Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 172126
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
326 PM MDT Fri Mar 17 2017

.SYNOPSIS...
Very warm and dry conditions will continue through the weekend and
into early next week. High temperatures will range between 15 and 25
degrees above average for mid March through at least Tuesday. A
significant weather pattern change remains on track for Wednesday
night and Thursday as a Pacific storm system slides east through the
state.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Fair weather cumulus clouds are popping up over most mountain ranges
early this afternoon. These clouds are indicative of an increase in
mid level moisture. A backdoor front has pushed west to near a Raton
to Las Vegas to Clines Corners to Ruidoso line. Models continue idea
of sending this boundary west into the mid RGV around sunset. A brief
period of light to moderate east winds expected west of Tijeras
canyon and southeast winds downwind of Glorieta Pass in Santa Fe.

The extraordinary warmth continues through the weekend as a broad
upper level ridges builds across and just east of the Rockies. Return
low level flow brings up Gulf moisture into southeast NM late
tonight/Saturday morning. This moisture results in some impressive
CAPE values (2000-2500J/kg) for mid March across the southeast
plains but the moisture is capped by a temperature inversion near
800mb. Mid- level moisture continues to increase from the south just
above mountain top level Saturday, resulting in scattered cumulus
clouds over the mountains and perhaps a virga shaft or two. Southwest
winds strengthen Sunday afternoon, especially east in response to a
developing lee trough.

Above mentioned ridge shifts east and weakens somewhat early next
week but the resulting southwest flow aloft keeps things toasty
through Wednesday. GFS now more in line with the ECMWF timing with
regard to the incoming upper level Pacific trough. GFS backs the mid
and upper level flow enough now to get strong to possibly severe
storms going across eastern NM Wednesday night. Main upper
trough/closed low moves through Thursday with western and northern NM
favored for measurable precip/snow. High temperatures cool
significantly behind the associated surface cold front Thursday,
around 15-18 degrees below Wednesday`s readings west and around 10
degrees east. Models agree that a ridge builds in for Friday with
another deep trough slated for Sunday.

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&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
A weak front will push to the east slopes of the central mt chain
this evening with a weak east wind and slight uptick in dew points
possible into the Rio Grande Valley. In the east, dew points are
expected to increase tonight with excellent humidity recoveries.
West of the RGV recoveries tonight will be fair to poor for many
locales.

The upper ridge will start to flatten a little Saturday with
southwest winds aloft increasing. At the same time, a surface low is
forecast to develop over se CO so look for some gusty southwest
winds in the afternoon across the northeast plains. Isolated cumulus
build-ups are possible with virga shafts especially southwest and
west-central mountains. Min humidities will fall to below 15 percent
along the Interstate 25 corridor so look for a few hours of spotty
critical conditions to materialize there. Min RH west and most of the
central will be below 15 percent as afternoon highs continue 15 to
20 degrees above average.

The ridge will break down a bit more on Sunday. Mixing heights,
remaining higher than usual central and west for this time of year,
will recover in the east central and far northeast after Saturday`s
lower values and fair to poor vent rates. Minimum humidities will be
lower Sunday afternoon, leading to widespread critical conditions
over northeast and east central NM. As guidance winds have decreased
a little for Sunday afternoon, will leave the current watch as is
for now but anticipate it will likely be converted to a warning if
no drastic model changes materialize.

The much warmer than average temperatures and high mixing heights
will continue Monday. Minimum humidity values will change little but
winds won`t be quite as strong so only spotty critical conditions
show up Monday afternoon over San Miguel and Harding counties.

Vent rates and mixing heights take a dive over portions of the
northeast and east central Tuesday, due to a stronger cold front but
vent rates remain excellent west and central. The front could push
to the east slopes of the central mt chain Tuesday night, but
retreats eastward Wednesday as an upper trough advances from
Arizona. Critical conditions could be widespread from the east
slopes of the central mt chain over the eastern plains Wednesday, if
the timing of the upper trough remains consistent. Chances for
precipitation spread across the north and west Wednesday night into
Thursday and highs actually fall a few degrees below average
Thursday in the west. However, the winds aloft may be relatively
strong Thursday, favoring the higher terrain and locations prone to
gustiness in northwest flow.

