Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 242328 AAA
AFDABQ

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM
428 PM MST WED DEC 24 2014

.AVIATION...
00Z TAF CYCLE
VFR CONDITIONS FORECAST TO PERSIST THROUGH THE TAF PERIOD WITH AN
INCREASING SW LOW LEVEL FLOW. BY LATE THURSDAY AFTERNOON...SHOWERS
ARE FORECAST TO DEVELOP ACROSS NORTHWEST NEW MEXICO IN ADVANCE OF
AN APPROACHING UPPER LEVEL LOW AND MAY IMPACT KFMN WITH MVFR CIGS
BETWEEN 22-00Z.

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&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...254 PM MST WED DEC 24 2014...
.SYNOPSIS...
TEMPERATURES WILL NOT BE AS COLD TONIGHT...BUT MUCH COLDER
TEMPERATURES ARE ON THE WAY. A STORM SYSTEM WILL BRING SNOW TO
MUCH OF THE STATE BETWEEN CHRISTMAS AFTERNOON AND FRIDAY NIGHT.
THE GREATEST ACCUMULATIONS WILL BE ACROSS THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS.
BY FRIDAY...TEMPERATURES WILL STRUGGLE TO REACH THE FREEZING MARK
ACROSS NORTHERN AND WESTERN NEW MEXICO...WHILE ON SATURDAY...MOST
AREAS WILL STRUGGLE TO REACH FREEZING. ANOTHER STORM SYSTEM LOOKS
TO ARRIVE JUST BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR. THIS SYSTEM LOOKS TO
ALSO BRING ANOTHER ROUND OF SNOW AND MUCH COLDER TEMPERATURES TO
THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
REST OF TODAY WILL REMAIN QUIET BUT COOL. LEE SIDE SURFACE TROUGH
AND ASSOCIATED DOWNSLOPE WINDS ARE TRYING TO ERODE/MELT AWAY THE
SNOW ACROSS NE NM. BUT SO FAR...THE SNOW IS SLOW TO GO AWAY. LEE
SIDE TROUGHING STRENGTHENS OVERNIGHT...THUS STRONGER DOWNSLOPE WINDS
MAY DEVELOP...HELPING TO ERODE AWAY THE SNOW FURTHER. THUS...LOW
TEMPS ACROSS THE NE WILL BE A BATTLE BETWEEN SNOW ON THE GROUND AND
DOWNSLOPE WARMING. OVERALL HOWEVER...TEMPS TONIGHT WILL BE WARMER
THAN LAST NIGHT THANKS TO A VEIL OF HIGH CLOUDS MOVING FROM WEST TO
EAST IN ADDITION TO THE LEE SIDE TROUGHING.

NEXT STORM SYSTEM WILL APPROACH THE FOUR CORNERS AREA ON CHRISTMAS
DAY. TEMPERATURES WILL COOL AHEAD OF THE SYSTEM AND STRONG SOUTHWEST
FLOW WILL RESULT IN PROLONGED OROGRAPHIC LIFT OVER THE NORTHWEST
MOUNTAINS. THE CLOSED LOW WILL CENTER ITSELF OVER THE 4 CORNERS BY
18Z FRIDAY BEFORE WEAKENING INTO A TROUGH AND SLIDING EASTWARD
FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY. HOWEVER...ADDITIONAL ENERGY WILL DIVE
DOWN AND CROSS SOUTHERN NM SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY. THE MAIN
IMPACTS WILL COME THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT. GIVEN THE
PROLONGED NATURE OF THE EVENT...THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS COULD RACK UP
SOME DECENT SNOW TOTALS. THE NORTHWEST MOUNTAINS...PARTICULARLY THE
SAN JUAN MOUNTAINS...AND THE WEST SLOPES OF THE SANGRES SHOULD DO
QUITE WELL ALONG THE SOUTHWEST FACING SLOPES THURSDAY AND EARLY
FRIDAY. THEN ON FRIDAY...A BACK DOOR COLD FRONT NUDGING UP TO THE
EAST SLOPES OF THE SANGRE DE CRISTOS AND RESULTANT UPSLOPE FLOW
SHOULD ALLOW THE EAST SLOPES TO PICK UP SOME DECENT SNOW.
ADDITIONALLY...AS THE COLD CORE OF THE TROUGH PASSES ACROSS THE
NORTH...IT WILL BECOME A BIT UNSTABLE...WITH LAPSE RATES AROUND
8C/KM AND LIFTED INDICES AROUND -1 OR -2. DID NOT INSERT THUNDER
INTO THE GRIDS...BUT WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED TO SEE A FEW STRIKES.
ANY OF THESE STRONGER STORMS COULD PRODUCE SOME QUICK SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS. WITH ALL THIS BEING SAID...OPTED TO ISSUE A WINTER
STORM WATCH FOR THE SAN JUANS AND SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS. WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORIES MAY BE NEEDED FOR SURROUNDING ZONES.

