Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 221735 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1135 AM MDT SUN MAY 22 2016

VFR conditions will prevail across central and western NM for the
next 24 hours. The dryline will retreat westward tonight, but not
as far as the last two nights. Currently think it will make it
just west of the TX border. This combined with some high clouds
moving over the area overnight should limit MVFR/IFR cigs from
redeveloping over KTCC and KROW overnight, but this will need to
be watched closely. Best chances for redevelopment look to be
southeast of a line from near Portales to just east of KROW.
Otherwise, the main hazard today will be increasing southwesterly
winds. Gust between 25 and 35kt are likely areawide, diminishing
after sunset.



Once again dry and breezy to windy conditions will be the dominant
weather pattern today across most of New Mexico. But also again
today there may be isolated thunderstorm development mainly
across the eastern border counties with a few strong to severe
storms not out of the question. Little change expected through at
least Wednesday as similar mid and upper level pattern will
continue pretty much as is the case currently, which will drive
similar surface conditions. At this time it looks as though
storm chances in the far east will be too low to mention in the
forecast. A stronger though still rather dry low pressure trough
will likely cross northern New Mexico Thursday, bringing mostly
wind and perhaps 5 to 10 degrees of daytime cooling.


Our current dry and breezy to windy weather scenario will be
locked in through Thu. The only real exceptions will be later
this afternoon and perhaps awhile into this eve when again across
the far east we may see an outbreak of a few storms, a couple or
so of which again may be strong to severe. They should not linger
in the state as long as was the case the hours preceding the
writing of this product. While winds aloft may be a little
stronger today than Saturday, the dry slot overrunning the dryline
may be of even greater depth than was the case this past 12 hours
though right near the sfc moisture may be even a little richer
than Saturday. Instability and cape parameters still look pretty
decent, though, so it will, not uncommonly, be somewhat of a wait
and see situation. Today through Wednesday temperatures will vary
little across most of fcst area, then should drop at least 5 to 10
degrees between Wed and Thu. Below normal temperatures will be the
rule across the west, near normal across central areas, and just
above normal across the east. By Wed or Thu afternoon some mid
level moisture will work into the northwest, which may with
daytime heating result in some virga. See fire wx discussion for
details on a Fire Wx Watch that has just been hoisted for most of
ne and east central NM for Tue aftn through mid eve.

The next upper level low will likely weaken into an open wave as it
crosses northern NM on Thursday. Some light precip is possible
across the north, but nothing significant is expected. Fcst models
continue to depart from good harmony thereafter with regards to
the upper level pattern, but no big storm systems appear to be on
the horizon and certainly no strong evidence is showing up as
regards a decent chance of wetting precip, except perhaps in the
east and north central sections of the state late weekend and
early next week.



Mid level dry intrusion was extra strong yesterday and this led to
lower humidity levels than originally was expected. Carried this
expectation over through the rest of the 5 to 7 day forecast period.
Thus, lowered dewpoint grids and humidity below model guidance. The
overall flavor during the next several days will be a dry to very
dry airmass coupled with breezy to windy conditions and mixed
atmospheric instability. This is due to a semipermanent Pacific low
over the northwest third to half of the country. We have seen these
extended periods in late May during the past so not totally out of
the ordinary. Luckily fuel conditions are not as critical near term.
Expecting some drying of the fuels by mid week. Thus a Fire Weather
Watch has been posted for Tuesday afternoon across portions of the

Another round of strong wind and low humidity will occur this
afternoon and favor the eastern plains and portions of the western
highlands. Based on recent rainfall impacts have decided to opt out
of issuing a Red Flag Warning. The surface dryline wont be as
pronounced by afternoon compared to yesterday as it mixes to the
east. Cant rule out some localized stronger storms near the TX
border but the more organized activity is expected to be east of the

Not a lot of change in the overall strong wind/low humidity scenario
on Monday. Mixing heights are projected to be higher despite some
slight cooling in areas. As mentioned above...the mid level dry
intrusion will be found over the area and allow for several hours of
single digit readings across the lowlands, especially Rio Grande
Valley as well as larger areas of poor to moderate recoveries.

As mentioned above...decided to pull the trigger on a Fire Weather
Watch Tuesday afternoon to early evening for portions of the eastern
plains. The Watch area coincides with strong wind/low
humidity/haines 5 to 6 values/above normal temperatures and
unusually high mixing heights. Top soil moisture values should lower
by this point. Greenup is certainly a mitigating factor in terms of
fire danger but extended periods of low humidity and gusty wind can
lower fuel moisture in fine fuels that are even green. A complexity
of fuel conditions exist out there.

Wednesday is another day to watch in terms of future fire weather
highlights or statements.  Confidence is high for strong wind and
low to very low humidity. The most organized alignment area in terms
of atmospheric induced fire growth potential would be found across
the eastern third where temperatures remain above normal coupled
with Haines 5 to 6 values and unusually high mixing heights.
Overall cooling is expected however.

A piece of the Pacific low is expected to shear out across the
southern and central Rockies Thursday/Friday. This means additional
cooling and perhaps some shower and thunderstorm chances across the
northern tier. The models appear to have trended a little further
south with the Pacific energy. This is not surprising due to what is
currently going on in the eastern Equatorial Pacific. Will continue
to monitor that trend for forecast confidence. The stronger mid
level wind envelope would then shift south/eastward. Temperatures
would also cool with below normal readings across the entire
forecast area on Thursday.

Both the ECMWF and GFS show a second piece of energy digging into
the Pacific low and reinvigorating it over the western tier of the
US. The models differ slightly on the position of the upper low but
both show intensifying southerly flow ahead of it. This means the
surface dryline would become more active across the eastern plains
but dry and breezier conditions would remain across western and
central areas.

Ventilation is expected to not be a concern the next several days
due to higher mixing heights during the afternoon and stronger
transport wind flow.



Fire Weather Watch from Tuesday afternoon through Tuesday evening
for the following zones... NMZ103-104-108.


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