Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 191751
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1151 AM MDT Wed Apr 19 2017
18Z TAF CYCLE
Breezy to windy conditions will prevail across the state today with
advisory level winds along and east of the central mtn chain. Mtn
wave activity will also be favorable near and east of the Sangre De
Cristos. Wind gusts will range 25 to 35 kts during the aftn period.
A back door cold front will dive into the eastern plains tonight
shifting winds around with gusts to follow. Gap wind impacts will
favor the RGV/ABQ Sunport Thursday morning.
.PREV DISCUSSION...1045 AM MDT Wed Apr 19 2017...
Expanded the wind advisory southward to include the central
highlands. MOS suggests winds will reach advisory speed at Clines
Corners into the early afternoon.
.PREV DISCUSSION...535 AM MDT Wed Apr 19 2017...
Will issue a wind advisory for the Sangre de Cristo zones, as KAXX
observations have been hitting criteria a bit more periodically than
was anticipated. Otherwise, no changes to the forecast package.
.PREV DISCUSSION...238 AM MDT Wed Apr 19 2017...
As a weak storm system slides east through Colorado and Wyoming
today, breezy to locally windy conditions will result. Slightly
cooler conditions will result behind the associated weak cold front
today, mainly west of the central mountain chain. A stronger
backdoor cold front will drop into eastern New Mexico tonight,
briefly spilling into the Rio Grande Valley Thursday morning. This
front is forecast to combine with an upper level trough sliding
southeast through Colorado to produce at least isolated showers and
thunderstorms to the northern mountains Thursday afternoon and to the
northeast highlands and plains Thursday night. Dry but brisk
northwest winds will make for cooler temperatures Friday. A
relatively strong backdoor cold front will move through Friday night
and Saturday. Improving condtions are anticipated for Sunday.
Brisk west winds continuing in the higher terrain this morning with a
gust to 32kt at Angel Fire in the past hour. Winds are expected to
increase in the lower elevations by mid-morning and peak during the
early afternoon. The upper trough responsible for the winds will lift
newd out of WY and into the northern plains. The associated surface
high is forecast to slide south along the lee of the Rockies tonight,
sending a backdoor cold front through eastern NM. This front will
briefly push west in the RGV Thursday morning. Meanwhile, another
upper level short-wave will move in from the northwest, combining
with the backdoor front to produce at least isolated showers and
thunderstorms over the northern mountains Thursday afternoon and to
the northeast highlands and northeast plains Thursday night. This
upper trough is forecast to deepen/strengthen as it moves east of
the southern Rockies Friday. The wrap-around precip band may bring a
few showers to far northeast NM Friday. Otherwise, strong northwest
winds will result most areas Friday. Another, rather strong,
backdoor cold front is forecast to drop into eastern NM Friday night,
pushing west to the AZ border Saturday morning. This front will
result in much cooler conditions Saturday, especially east.
Conditions improve Sunday, under an upper level ridge. This ridge is
short-lived, sliding east of NM Sunday night. Zonal flow aloft and
breezy conditions move in for Monday and Tuesday. Models continue in
rather good agreement for next week, indicating a southern shift in
the storm track mid-week and beyond.
...Critical fire weather expected today in portions of central and
eastern New Mexico...
...A more substantial and widespread critical fire weather event
could shape up for Friday...
A short wave trough has raced off of the Pacific and will soon be
crossing the central Rockies this morning, bringing increased winds
aloft into northern NM. Some of the higher terrain in northern NM
has already observed some gusty conditions and these should continue
through the day, especially over the Sangre de Cristos and central
mountains/highlands. Temperatures will cool slightly with dry
conditions prevailing and critically low humidity expected in many
areas by late afternoon. Mixing heights will remain high with steep
temperature lapse rates allowing strong and critical winds to impact
some of the central mountains and highlands, as well as the high
plains of east central NM. Have opted to upgrade the Fire Weather
Watch to a Red Flag Warning for these areas with some marginally
critical conditions also bleeding into adjacent zones to the north,
namely between Las Vegas and Conchas Dam. No precipitation is
expected with the passage of this initial Pacific system today.
As the disturbance aloft propagates eastward into the Great Plains,
a surface cold front will spill into the eastern plains of NM
tonight. This frontal boundary will drop temperatures down several
degrees in eastern zones while also introducing shifting wind
directions with gusty conditions along and behind the frontal
passage. Some of these stronger gusts are even expected to surge
into the Rio Grande valley Thursday morning. As Thursday afternoon
approaches, breezy to windy conditions are still forecast as the
next Pacific wave aloft encroaches upon the Rockies. With
temperatures staying well above average in the western NM zones, RH
will also plummet in the afternoon and a couple to a few hours of
critical conditions will be possible, primarily in the western
highlands Thursday. Have opted not to hoist a watch as both the
spatial coverage and duration of the critical conditions should be
somewhat limited, and the focus will be put on Friday`s more
The Pacific wave will overtake the Rockies Thursday night, and
should rapidly deepen into a low as it shifts into the plains on
Friday. The Pacific cold front associated with this Thursday-Friday
system will pack more of a punch with more pronounced cooling. Yet
even with the cooler temperature readings, minimum humidity will
crash to less than 15 percent over most of the forecast area. In
addition, a stout mid level jet rounding the base of the disturbance
will yield a more widespread and stronger wind event Friday. This
will consequently disperse a widespread critical fire weather event
for many zones Friday, primarily along a corridor from the San Juan
river basing southeastward over central and east central NM.
Into Friday night and early Saturday, the plains segment of the cold
front will spill into eastern NM, keeping gusty winds going, just
with shifting directions. These should gradually abate late Saturday
afternoon. In the extended forecast, the westerlies remain
progressive with bursts of stronger winds periodically impacting NM.
Now forecast models are not quite as enthusiastic about
precipitation prospects by the middle of next week, as this
particular trough appears to be less organized.
Red Flag Warning until 7 PM MDT this evening for the following
Wind Advisory until 7 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...