WHILE THE SNOW IS GOING ON ACROSS THE NORTH ON CHRISTMAS...SOUTHERN
AREAS WILL BE QUITE WINDY. 700 MB WINDS AROUND 50-55 KTS AND A
DECENT SURFACE GRADIENT MAY YIELD SOME SPOTTY WIND ADVISORY TYPE
WINDS ACROSS THE SOUTHWEST AND SOUTH CENTRAL MOUNTAINS.

MOST OF SATURDAY AND SUNDAY SHOULD BE QUIET ACROSS THE CWA.
HOWEVER... THE AFOREMENTIONED SYSTEM WILL BRING MUCH COLDER
TEMPERATURES. MOST AREAS ACROSS NORTHERN AND WESTERN NM WILL
STRUGGLE TO REACH THE FREEZING MARK ON FRIDAY. THEN NEARLY ALL AREAS
ON SATURDAY WILL BE IN THE 20S AND 30S. TEMPS WILL TRY TO MODERATE
SOME ON SUNDAY BEFORE THE NEXT STORM SYSTEM APPROACHES THE STATE ON
MONDAY. IMPACTS WITH THIS SYSTEM SHOULD MAINLY BE FELT MONDAY NIGHT
THROUGH WEDNESDAY. THOUGH MODELS DIFFER ON THE PLACEMENT OF THE
SYSTEM...THEY AGREE THAT ANOTHER STRONG CLOSED LOW SYSTEM WILL
IMPACT NM BRINGING ANOTHER ROUND OF SNOW. ADDITIONALLY...IT APPEARS
THIS SYSTEM WILL ALSO HAVE A STRONG BACK DOOR COLD FRONT ASSOCIATED
WITH IT...THUS THERE IS POTENTIAL FOR A GOOD EASTERLY UPSLOPE EVENT.
REGARDLESS...IT WILL BE COLD. A PROLONGED PERIOD OF SUBFREEZING
TEMPS LOOK TO BE IN STORE FOR AT LEAST NE NM.

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&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
INCREASING HIGH CLOUDS REST OF TODAY INTO TONIGHT. THE MID LEVEL
WIND GRADIENT WILL ALSO INCREASE AND LEAD TO STRONGER HIGHER
ELEVATION RIDGETOP WINDS TONIGHT. THIS GRADIENT WILL SEE ADDITIONAL
INCREASES ON THURSDAY AHEAD OF A VIGOROUS AND ANOMALOUSLY COLD
PACIFIC TROUGH. WHILE GUSTIER SURFACE WINDS ARE EXPECTED AREAWIDE...
THE MAIN FOCUS AREA FOR MAINLY MARGINAL BUT POSSIBLY LOCALIZED
CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS REMAINS ACROSS PORTIONS OF THE EAST
CENTRAL PLAINS. RH VALUES SHOULD FALL BETWEEN 15 TO 20 PCT. HAINES
VALUES SHOULD RANGE BETWEEN 3 TO 5 ALTHOUGH THAT ADJUSTS AS THE DAY
GOES ON. TEMPERATURES SHOULD ALSO TREND 5 TO 10 DEGREES ABOVE NORMAL
DUE TO COMPRESSIONAL HEATING FROM THE CENTRAL MTNS. SOME OF THE
IMPACTED AREA RECEIVED FRESH SNOWFALL A DAY AGO SO THE CRITICAL
THREAT IS LESS. THE WIND FORECAST ACROSS THE EASTERN PLAINS IS VERY
TRICKY. MODELS PROJECT VERY LOW MIXING HEIGHTS AND MAY BE PICKING UP
ON THE CURRENT SNOW COVER ACROSS THE NORTHEAST. THAT BIAS MAY BE TOO
BROAD FOR THE EC/SE PLAINS BUT JUST NOT SURE. EITHER WAY...WENT
ABOVE MODEL GUIDANCE FOR THOSE AREAS DESPITE THE VERY LOW MIXING
HEIGHTS.

