Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 181125

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
425 AM MST Thu Jan 18 2018

VFR conditions will prevail through the TAF period with generally
light winds. KSAF will see breezy drainage winds this morning subside
by noon. High scattered cirrus will filter in from the north.



.PREV DISCUSSION...337 AM MST Thu Jan 18 2018...
Another cold morning today will give way to a strong warming trend
this afternoon under sunny skies. Tonight will be cold once again
but not nearly as cold as the past two days. Temperatures will warm
even more Friday with near record highs expected across northeastern
New Mexico. Widespread windy conditions are on the way on Saturday
ahead of the next storm system. Temperatures will remain warm across
the east but cool down across the west where rain and high terrain
snow spreads into the area. A potent cold front will then race east
across the state Saturday evening and turn rain to snow in all areas.
There is potential for a few inches of snowfall in the high terrain.
This system will linger over northeast New Mexico Sunday. Very cold
temperatures and windy conditions will persist Sunday and Monday.


The latest model suite has come into better agreement with the
timing of a cold front that will rip through the state Saturday and
Saturday night. Guidance is also handling the precip forcing better
so confidence is increasing for the weekend storm system.

The upper level low that spun southward through NM Wednesday has
drifted southeast into the Big Bend tonight and pulled a large dry
airmass across NM in its wake. Water vapor imagery shows an upper
level ridge approaching from the west with abundant moisture
advecting onto the west coast. 700mb warm advection today will
provide a nice warming trend with a slight deepening of the lee
surface trough over eastern NM. Winds will increase tonight across
the higher terrain as 700-500mb layer winds approach 30 kts.

Guidance has backed off on the strength of the surface low over
southeastern CO Friday and winds as a result are not as strong or
widespread. This decreased the amount of katabatic flow and thus
lowered near record temps a bit across northeastern NM. It will
still however be 15 to 25 degrees above normal. Temps Friday night
will be the warmest of the week as flow aloft continues to increase
and mid level moisture approaches from the west.

All eyes are on Saturday as guidance is coming into good agreement
with a sharp H5 trough axis approaching from northern AZ during the
afternoon. A potent Pacific front within the base of the trough axis
will arrive over western NM around 21Z along with a distinct band of
rain to snow. This activity shifts east toward the Rio Grande Valley
near 03Z with intensifying frontogenesis. This is actually starting
to look really good for rain to snow even into the ABQ metro, with a
2 to 5 hour burst of heavy snow for the central mt chain, including
the Sandia/Manzanos. Will try not to get too excited as this season
has been disappointment after disappointment. WPC QPF and snowfall
amounts are in the 3 to 8" range for the northern mts thru Sunday
morning. Winds will also be strong both ahead of and behind this
system, especially for eastern NM.

Very cold temperatures then follow in the wake of the upper trough
as it intensifies rapidly over the plains Saturday night. 700mb
temps fall to -12C with bitter cold wind chills Sunday and Monday.
This elevates the potential for a flash freeze scenario in any areas
where precip falls Saturday evening.



Near record warmth and downsloping winds will allow for elevated
fire weather conditions Friday afternoon across east central NM, and
likely again Saturday afternoon.

The weak upper level low that moved over southern NM Wednesday has
moved into the Texas Big Bend area this morning. Today will see
temperatures trending up with a shortwave ridge building in from the
AZ. The ridge begins to break down Friday with a lee-side sfc trough
strengthening over the Raton Ridge area. This will create a decent
downsloping wind event along the I-40 corridor from Clines Corners
to the NM/TX border where winds will be 15-30mph. Highs across
eastern NM Friday will be 15-25 degrees above normal. This will
allow for elevated fire weather conditions Friday afternoon for east-
central NM.

A Pacific winter storm system begins to move into the region
Saturday with SW winds picking up to 20-30mph across the east. This
system`s arrival into NM has slowed from recent forecasts and thus
has allowed Saturday highs to reach well above normal. With the
above normal temperatures persisting, more widespread increased SW
winds, and the current drought conditions, another round of elevated
fire weather conditions across eastern-central and northeastern NM
is likely Saturday afternoon.

The Pacific winter storm system will bring in northern mtn snow and
valley rain Saturday, transitioning to more widespread snow Sunday
morning. Temperatures will be bitter cold Sunday for all of NM. Wind
chills in the single digits and teens Sunday morning will be a major
factor for those outside. Temperatures do warm a bit for early next
week, with dry conditions across NM persisting. Vent rates do
increase with the approach of the Pacific front Fri-Sun, decreasing
to poor again early next week.



Fire Weather Watch Friday afternoon for the following zones...

Fire Weather Watch Saturday afternoon for the following zones...


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