Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 211729 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1129 AM MDT Tue Mar 21 2017
18Z TAF CYCLE
Southwest winds with gusts up to 20kt will be possible again this
afternoon across much of western and central NM, decreasing after
sunset. Meanwhile, a weak wind shift over eastern NM will surge south
and westward this evening and overnight, perhaps producing a weak
easterly wind at both KSAF and KABQ. Low clouds and possibly fog will
form behind the front across eastern NM. IFR cigs/vsbys are likely and
locally LIFR is possible. Main TAF sites that will be affected are
KLVS, KTCC and KROW. Low clouds should erode late Wed morning.
Southwesterly breezes should also pick up again across central and
western NM by the noon hour Wed.
.PREV DISCUSSION...324 AM MDT Tue Mar 21 2017...
Major weather changes are on the horizon the latter half the week.
The warm and dry period will prevail today and Wednesday before an
incoming upper level system brings cooler temperatures with
precipitation chances north and west Thursday and Friday. An incoming
back door cold front will cool highs in the east today and
Wednesday...but remain above normal. Some thunderstorm chances could
develop along the NM/TX border Thursday afternoon because of
lingering surface moisture across the east. Anticipate winds to
increase Wed through Friday. A secondary system looks to brush the
north Sunday before a third, more potent system impacts the state
late Monday through Wednesday.
Currently, a back door cold front is pushing south and west across
the NE Plains. The front will help lower high temps today and Wed
across the east while remaining above normal. Meanwhile, some areas
untouched by the back door cold front should see record/near record
highs. Light showers/sprinkle chances could develop across the far
NE Plains tonight behind the front. Wed will continue to be dry with
warmer temps central and east. Sfc winds will also begin increasing
Wed, lasting through Fri which will enhance some fire weather
concerns central and east (see fire weather discussion below).
Major weather changes will occur west to east Thurs as the low dives
across the Great Basin, crossing NM Thurs aftn into Friday. A well
defined Pacific cold front will race across the state Thurs cooling
temps, developing rain/mtn snow chances north and west and producing
breezy to windy conditions areawide. There is also a chance for
thunderstorms to develop along the NM/TX border Thurs aftn as the
front races into an unstable environment. SPC currently has the area
under marginal cond for Thurs. Cond could become severe along the
border...depending on the storms progression. Cooler cond will
follow as the front pushes out Thurs night-Fri. Warp around energy
from the exiting low will also keep lingering rain/mtn snow showers
around across the central/northern tier Friday.
By Sat, temps will rebound as warm and dry cond return temporarily
before an upper level shortwave clips the northern tier Sun. Cooler
and gustier cond will follow as shortwave passes across the state
with precipitation limited to the northern mtns. A more potent upper
level system will impact the state late Mon night through Wed. Cond
look to be colder with widespread rain/snow showers favoring areas
along and north of the I-40 corridor.
A dynamic pattern is shaping up as the upper ridge that brought
record warmth shifts east ahead of a potent trough developing along
the west coast. Dry and warm conditions will continue today across
the region with relatively light winds. Late day virga with gusty
winds is possible near the northern high terrain. A shallow low
level moist boundary over the far eastern plains will linger near
the TX state line through sunset. This boundary will surge west
after sunset and make it to the east slopes of the central mt chain.
As a result, humidity recoveries will be excellent with even patchy
fog and very low clouds across the plains.
Stronger winds aloft and deep mixing into Wednesday will continue
the very dry and warm conditions across all of central and western
NM. The low level boundary in the east will battle mixing but likely
retreat to near the TX state line by late day. A corridor of breezy
to windy conditions with single digit humidities and high haines
will occur from the middle Rio Grande Valley northeast into the
Sandia, Manzano, Gallinas Mts, and the northeast highlands for a 3
to 5 hour period Wednesday afternoon. Gridded guidance indicates
some Super Haines near this area so decided to go with a Fire
Weather Watch. Recoveries are expected to be poor to fair in this
area Wednesday night with slight breezes continuing.
Thursday will be the most dynamic day as a potent upper low bombs
out over northeastern NM and forces a strong area of winds through
NM. There is still some uncertainty how far west low level moisture
will return to the plains but confidence is increasing it will stay
near the TX state line. Storms may fire up along the dry line by
late afternoon and shift quickly east into west TX. The focus for
critical fire wx conditions remains in the area between the east
slopes of the central mt chain and the Caprock region. Based on how
strong winds appear and the slower evolution of cold advection from
the west, decided to issue a Fire Weather Watch for Thursday within
the eastern plains. This also coincides with a region a deep mixing
ahead of the front and high haines. Meanwhile, precip will break out
along and behind the front within northern and western NM with much
colder air arriving for Thursday night. Some light snow accums are
possible in the northern mts.
Strong north/northwest winds develop Friday behind the departing
wave with temps trending 15 to 25 degrees cooler. Rain and snow may
continue over the northern mts and the northeast plains Friday. A
quick change to southwest flow occurs Saturday with a strong warm up
and much lower humidities. The next system follows up quickly Sunday
with cooler temps, more wind, and slight chances for precip across
the north. Another blast of wind and warmer temps occurs Monday
before a possible significant storm system Tuesday and Wednesday.
Fire Weather Watch from Wednesday afternoon through Wednesday
evening for the following zones... NMZ103-106-107.
Fire Weather Watch Thursday afternoon for the following zones...