Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 300549 AAC
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1149 PM MDT Wed Mar 29 2017
06Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions prevail and are forecast to persist through the next
24hrs, except for possible brief IFR cigs at KSAF early Thursday
morning. Otherwise, west-southwest flow will pick-up Thursday
afternoon ahead of an approaching potent upper level low with gusty
.PREV DISCUSSION...1057 PM MDT Wed Mar 29 2017...
Quick update to remove patchy fog from the higher elevations. Favored
ares for morning fog expected in/near Santa Fe, Estancia Valley,
portions of the northeast highlands and east-central plains.
.PREV DISCUSSION...328 PM MDT Wed Mar 29 2017...
Showers will continue diminishing across the east through sunset.
Patchy fog chances could develop across large portions of central
and eastern areas after midnight through Thursday morning. Anticipate
a brief warmup Thursday ahead the second incoming Pacific system
that will arrive Friday. Look for windy conditions Friday across
southern and eastern areas with some precipitation across the
northwest. Central and eastern areas will remain dry and windy
increasing fire weather concerns Friday afternoon. Temperatures will
cool Friday and Saturday followed by precipitation ramping up across
the northern mountains as the Pacific system crosses the northern
tier. Temperatures will rebound Sunday and Monday ahead of another
incoming storm system by Tuesday.
Windy northernly winds across the NE Plains will gradually taper
down around/after sunset with cooler overnight lows. Recent
saturated ground, cooler lows, and less winds could help with
patchy fog development across much of central and eastern
NM tonight through early Thurs...especially within the valleys.
A shortwave ridge will build over the forecast area Thurs allowing
temps to rebound 10-20 degrees higher than previous. Sfc winds will
begin ramping up late Thurs into Fri ahead of the 2nd approaching
Pacific storm system. Stronger winds and drier cond will be prevalent
across much of southern and eastern NM Fri aftn where fire weather
concerns have been raised to issuance of a fire weather watch for
central/southern RGV and the eastern plains (see fire weather
discussion below). Meanwhile, snow levels will lower from 8500 ft to
between 5500-6500 ft as the Pacific system the northern tier of the
state Fri night into Sat. Precipitation will favor the NW but looks
to be drier than previous model runs but will ramp up across the
northern mtns Sat. Anticipate cooler/below normal cond Fri-Sat but
another warm up will follow Sun-Mon.
Another Pacific system will follow suit Mon night-Tues that looks to
track north of the state, which will favor wind and fire weather
activity central and east.
..A FEW HOURS OF SPOTTY CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER POSSIBLE IN THE
WESTERN HIGHLANDS OF NM THURSDAY WITH MORE WIDESPREAD CRITICAL
CONDITIONS POSSIBLE FRIDAY...
An active spring weather pattern will continue throughout the
forecast period with several disturbances aloft bringing bouts of
stronger winds, large temperature swings, and occasional
precipitation. As one low pressure system exits farther to the
northeast today, any ongoing showery precipitation will diminish
with excellent RH recovery expected overnight into early Thursday
morning for central to eastern NM. The clearing trend overnight
could actually lead to the development of some very low clouds
and/or fog toward dawn due to this high humidity trend.
Into Thursday, mid to high clouds will filter into NM while a weak
ridge of high pressure crosses the state. This will induce an abrupt
warm-up while breezy to windy conditions develop amidst the deep and
efficient boundary layer mixing. RH could fall to critical values in
spotty locales over the western highlands Thursday afternoon with
some breezy to windy conditions juxtaposed. No watch is planned for
Thursday due to the spotty and brief nature of these critical
On Friday, the pattern quickly buckles and returns to a more
unsettled one as yet another low pressure system dives southeast
toward NM. The system is forecast to cross immediately over the Four
Corners region Friday with a stout jet aloft rounding the base of it
and thus over the southern/eastern tiers of NM. A pronounced dry
slot aloft will also accompany this belt of stronger winds aloft
early in the day with some modest mid level moisture eventually
working in toward the late afternoon. While cooler temperatures will
be sweeping into the forecast area from the west, critical
conditions are still painted across much of the Rio Grande valley
and the east central plains. Despite the cooling temperatures (5 to
8 degrees below normal in parts of the Rio Grande valley), the
mixing heights will remain very high with steep temperature lapse
rates. All of these factors are concerning, and thus a Fire Weather
Watch will be hoisted for the Rio Grande valley and also the eastern
plains, namely the east central section of the plains. A big caveat
with the east central plains will be the fuel conditions, as much of
this area received between 0.75 to 1.3 inches of rainfall/liquid
equivalent precipitation within the past 24 hours. Fuel loading has
been a concern there, and these are primarily 1 hour fuels, however
such a widespread saturating precipitation event might preclude the
re-curing of the fuels and ultimately negating the hazard. Will
continue to monitor this closely through next few shifts.
Into Saturday and early Sunday the upper low will continue trekking
across northern NM. This will keep high temperatures below normal
through the weekend while winds shift in direction, but keep fairly
tame speeds. Precipitation will favor the western and northern
zones, but will be primarily focused along and near the CO-NM border.
Breezy to windy conditions return into Monday and Tuesday of next
week as the pattern remains perturbed and active. Forecast models
are not in complete agreement about the exact track and timing of
the next low, but it appears to stay mostly north of the CO-NM
border, giving NM more wind than precipitation. This will
necessitate a watchful eye on the fire weather side of the forecast.
Fire Weather Watch from Friday afternoon through Friday evening for
the following zones... NMZ104-106-108.