow will move into southwest NM Wednesday evening and
rapidly increase in coverage across western and central NM Wednesday
night into Thursday. Snow level south of I-40 will range between 8000
and 9000 feet, while snow levels to the north will range between
7500 and 8000 feet. The northern mountains can expect snow
accumulations of 3 to 7 inches, except for the Tusas range which
could receive as much as 9 inches. Isolated higher peaks in south
central and southwest mountains could receive more than 6 inches of
snow by Thursday evening.

Models continue to consistently forecast a backdoor cold front moving
into the northeastern plains late Thursday evening and then
progressing southwest to the central plains by Friday morning.
Moderate cold air advection behind the front will bring significantly
colder air to eastern and central NM Friday, and high temperatures
will be 5 to 10 degrees below normal. The main uncertainty on Friday
will be the position of the moisture plume from the subtropics. The
GFS has the plume located across far southern NM, while the NAM and ECMWF
locate the plume farther to the north. This location farther to the
north would allow the backdoor cold front to provide the lift for
rain and elevation snow showers Friday for areas south of I-40.

Drier northwest flow aloft on Saturday will back to the west Sunday.
This flow will allow for a warming trend across the entire area. The
warming will be enhanced by downsloping west winds Sunday across the
eastern plains.

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&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
The upper low has shifted southwest off the CA coast this afternoon.
Mid and high level moisture is on the increase and will eventually
make its way down to the surface. Considerable mid and high cloud
cover will keep temperatures mild overnight with mostly good to
excellent humidity recoveries. Rain will develop over the West
Central Highlands Wednesday afternoon, then spread north and east
Wednesday night and Thursday. Widespread wetting precipitation is
our hope over much of western and central NM. This will be a warm
system, with snow levels above 7500-8500 feet Wednesday through
Thursday. Vent rates will be good to excellent both Wednesday and
Thursday. Temperatures will further warm on Wednesday, then back off
a little Thursday.

The area that hangs on to some drier air the longest will be over
the Northeast Plains Wednesday. Strengthening flow aloft and a lee
side trough will produce breezy to windy conditions in the
northeast, while humidities drop to right around 15 percent.
Critical fire weather conditions will probably be met for a few
hours, but marginally so. The extensive cloud cover could hold down
temperatures and ease the winds just enough to prevent critical
conditions from developing. So, we continue to opt out of a fire
weather watch, but certainly we want to raise/keep your level of
awareness.

The offshore storm will weaken and race northwest Wednesday through
Thursday, barely discernible over NM Thursday. Meanwhile an upstream
trough will be approaching from the northwest, hopefully helping to
linger the precipitation into Thursday night and Friday. The best
chances will be south of I-40. A back door cold front is still on
tap for Thursday night across the east, with it likely spilling into
the Rio Grande Valley early Friday morning. Friday will be colder in
the east, a little cooler over central areas.

The weekend should be mostly dry with a warming trend, as highs
climb right back above normal by Sunday. Winds will be light
Saturday, but breezy to windy conditions will be noted in the east
Sunday. The warm and dry conditions, along with the wind, will
bring about the potential for critical fire weather conditions again
in the northeast Sunday afternoon.

The next storm will be brewing to our northwest early next week,
while a back door cold front flirts with the northeast. Prospects
for precipitation will be confined to the northwest high terrain.

&&

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

&&

$$

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