MODELS HAVE INCREASED PRECIPITATION AMOUNTS WITH THE PACIFIC TROUGH
PASSAGE/COLD FRONT LATER THURSDAY INTO THURSDAY NIGHT. COULD SEE
SOME LOCALIZED WETTING AMOUNTS OF GREATER THAN A TENTH OF AN INCH
LIQUID WATER. WESTERN/CENTRAL AREAS SHOULD BE FAVORED...ESPECIALLY
THE NORTHERN HIGHEST TERRAIN. PRECIPITATION...AND MAINLY SNOW...
SHOULD LAST INTO FRIDAY NIGHT FAVORING THE NORTH. THE ECMWF MODEL
REMAINS THE MOST BULLISH OUT OF THE MODELS FOR PRECIPITATION WITH
THIS EVENT. PERHAPS THIS MODEL HAS BEEN THE MOST CONSISTENT AS WELL.
VENTILATION TO BE MAINLY GOOD TO EXCELLENT.

LINGERING PACIFIC TROUGH WILL BE OVER THE AREA ON SATURDAY.
TEMPERATURES WILL BE QUITE CHILLY WITH HIGH READINGS RANGING BETWEEN
10 TO 20 DEGREES BELOW NORMAL. DEWPOINTS WILL FALL BUT RH READINGS
WILL REMAIN QUITE HIGH DUE TO THE COLD AIRMASS. WIND SPEEDS WILL
ALSO BE QUITE WEAK...WITH CORRESPONDING DECREASES IN VENTILATION...
THOUGH VALUES REMAIN GOOD OVER THE EAST CENTRAL PLAINS.

THE WIND GRADIENT ALOFT SHOULD STRENGTHEN ONCE AGAIN ON SUNDAY AS
ANOTHER PACIFIC TROUGH TAKES AIM ON THE AREA. THIS SHOULD TRANSLATE
TO GUSTIER WINDS OVER THE HIGHER TERRAIN AND TO THE LEE OF THE
CENTRAL MTNS. TEMPERATURES WILL SLIGHTLY WARM BUT REMAIN BELOW
NORMAL.

A BACK DOOR COLD FRONT IS EXPECTED TO EDGE INTO EASTERN AREAS ON
MONDAY/MONDAY NIGHT. AT THE SAME TIME...ANOTHER DEEP TROUGH  IS
PROJECTED TO DIVE SOUTHWARD OUT OF THE GREAT BASIN AND REMAIN WEST OF
THE AREA. THIS PATTERN HAS THE POTENTIAL OF PROVIDING A PRETTY SOLID
SNOW SET UP FOR THE MAJORITY OF THE AREA. WE HAVE SEEN THIS MODEL
DEPICTED PATTERN BEFORE BUT THE MODELS EVENTUALLY TREND AWAY FROM THIS
PHASING AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE EVENT PERIOD. SO WE SHALL SEE. THIS
IS A CLIMO PATTERN WE SEE IN LATE DECEMBER FOR BIG SNOWFALL SO THAT
IS GOING FOR IT. EITHER WAY...EARLY NEXT WEEK LOOKS TO BE UNSETTLED.
THE CURRENT PROJECTED PATTERN ALSO BODES WELL FOR HIGHER VENTILATION
RATES EARLY NEXT WEEK.

50/05

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
WINTER STORM WATCH FROM THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING
FOR THE FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ510-512>515.

&&

$$

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