Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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963
FXUS65 KABQ 190554 AAC
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1054 PM MST Sat Feb 18 2017

.AVIATION...
06Z TAF CYCLE
The next 24-30hrs will feature the main window for aviation impacts
across NM as an upper low slides overhead. Thick mid and high clouds
are spreading northeast as an arc of -RA/SN approaches from eastern
AZ and southwest NM. MVFR cigs/vsbys expected for KGUP and KFMN btwn
09Z-15Z. Confidence increasing that precip type for KGUP will be -SN.
-SHRA expected to shift northeast across the Rio Grande Valley while
weakening aft 11Z. Southwest winds will increase Sunday morning all
areas then shift thru the west into the late afternoon. MVFR cigs/
vsbys likely to persist for KFMN and KGUP most of Sunday as a second
round of -SHRA/SN develops beneath the main core of the upper wave.
This activity is then shown to pivot E/SE into the Rio Grande Valley
and create the main impact window at KABQ/KSAF aft 02Z. Areas of IFR
possible in heavier/persistent precip Sunday evening northern NM.

Guyer

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...708 PM MST Sat Feb 18 2017...
.UPDATE...
Made changes to first three forecast periods to line up more with
recent models and satellite/radar trends. Expecting this event to
unfold in two parts. Increasing upper diffluence with approaching
subtropical jet will bring the precip over AZ northward across NM
as a weakening arc of rain and high terrain snow tonight and early
Sunday. A break is expected then destabilization will occur with
the passage of the weakening upper low over the Four Corners and
northern mts Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. Snow levels will
fall and the main window for snowfall is expected Sunday evening
over the northern mts with colder, unstable, westerly upslope flow.
Winter wx advisory for Gila region to most likely be impactful for
only higher terrain. The San Juan/Tusas region may need expansion
into parts of the Sangres for Sunday night.

Guyer

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...353 PM MST Sat Feb 18 2017...
.SYNOPSIS...
Precipitation will increase across western areas tonight into Sunday
as the upper level low inches toward the state. Look for snow showers
above 8000 feet with rain showers below 7000 feet. A drier, warmer
pattern will return Monday as upper level ridging takes fold
allowing the return of above normal temperatures through midweek.
Conditions will turn windier and cooler toward the end of the week
as a cooler upper level system crosses the Rockies.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Rich moisture advection will continue surging northward as the upper
level low, currently over the Baja Peninsula inches closer to the
state. Wetting precipitation will develop across western areas this
evening with snow showers beginning across the SW mtns. Advisory
level snow showers will focus across the SW and San Juan Mtns late
tonight through Sun evening. Snow fall accumulations above 7000
feet will range from 5 to 8 inches with higher amounts near mtn
peaks as snow levels lower to 6500 to 7000 ft overnight. By Sun
morning, snow showers will develop across portions of the northern
mtns favoring the San Juans. Meanwhile, lower elevation rain showers
will favor much of western and central NM through late Sun. I still
mentioned thunder chances in the wx grids for areas along and west
of the central mtn chain Sunday aftn because of the NAM12 displaying
some areas of instability. Meanwhile, temperatures will trend below
normal central and west Sun before rebounding Mon.

By Mon, an upper level ridge axis will center over the state allowing
drier and warmer conditions to return. Temperatures will rebound
quickly Mon and Tues to above normal readings. Of course warmer
readings will be felt across the eastern plains with aid from some
lee side troughing. Westerly winds will increase Wed as upper level
flow becomes stronger and zonal which could increase fire weather
concerns across the eastern plains Wed aftn but some mid level
moisture creeping in from the west...increasing high clouds could
hinder fire development. The next incoming system will be cooler and
windier as it crosses the Colorado Rockies. We could definitely
expect an active wind event Thurs aftn across much of the state.
Temperatures will cool below normal as the system departs Friday but
they look to warm back above normal by the following weekend.

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Moisture advection is underway as an upper low over the northern
Baja approaches. Chances for wetting precipitation will ramp-up
tonight and continue into Sunday night, favoring the western higher
terrain. Moderate snow accumulation is likely above 8000ft, with
wet/melting snow below and mostly rain below 7000ft. QPF has trended
down from yesterday, so the extent of this wetting event has been
scaled-back somewhat.

A ridge builds-in quickly Monday behind the departing trough and
begins a new warming/drying trend that will last into mid week.
Daytime temperatures will be back above normal areawide by Tuesday.
Vent rates will trend down under the ridge, but have trended up from
previous forecast cycles. Vent rates will be good to excellent most
areas by Wednesday as the ridge shifts east and the westerlies
increase with a deepening lee side trough. Elevated fire weather
conditions are looking more likely Wednesday afternoon across
portions of the Eastern Plains with Haines values of 5 and critical
to near critical humidity. However, moisture advection in the mid
levels of the atmosphere Wednesday will create a thickening cloud
layer and would potentially limit fire behavior. Still looking like
a solid wind event Thursday with potential for critical fire weather
conditions, but cold air advection and clouds may limit fire
behavior everywhere except the Lower Rio Grande Valley and East
Central Plains.

A bit of a cool-down in the wake of the departing system Friday,
followed by a warm-up next weekend in advance of another upper
low/trough. Both the 12z ECMWF and GFS show limited wetting
potential with that system as they both open-up a deep low over
Southern California and swing in quickly eastward late Sunday into
the following Monday. 11

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Weather Advisory from 5 AM Sunday to 5 AM MST Monday for the
following zones... NMZ510.

Winter Weather Advisory until 6 PM MST Sunday for the following
zones... NMZ508.

&&

$$



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