Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 142332

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
432 PM MST Thu Dec 14 2017

Upper level trough axis moving through NM this evening, mainly
impacting the northeast with cigs around 050 to 060. Not expecting
any cigs below VFR and no precipitation. Clearing with less wind
behind the trough overnight. Enhanced nly drainage wind expected at
KSAF around sunrise Friday. VFR conditions Friday with lee side
trough developing in the east, producing moderate southwest winds
by afternoon. Gusts of 20kt to 25kt in KLVS and KTCC.


.PREV DISCUSSION...330 PM MST Thu Dec 14 2017...
After a cold night tonight temperatures will rebound Friday and
Saturday, when highs will climb above normal most places. Downslope
winds will become breezy across east central areas on Saturday.
Models are coming into better agreement on an upper level low
pressure system that will cross southern and eastern New Mexico from
the Baja Peninsula Sunday and Sunday night. The system will draw cold
air southward into the state as it arrives with rain and higher
elevation snow showers Sunday, and even some thunderstorms possible
over south central and southwest areas Sunday afternoon.
The snow level should lower to the lowest elevations as precipitation
becomes more widespread Sunday night. A few to several inches of snow
accumulation looks to favor the south central, southwest and central
mountains, with lighter amounts in the east central and south
central highlands. A few showers could linger across the eastern
plains as the system exits Monday. After cooler readings Sunday and
Monday, temperatures will rebound above normal again as dry weather
returns Tuesday and Wednesday.


GFS, ECMWF and NAM models are all in fairly good agreement now on the
center of the low reaching the Tucson area Sunday afternoon,
although the Canadian model positions the low about 100 miles farther
north. The upper low will develop from an upper level trough that
will dive southeastward across the Great Basin Friday night and
Saturday, so it will be unusually cold compared to the low pressure
systems that normally cross the forecast area from the Baja
Peninsula. Temperatures at 700 mb should vary around -5C Sunday
afternoon, before dropping a bit further Sunday night and remaining
cold over the forecast area on Monday. This will allow snow to
accumulate mainly across the southern tier of mountains on Sunday.
However, unless the cold front comes down stronger than currently
forecast, precip that lingers across the plains on Monday should
mainly be rain showers.

Fair weather will return Tuesday and Wednesday as a weak ridge of
high pressure crosses. However, west and southwest winds may become
breezy on Wednesday as a broad upper level trough deepens over the
Great Basin. This system could deliver another round of unsettled
weather to the Land of Enchantment late next week, but models still
vary greatly on the track and timing.



A cold night is in store as clouds gradually clear in the wake of an
upper level trough passage. Flow near mountain top level turns
westerly Friday and Saturday, resulting in a lee side trough and
breezy southwest winds for the eastern plains. The southwest winds
across the plains will result in a warming trend Friday and
Saturday. Vent rates increase somewhat into the fair range across
the west-central and southwest mountains Saturday as well as along
and near I-40 from Clines Corners east.

Weather prediction models are coming more in line with one another
in regard to an upper level low and chances for mainly snow for
Sunday. GFS has been the most consistent of the models, developing a
relatively cold upper level closed low over AZ Saturday night into
Sunday morning. The model trend has been wetter with each run so
confidence is increasing that at least portions of the forecast area
will see wetting precipitation (<0.10") Sunday and Sunday night.
Models agree that snow levels will be between 4000-5000 feet. Still
a fair amount of uncertainty with regard to how much precipitation
and where but there is high confidence in a major weather pattern
change for the latter half of December to colder and more active.





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