Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 171147 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
447 AM MST Tue Jan 17 2017
12Z TAF CYCLE
SH activity should gradually come to an end at SAF/AEG/ABQ this
morning. A resurgence in -SHRA/SN will occur this afternoon and
most likely impact GUP. Using VCSH to capture that potential
activity there. Cigs will gradually raise across western/central
sites although low categories of cig/vis restrictions will be
possible. Decided to go with FG at FMN for a few hrs this morning.
May need to update that if it doesnt materialize. ROW has the most
potential for RA impacts later today with lasting impacts well
into the overnight hrs. Models bullish for a long duration RA
event there. Cigs would be impacted accordingly and most likely
lower even further after the rain ends late during the overnight.
.PREV DISCUSSION...324 AM MST Tue Jan 17 2017...
Unsettled weather will continue today, with most of the shower
activity over the western high terrain and across the Southeast
Plains where a few thunderstorms are possible. Wednesday will be
warmer, with temperatures reaching up above normal most areas.
Downslope winds on Thursday will help daytime temperatures rise
well into the 60s across portions of the Eastern Plains. A series
of potent disturbances will impact the area with strong winds,
much colder temperatures and chances for snow beginning Thursday
night and continuing into early next week as a taste of winter
returns to the Land of Enchantment.
Despite 700mb temperatures of -5C locally, ongoing shower
activity has produced rain only across the Albuquerque Metro area
overnight. Snow showers persist across the Jemez Mountains near
Los Alamos, where a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect through
5AM. The disorganized upper low is forecast to consolidate over
the Bootheel today as a speedmax rounds the base of the mean
trough and ejects out into West Texas, sparking a round of
elevated (over the frontal layer) showers and storms. Increased
1st and 2nd period Pops across the Southeast Plains in favor of
the NAM handling of this scenario. Otherwise, most of the shower
activity today will be over the western high terrain.
Warming is forecast Wednesday as the upper low begins to move out
into the Texas Panhandle, with daytime temperatures reaching
above normal most areas. A shortwave ridge will move east over the
state behind the departing low Wednesday night into Thursday and
the warming will continue for the Eastern Plains thanks in part to
downslope winds. Several Eastern Plains locales will rise well
into the 60s Thursday afternoon.
Moisture advection will begin early Thursday across western New
Mexico in advance of the first in a series of potent troughs
forecast to impact the state from the end of the week through
early next week. The first trough will hit Thursday night into
Friday and result in strong winds, much colder temperatures and
mainly orographically forced precipitation favoring peaks and west
slopes. The second, more potent trough will impact the state late
Friday night through Saturday with even stronger winds, colder
temperatures and improved chances for more widespread
precipitation (likely all snow). Both the 00z GFS and ECMWF show
lee side cyclogensis Saturday, with strong winds and
orographically forced snow continuing into Saturday night. The
limiting factor on snow amounts for the first two systems will be
the rather progressive nature as a potent jet stream takes them
quickly eastward. The third trough will impact our area Mon/Tue,
but some timing differences between the 00z medium range model
solutions show up by that projection. Both the GFS and ECMWF agree
that the 3rd trough will be the coldest, with 500mb heights
dipping down into the 530s(dam) across northern New Mexico.
Not a lot of changes made to the gridded forecast. One more day of
unsettled weather today before a dry/warming trend commences. Still
looking at an active Pacific system passage pattern for Friday
through the earlier half of next week.
A secondary upper low is currently forming over the Southwest area.
Another round of showers will impact portions of the forecast area
today. Favored areas during the afternoon and evening will be found
along and south of I40. High temps will be a few degrees below
normal with the lowest ventilation rates of the week. Surface wind
looks to be relatively light.
Modeling remains consistent by weakening and moving the upper low
out of the area later Wednesday into Wednesday night. Shower
activity will be less on Wed compared to today. RH values will
remain on the higher side with some afternoon cloud cover. Vent
rates increase due to the higher mixing heights associated with the
low and higher transport wind found on the backside of the low.
Distinct ridging is expected on Thursday and this day appears to be
the warmest of the next several. High temps will be near to above
normal across the west and solidly above normal across the east. A
stronger mid level dry intrusion will be associated with the
transitory ridge pattern and decided to undercut model dewpoint
guidance by a few degrees to account for this...especially favoring
the higher terrain and eastern plain areas. Surface westerlies
should increase some especially along and to the east of the central
mtns. Ventilation looks to be decent along and generally south of
I40 although mixing will be somewhat limited in the Rio Grande
All eyes focused on the active Pacific wave passage pattern depicted
by all of the models Fri through the earlier half of next week.
There appears to be 3 distinct wave passages found with this active
pattern. The first wave should impact N/C NM Fri. The second and
rather potent wave is expected late Fri night into Sat and the third
is predicted for Mon/Tue. The third wave looks to be very chilly.
Modeling has been pretty consistent with this pattern so confidence
is pretty good on the timing for the first two waves as well as
favored impact which would be the western half. Timing is expected
to vary some for the next week system. Decided to go above model
guidance for surface wind during the weekend and early next week
period...including valley locations. Models showing a strong jet
presence and decent enough mixing to bring stronger wind to the
surface. Downsloping will be an issue across portions of the east.
Models are showing a brief stronger mid level dry slot translation
on Sunday so tried to account for this in the dewpoint grids.
Otherwise...periods of wetting precipitation and cooler than normal
temps/higher than normal RH would occur.
Winter Weather Advisory until 5 AM MST early this morning for the
following zones... NMZ511.