Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 231122 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
422 AM MST Tue Jan 23 2018


Mostly clear skies will prevail over the next 24 hours with light to
moderate breezes across northern and central New Mexico. Conditions
to remain in VFR category.



.PREV DISCUSSION...231 AM MST Tue Jan 23 2018...
A slow warming trend will begin today as dry north and northwest flow
aloft continues. A broad upper high will build over the western U.S.
Wednesday and Thursday with temperatures warming a degree or two
each day. Winds will be on the increase Thursday, ahead of a Pacific
storm system forecast to remain mainly north of New Mexico. Cooler
air will push into the state Friday along with a slight chance for a
few light snow showers near the Colorado border. Dry northwest flow
aloft returns for the weekend.


Temperatures continue to drop like a rock early this morning as a dry
airmass combines with light winds, clear sky and fresh snow cover in
places to result in very efficient radiational cooling. Angel Fire
already down to -15F as of this writing.

A slow warming trend gets underway today and continues Wednesday and
Thursday underneath a building ridge aloft. Thursday looking like
the warmest day of the week as the ridge axis shifts east of NM and
the atmosphere becomes slightly more unstable, especially higher
terrain. Models continue to keep a broad upper level trough mainly
north of NM for Friday. Wind will be the main impact from this system
Thursday and Friday. Cooler air will move in from west to east
behind an associated mainly dry Pacific cold front Friday. A few snow
showers are possible near the CO line Friday along and behind the
front. There is still some potential that this trough may dig a bit
father south but models agree that it will be quite moisture starved
and a track slightly farther south won`t mean much in the way of more
moisture advection for NM.

GFS and ECWMF agree that dry northwest flow aloft moves overhead
Saturday with a broad upper level ridge translating ewd over much of
the Western U.S. Sunday and Monday. Then major differences in the
models show up for Tuesday and beyond. Both the GFS and ECMWF bring
a deep upper level trough ashore over the PACNW Tuesday but the ECWMF
digs this feature nearly due south through the Great Basin, developing
it into a deep closed low (531 decameters at 500mb with -16C air at
700mb) over northern AZ by Wednesday morning, then moving it sewd to
over west- central NM midday Wednesday. GFS on the other hand digs
the trough sewd through the Central Rockies with only a dry backdoor
cold frontal passage for impacting NM. The current phase and strength
of the MJO over the Maritime Continent and western Pacific Ocean
give more credence to the ECMWF solution. Let`s hope.



Tranquil weather conditions will hold today with temperatures still
unable to reach seasonal averages in all locations this afternoon.
Still, low humidity will start to make an appearance, especially in
the east central plains today. Poor smoke ventilation rates will
also be a rather widespread issue today.

For Wednesday: while winds aloft will still be rather light, a lee
side surface trough will take shape. This will instigate some
stronger winds in eastern NM where a few hours of spotty critical
conditions could develop as temperatures creep up to, and even
above, normal. These stronger breezes in the east will nudge
ventilation rates up, but other remaining areas will still suffer
from poor smoke dispersion.

Winds aloft begin strengthening on Thursday as a trough moves over
the Great Basin and takes aim on the Rockies. Couple this with a
deepening lee side surface trough, and more critical fire weather
conditions are expected, mostly over northeastern NM. This could be
widespread and long enough in duration to warrant a Fire Weather
Watch should these advertised trends persist.

Winds appear to peak Thursday night into Friday as the jet aloft
rounds the trough crossing the Rockies. Winds speeds appear to be
critical over a large area of eastern NM, but RH is a bit marginal,
although minimum values now seem projected to be lower for Friday
afternoon. This period will be closely monitored in the coming days.
Otherwise, dry conditions will be the rule with very little
precipitation expected in northern NM Friday.

After a cool-down in eastern NM Friday night into Saturday, dry
conditions will hold until at least Tuesday of next week.




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