&&

.AVIATION...
18Z TAF CYCLE
Surface low sagging swd to sern NM by 21Z and low level ely flow will
reach the central mt chain aft 00Z with a light east to southeast
wind possible into the RGV from the KSAF and KABQ area swd aft
18/02Z. Low level moisture to advect into the Pecos Valley as sfc
high pressure builds into ern NM so potential for some MVFR cigs aft
18/06Z to develop, possibly affecting a KROW to KTCC line.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
Farmington......................  39  79  38  78 /   0   0   0   0
Dulce...........................  30  73  31  71 /   0   5   0   0
Cuba............................  36  74  36  74 /   0   5   0   0
Gallup..........................  28  77  28  76 /   0   5   0   0
El Morro........................  27  72  27  71 /   0  10   0   5
Grants..........................  30  77  31  76 /   0  10   0   0
Quemado.........................  39  75  40  73 /   0  10   0   0
Glenwood........................  39  87  39  87 /   0   5   0   0
Chama...........................  31  69  32  67 /   0  10   5   5
Los Alamos......................  43  73  45  74 /   0   5   5   0
Pecos...........................  37  72  39  72 /   0  10   0   5
Cerro/Questa....................  32  75  33  75 /   0  10   0   5
Red River.......................  29  69  29  68 /   0  10   5   5
Angel Fire......................  23  65  27  64 /   0  10   5   5
Taos............................  28  74  29  74 /   0   5   0   0
Mora............................  37  73  40  73 /   0  10   0   5
Espanola........................  41  79  42  80 /   0   5   0   0
Santa Fe........................  44  72  45  72 /   0   5   0   0
Santa Fe Airport................  39  76  40  77 /   0   5   0   0
Albuquerque Foothills...........  49  78  48  79 /   0   5   0   0
Albuquerque Heights.............  47  80  49  81 /   0   0   0   0
Albuquerque Valley..............  43  82  44  83 /   0   0   0   0
Albuquerque West Mesa...........  44  81  45  82 /   0   0   0   0
Los Lunas.......................  40  81  40  83 /   0   0   0   0
Rio Rancho......................  44  80  46  83 /   0   0   0   0
Socorro.........................  44  84  45  85 /   0   0   0  10
Sandia Park/Cedar Crest.........  36  73  38  74 /   0   5   0   5
Tijeras.........................  33  75  35  76 /   0   5   0   0
Moriarty/Estancia...............  32  75  32  77 /   0   5   0   0
Clines Corners..................  37  74  40  75 /   0   5   0   5
Gran Quivira....................  43  75  47  76 /   0   5   5   5
Carrizozo.......................  43  78  46  79 /   0   0   0   0
Ruidoso.........................  37  75  41  77 /   0  10   5   5
Capulin.........................  39  72  45  76 /   0   5   0   0
Raton...........................  31  79  35  81 /   0   5   0   5
Springer........................  33  78  36  80 /   0   5   0   5
Las Vegas.......................  34  75  39  77 /   0  10   0   5
Clayton.........................  39  79  48  88 /   0   0   0   0
Roy.............................  36  74  42  82 /   0   5   0   0
Conchas.........................  44  80  50  86 /   0   0   0   0
Santa Rosa......................  44  79  48  84 /   0   0   0   0
Tucumcari.......................  40  78  48  90 /   0   0   0   0
Clovis..........................  42  76  46  86 /   0   5   0   5
Portales........................  45  77  49  87 /   0   5   0   5
Fort Sumner.....................  44  78  48  87 /   0   0   0   0
Roswell.........................  46  83  49  92 /   0   0   0   5
Picacho.........................  45  77  50  83 /   0   5   0  10
Elk.............................  42  75  48  80 /   0  10   0  10

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Fire Weather Watch from Sunday morning through Sunday evening for
the following zones... NMZ103-104-108.

&&

$$

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