Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 270531 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1131 PM MDT TUE JUL 26 2016
06Z TAF CYCLE
Deeper convection is shifting southward across the forecast area.
Cant rule out some light to occasionally moderate rainfall at a
few terminal sites such as AEG/ABQ and perhaps even ROW/SAF but
much of the impact has wound down this eve. TS/SH coverage will be
less Wed afternoon thanks to drier air infiltrating the area from
the Great Basin. Storms will still fire up over the mtns and tend
to trend towards the SW. Cant rule out impacts at AEG/ABQ/SAF and
LVS but going with less impacts at this time. Some of the models
favor TCC and ROW at this time so decided to go with VCTS at those
locations for mid afternoon to early eve. Gusty outflow wind
between 30-40 kt will be the main affect on Wed.
.PREV DISCUSSION...315 PM MDT TUE JUL 26 2016...
High pressure aloft has migrated northwest of the Four Corners
region. In the lower layers of the atmosphere, some modest
moisture continues to be drawn into New Mexico from the Gulf of
Mexico while ample moisture has moved into the mid to upper levels
of the atmosphere. This should lead to an increase in shower and
thunderstorm activity late this afternoon and into the evening.
Temperatures have cooled a few to several degrees, and most areas
are running close to normal for late July. By Wednesday high
pressure will stay northwest of New Mexico, but dry air will begin
to sag into the northwestern portion of the state, limiting
thunderstorm chances there as temperatures begin to climb back
above normal. Into Thursday, high pressure will not move much and
thunderstorms will favor the high terrain of central and western
New Mexico with a bit of an increase in coverage by Friday.
The main dome of high pressure has established itself northwest
of the Four Corners region, and thus the steering flow has been
carrying storms to the south and southeast over NM. Heavier cores
of rainfall have been a bit slower to develop compared to
yesterday. This was anticipated due to the late overnight
convection and remnant debris clouds that were observed well into
the morning hours. The coverage should continue to blossom with
scattered to numerous storms impacting most zones through the
early evening. This morning`s precipitable water value of 1.22
inch from the morning sounding is in about the 95th percentile,
thus the atmosphere is primed for some locally heavy rainfall.
While some localized flooding appears to be a distinct
possibility, there is not enough confidence in a widespread threat
for a flash flood watch.
As Wednesday unfolds the upper high will not move much, but will
swell with some higher heights over Nevada and vicinity. A dry
slot aloft will wrap around the high and spill into northwestern
NM Wednesday, quickly acting to suppress thunderstorm initiation
in about the northwestern 1/3 of the state. A sharp demarcation of
dry air to the northwest and residual moist air to the south
southeast will set up from roughly Taos to Glenwood. This boundary
could be a focal point for storm development with storms generally
drifting south or south southwest. The spatial area of the
healthiest precipitable water values will be shrinking, but some
locally heavy rainfall would still be possible south of the
aforementioned demarcation. Temperatures would spike back up in
the northwest plateau area due to the drying, and elsewhere the
rises would be more modest, generally at only 1 to 4 degrees.
Once Thursday rolls around, there will be little change to the
placement and strength of the upper high, as well as the steering
flow over NM. More dry air will invade NM from the north, and this
could limit storms to a larger degree with temperatures nudging up
another couple degrees in many zones.
By Friday, the dome of high pressure will nudge slightly
southeastward, beginning to encroach upon more of AZ and western
NM. While precipitable water values seem to decline slightly on
Friday, some moisture would still be available for recycling,
generally outside of the northwestern plateau area of NM. The high
is still depicted as weakening considerably on Saturday as it
becomes loosely centered over NM. Less subsidence will enable
easier recycling of moisture, and by Sunday the ill-defined high
nudges farther east to allow the subtropical plume of moisture to
start standing up from Old Mexico. This could keep elevated rain
chances going for the central to western zones early next week.
Upper high center in the process of relocating to the Great Basin.
It is still progged to linger there until around Friday when it
meanders back to the east, and eventually over and possibly to the
east of New Mexico. This will lead to a down turn in shower and
storm activity as soon as Wednesday for the northwest, and overall
Thursday into Friday. If the high center manages to end up to our
east, a more traditional monsoon pattern could emerge, with
increasingly active weather early next week.
Showers and storms to be active through tonight with potential for
locally heavy rain, then are expected to be less numerous over the
northwest third or so Wednesday. The remainder of the forecast area
should remain relatively active Wednesday. Showers and storms which
develop over the higher terrain will drift into the valleys and
plains. Storm motion will be slow and erratic through this evening,
largely driven by terrain and outflow boundaries. Storm motion by
Wednesday afternoon will be from the north and northeast to the
south and southeast around 5 to 15 mph.
Chances for wetting showers and storms decrease overall Thursday as
drier air and high haines overspread portions of the north and west.
Minimum humidities overall will diminish as the week progresses, but
overnight recoveries will remain mostly good to excellent, except
for the northwest plateau where fair to poor recoveries develop as
soon as Wednesday night and persist through Friday night. Some
pockets of fair to poor vent rates will exist over the east
Wednesday and in the central and west Thursday. Locally fair to poor
rates will persist Friday and Saturday as well.
Once the high center returns to our east, although confidence is
questionable, humidities will begin to climb, and high temperatures
will cool slightly, but remain near to above average. An uptick in
convective activity would be likely as well.