Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 162357
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
557 PM MDT Tue May 16 2017

.AVIATION...
00Z TAF CYCLE
Shower and thunderstorm activity will continue into the night with
strong wind gusts around 50 kt the main concern. Have already seen
50 kt at KTCC and 53 kt at KCVN. Small hail will fall from the
stronger activity. Rain amounts will be light. Winds will subside at
western and central TAF sites, but remain strong through most of the
night at KLVS, KTCC and KROW. Wind gusts of 25 kt to 35 kt will be
common Wednesday across NM. Brief MVFR CIGS and VSBYS expected with
the stronger showers and storms, and VSBY restrictions in patches of
blowing dust, otherwise VFR conditions.

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...327 PM MDT Tue May 16 2017...
.SYNOPSIS...
Showers and thunderstorms will continue this evening before
diminishing after midnight. The showers and storms are thanks to an
upper level storm system moving east through the state. A brief break
in between storm systems is forecast for late tonight through most
of the day Wednesday. Showers and a few thunderstorms will begin
spreading southward into far northwest New Mexico Wednesday
afternoon, ahead of a closed upper low dropping south through Utah.
Showers and thunderstorms will sag south and southeast through the
northwest half of the state Wednesday night and Thursday along the
associated surface cold front. Snow will be possible in the northern
mountains above about 7500 feet Wednesday night and Thursday
morning. This system will be slow to move out of the area, continuing
chances for showers and thunderstorms across northern New Mexico
through Friday night.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Closed upper low over central AZ showing signs of filling and
opening up on GOES-16 upper level water vapor IR band (Channel 8).
Scattered showers and thunderstorms continue to move northeastward
through the state at around 35kt this afternoon. Models agree that
scattered showers and thunderstorms will continue through about
sunset, then gradually diminish thereafter. Isolated showers and
storms will continue along and east of the central mountain chain
until around midnight. Moderate to strong west winds will continue
through the night from the central mountain chain ewd.

A break in between Pacific storms systems is on track from late
tonight through most of the day Wednesday. An unseasonably deep
upper level closed low dropping southward through Utah will bring
showers and thunderstorms back to northern NM Wednesday afternoon and
evening along the associated surface and mid level cold fronts.
Showers and storms will continue to sag south and southeastward along
and near the front across western and central NM Wednesday night
into Thursday morning. Models continue to advertise the favored area
for the heaviest precip amounts will be across the northwest third
or so of the state late Wednesday night into Thursday morning where
and when the baroclinic zone (temperature gradient) is strongest.
Closed low pinwheels nearly in place near the Four Corners Thursday
night and Friday. 12Z models are somewhat at odds with how the closed
low will evolve Friday morning. ECMWF and NAM split the circulation
in two while the GFS has a southern vort lobe but keep the 500mb
circulation in tact. Sensible weather differences are rather minor
but ECMWF and NAM would bring at least slight chances for showers to
central locales during the day Friday whereas the GFS solution would
keeps showers and storms confined to the far northern mountains and
northeast highlands and plains. GFS solution is also colder, bringing
better chances for a few inches of snow to the Tusas mountains east
of Chama and Tierra Amarilla as well as to the northern Sangres and
northeast highlands above about 7500 feet.

Above mentioned closed low shifts east of the area Saturday with dry
zonal flow moving over for Saturday night and Sunday. Models then
agree that a return low level sely flow will set up early next week,
possibly bringing in enough Gulf moisture for showers and
thunderstorms for Monday, especially south and east.

33

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Scattered showers and thunderstorms have fired up over western NM
ahead of a closed low currently over AZ. Most are dry in nature with
a few showers being able to reach the surface, with the main
concerns being gusty outflow winds and frequent lightning from the
stronger thunderstorms. Low level dewpoints have not fallen as much
as initially forecast across the state. Strong winds and dewpoints
in the low teens still support critical fire conditions over the
east plains this afternoon, but will likely not persist as late into
the evening. Breezy to windy conditions will persist through tonight
into Wednesday across the east-central plains, especially the
central highlands as well as the peaks of the Sangre`s.

The closed low over AZ will open and weaken as it passes across NM
tonight, leaving westerly flow aloft Wednesday. Breezy west winds
pick up over the Gila and south-central mtns Wednesday afternoon.
Critical fire weather conditions will exist over zone 108 Wednesday
afternoon, however with the recent green up and temperatures
trending down, have decided against issuing a critical fire warning
at this time. Mixing hgts fall below 10,000 ft AGL Wednesday for
much of NM due to lower pressure hgts after the trough passage. Vent
rates remain excellent through Wednesday with the strong westerly
flow. A second Pacific low with a much colder origination in the
Gulf of Alaska will dip into UT Thursday with a leading cold front
expected to produce a better chance for wetting precipitation across
NM. This front will initially produce a line of showers across the
far NW, progressing south and east before petering out over the
central mtn chain. Current model trends show the track of this low
further south today, however the bulk of the coldest air is still N
of NM. High elevation snow across the northern mtns is very likely
with this system Thursday into Friday.

As this second low exits the region, a backdoor front is forecast to
move south across the east plains early Friday. The forecast has
trended a little later and weaker with this front, but there remains
a chance for showers across the NE plains Friday. Mixing hgts fall
Friday and Saturday with the passage of the low, with vent rates
also falling to fair/poor across the northern mtns and NE plains.
Temperatures also remain well below normal Friday and Saturday with
morning lows near or below freezing for many western and northern
locales. Models diverge after this point with the GFS taking the low
into the northern U.S. plains, and the ECM opening the low as it
heads into the northern U.S. plains. The GFS solution favors
stronger southerly return flow into southern NM late Sunday into
Monday favoring wide coverage of afternoon storms, whereas the ECM
doesn`t push the low level moisture that far north inhibiting
afternoon thunderstorm development.

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Red Flag Warning until 8 PM MDT this evening for the following
zones... NMZ104-108.

Wind Advisory until 9 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...
 NMZ515-520>540.

&&

$$

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