Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 180548 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1048 PM MST Fri Feb 17 2017

Thick mid/high clouds are spreading over central and western NM with
a few sprinkles along and west of the ContDvd. -SHRA is expected to
slowly increase over western NM Saturday with cigs lowering to near
040 by 21Z. Stronger southerly flow arriving ahead of the approaching
upper low will trend gusts into the 20 to 25kt range all terminals
aft 19Z. MVFR cigs with -SHRA to increase in coverage along and west
of the ContDvd by 01Z then gradually shift east into the Rio Grande
Valley thru 06Z.



.PREV DISCUSSION...251 PM MST Fri Feb 17 2017...
Gusty winds will taper down tonight as clouds continue increasing
over the state ahead of the incoming storm system. Look for
precipitation to develop across western areas Saturday before
expanding eastward toward the central mountain chain Sunday. Look for
low elevation rain showers with occasional thunder and high
elevation...mountain top snow showers. The southwest mountains will
favor higher snowfall amounts Sunday. Drier and warmer conditions
will return early next week.


Upper level ridging over the state will weaken overnight ahead of the
approaching Pacific storm system. The system will usher plentiful
moisture advection northward over the state through the weekend
allowing wetting precipitation chances to favor western areas
Saturday before expanding toward the RGV Sunday. Mentioned chances of
thunder for Sunday afternoon in the wx grids as the upper level
trough axis centers it self over the state...along with recent NAM12
lifted index indicating some levels of instability over much of
central NM. Meanwhile, snow showers will favor higher
elevation...mountainous areas Sunday with the southwest mountains
seeing advisory level snow activity because of copious moisture
advection over that area. Temperatures will fall below normal central
and west over the weekend. The storm system will exit eastward by

By early next week, the dry and warm pattern will return as upper
level ridging builds over the region through midweek. Look for above
normal temperatures to return Tuesday and Wednesday. Towards the
end of the week, another system will push through the Colorado
Rockies, clipping northern NM. This next system looks to produce
colder and windier conditions for the state as a potent Pacific cold
front follows, with potential for a high wind event. Any
precipitation chances look to be limited to northern areas.


Humidity is reaching critical threshold across much of the Northeast
and East Central Plains this afternoon, but the stronger winds are
displaced further south under a layer of fairly thick cirrus. Vent
rates have improved today, but are forecast to improve even more
Saturday and generally be good to excellent areawide.

A ridge axis is currently overhead and will shift east overnight,
opening the door for moisture advection with a Pacific storm system
on approach. Moistening/cooling will ramp-up Saturday and especially
Saturday night with chances for wetting precipitation. A decent
wetting event looks on track for Saturday night through Sunday for
much of central and western New Mexico, although the southwest and
west central higher terrain looks to be the big winner in terms of
qpf. Snow levels will start off high and gradually lower to around
6500 feet, but any significant accumulation will be relegated to
8500 feet and above. Winds will increase Sunday both ahead of and
behind the Pacific cold front, with vent rates continuing to be good
to excellent.

A ridge moves in quickly behind the departing trough Monday, with
vent rates trending down. A new warming/drying trend will kick-off
Tuesday and highs will be back above normal areawide. Vent rates
will continue the slide Tuesday and be poor to fair. Improvement is
forecast Wednesday with continued warming as the ridge shifts east
and the westerlies increase over the region ahead of a colder
northern stream trough. This trough will bring strong winds
Wednesday night into Thursday with a cold front and potential for
wetting precipitation, mainly across the western and northern
mountains. Elevated to critical fire weather conditions are possible
Wed/Thu, mainly across the Eastern Plains and with Thursday being
the more likely day. 11




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