Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 261759

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1059 AM MST Sun Feb 26 2017

The main concern today will be potential for -SHRA to produce gusty
and erratic outflow winds within central and western NM. A very dry
surface layer with deeper moisture in the mid and upper levels will
enhance outflow winds with gusts up to 30 or 35kt at KGUP/KABQ/KAEG
and maybe KSAF between 20Z and 00Z. Mt top obscurations expected on
central and western high terrain and they will continue until drier
air arrives from west to east aft 00Z. More tranquil conditions to
return tonight with generally light winds and clearing skies. The
exception will be the central mountain peaks with 10K foot winds on
the increase after 06z. Winds will increase sharply Monday morning
aside from the northwest and central valley TAF sites. NOTE: strong
winds expected at KLVS and KTCC after 18z Monday. High and maybe
damaging winds possible in portions of eastern NM Tuesday.


.PREV DISCUSSION...332 AM MST Sun Feb 26 2017...
A few rain...high elevation snow showers will develop along and west
of the central mountain chain today as the quick moving upper level
trough passes over the state. Virga showers with gusty winds will
favor the central Rio Grande Valley today because of continued drier
conditions at the surface. Look for highs to drop 5 to 10 degrees
central and west today with afternoon breezes central and east.
Drier, milder conditions will return Monday as temperatures rebound
in the east. Another approaching upper level Pacific trough will
bring cooler, wetter and windier conditions to the state beginning
Monday evening and lasting through Tuesday evening. A drier, warmer
period will resurface midweek lasting through the end of next week.


As the quick moving upper level disturbance crosses the state today,
some mid to upper level moisture associated with the passing system
will help develop snow showers along and west of the central mtn
chain but limited to elevations higher than 5500 feet. Lower
elevations may see some wetting rain but virga showers will look to
favor the central RGV because of drier conditions remaining near the
sfc. Periods of gusty winds will follow virga bombs as they impact
the central valleys. Meanwhile, temperatures will remain below
normal today areawide with highs cooling 5 to 10 degrees central and
west today. Most shower activity will taper down this evening with
some linger showers across the NW plateau through Mon.

As one upper level disturbance moves out, another more potent upper
level Pacific trough will inch toward the state as it currently
hovers off the Pacific NW Coast. Look for warming temperatures ahead
of the trough, especially across the eastern plains where some mid
level drying will prevail followed by downsloping winds helping
temperatures to rebound near/above normal...which could also elevate
fire weather concerns in the east Mon aftn. So far, models are in
agreement of wetting precipitation developing Mon night into Tues as
the upper level trough gets closer to the state. Much of the western
and northwestern high terrain will favor snow showers, with higher
snow amounts favoring the north central mtns. Other impacts from the
this system will of course be the winds; with advisory level winds
along the Sangre De Cristos and portions of the east central plains
Mon followed by high wind warning readings from the south central
highlands eastward toward the TX border Tues aftn. 700mb winds are
looking to top 50-70kts across much of central and eastern NM.
Blowing dust will also be possible Tues aftn as well across the SE
plains. Meanwhile, cooler condtions will follow as a cold front
follows behind the system dropping temperatures back below normal for
a short period.

Temperatures will begin rebounding Thurs as a drier, warmer pattern
returns allowing temperatures to reach above normal Fri. The dry,
warm pattern will persist through the following weekend.



An upper wave shifting quickly eastward from southern CA today will
generate mainly dry and gusty shower activity over the western high
terrain and the lower and middle Rio Grande Valley this afternoon.
Boundary layer humidity will trend much higher today compared to
recent days as these gusty showers move east from AZ. Elsewhere a
mostly cloudy day is expected with breezy conditions. Temps will be
roughly 5 to 10F below normal. Mid and upper level moisture will
exit the area tonight however remnant boundary layer moisture will
allow for very good to excellent humidity recoveries most areas.

Winds aloft will strengthen again Monday ahead of the next upper
wave arriving from the Great Basin. These stronger winds will bring
deeper moisture into the area with increasing precip chances over
the northern and western high terrain by late day. Downslope flow
into the eastern plains will help force max temps above normal and
widespread windy conditions are likely. Increasing moisture along
with cold advection is decreasing confidence on the coverage and
duration of critical fire weather Monday afternoon across eastern
NM. Mixing heights trend down considerably compared to today and
haines values peak at moderate during the morning. Nonetheless,
there is still a rather large area of marginal critical fire over
eastern NM. Will not hoist a fire weather watch at this time.

Widespread rain and mountain snow is likely Monday night and Tuesday
over northern and western NM. The focus area for a few to several
inches of snow will be along the Cont Dvd and west facing slopes of
the San Juans and Sangre de Cristo Mts. Meanwhile, ridge top winds
will start cranking Monday night then spread into the southeastern
half of NM Tuesday where gusts up to 65 mph are possible. Precip
along the trough axis is expected to fall apart while progressing
eastward and not make it much farther than the Rio Grande Valley and
central mt chain Tuesday evening.

Much drier air slides into NM behind this wave on strong northwest
flow Wednesday. Temps will remain near 10F below normal all areas.
Northwest flow will weaken into Thursday and temps are expected to
trend a bit closer to normal. Vent rates are coming out poor during
this period however would not be surprised to see them improve since
mixing heights and transport winds are not all that low.





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