Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 270520 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1020 PM MST Sun Feb 26 2017
06Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions forecast to persist overnight with development/lowering
of VFR cigs across central and western portions of the area Monday
morning. Otherwise, increasing southwest flow Monday will result in
gusts to between 35-40kts by afternoon at KGUP, KLVS and KTCC.
Deteriorating conditions are forecast Monday night ahead of an
approaching disturbance, with the onset of rain potentially impacting
KGUP, KFMN and KSAF toward the end of the TAF period.
.PREV DISCUSSION...308 PM MST Sun Feb 26 2017...
Unsettled weather including a strong jet and Pacific trough passage
will affect northern and central New Mexico through Tuesday.
Significant snowfall will be possible Monday night into Tuesday
across the northwest highlands. Gustier wind will also impact the
area Monday but more so Tuesday favoring the southeast half of the
forecast area including the plains. A gradual warming and drying
trend will occur the latter half of the week with above normal
afternoon temperatures expected pretty much areawide on Friday. A
warmer and drier upcoming weekend is also anticipated.
Made a few modifications to the gridded forecast...namely increased
PoPs over the western and northern highlands. QPF and snow forecasts
were not altered all that much. It seems as though the NAM lowered
its QPF forecast but either way you slice it...significant orographic
or moist southwest blocking flow expected for the northwest highlands
including the Chama area. Decided to issue a Winter Storm Watch for
two northwest zones bordering CO Monday night into Tuesday. Based on
wet bulb zero forecast from both the GFS and NAM...thinking more of
a higher elevation impact event although will need to watch the
continental divide between Grants and Gallup. Otherwise...fully
expect additional winter weather advisories for some of the higher
elevation zones including the Sangres...Jemez mtns and the western
highlands. Wind will also be a factor...especially across the SE
half of the area during the next couple of days. High wind watch has
been posted for Tuesday. Main jet core will move over the area Monday
night into Tues. Did not include thunder for Tuesday although the
cold pool passage associated with the Pacific trough passage should
spit out some lightning strikes. That can be introduced on later
All of the models show drying and warming the latter half of the
week...especially Thu and Fri with above normal temps most areas Fri
afternoon. Continued...warmer and drier zonal flow for next weekend.
Periods of gustier afternoon winds will also affect the area. The
bigger wind period most likely wont come until the next trough
approaches late weekend.
Strong winds Monday and high winds Tuesday over parts of central and
eastern New Mexico.
An upper low is racing east into NM this afternoon and will quickly
exit the state tonight. Light snow may produce an inch or two of
snow in the San Juan mountains overnight but that`s about it.
Sprinkles and flurries will be noted over the northwest quarter of
the state through this evening with plenty of virga and some gusty
The next storm just off the Pacific Northwest Coast will move inland
this evening, reach the Great Basin Monday and zip across NM
Tuesday. This system will be able to draw decent moisture north
ahead of and with the trough passage. A foot or more of snow may
accumulate in the San Juan Mountains Monday night into Tuesday. But
just as significant will be the winds, increasing on Monday and
peaking on Tuesday. Some strong winds will be noted Monday from
Clines Corners to Tucumcari and Roy. High and potentially damaging
winds will occur across large portions of our central and eastern
zones, namely from the Sandia, Manzano and Gallinas Mountains east
to the TX border.
Critical fire weather conditions will likely occur across the
eastern plains Monday afternoon. Most of the ingredients will be
there except for the instability. RH values will be marginal, and
any increase in moisture or decrease in temperatures will prevent
them from dropping below 15 percent. So, will not issue a fire
weather watch with this marginal and somewhat patchy critical fire
weather event. RH recoveries tonight will be good to excellent. Vent
rates will be very good to excellent Monday.
Winds will roar on Tuesday but minimum relative humidities should be
above 15 percent across the east. Temperatures will still be a
little above normal despite extensive cloud cover, and some
instability will be present. Critical fire weather conditions will
be close across the far eastern plains. Any warming or drying could
result in critical conditions becoming widespread enough for a Fire
Weather Watch. But none planned at this point. Rain and mountain
snow will be widespread across the west and north Monday night and
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. The dry
weather should last through next weekend.
High Wind Watch from Tuesday morning through Tuesday evening for
the following zones... NMZ521-523-524-526-533>540.
Winter Storm Watch from Monday evening through Tuesday evening for
the following zones... NMZ503-510.