Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 240552 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1052 PM MST Fri Feb 23 2018

An upper level trough will cross from the west tonight with a strong
SWLY jet stream aloft and a gusty Pacific cold front at the surface.
MVFR and IFR conditions and mountain obscurations are expected to
continue with a band of snow stretching NEWD across the W central
and NW mountains. This area will likely increase in size during the
late night hours, before diminishing around or shortly after sunrise.
An inch or two of snow accumulation will be possible, with locally
higher amounts in the mountains and along the CO border. The
strongest W and SW winds will be felt in and just E of the mountains
for the remainder of the night, especially the S central mountains
where SRR can expect gusts over 50 kt. NW winds will be strong E of
the CONTDVD on Saturday, and especially along and E of the central
mountain chain, as the upper level trough gradually exits the Rockies
onto the Great Plains. Before sunrise this morning, a broad area of
low clouds will be found along and E of NM`s eastern border and
across much of Union county. However, strengthening downslope flow
will scour this moisture eastward around and a little after sunrise.



.PREV DISCUSSION...308 PM MST Fri Feb 23 2018...
A storm system approaching from Arizona will force light snow into
parts of northern and western New Mexico tonight and early Saturday.
Travel conditions may become slick along the Continental Divide with
very cold low temperatures and brisk winds. Strong winds will spread
into the high terrain tonight then across much of the area Saturday.
Wind gusts up to 65 mph are possible in the Sacramento Mountains and
along the Interstate 40 corridor near Clines Corners. The combination
of wind and cold temperatures Saturday will make for a blustery day.
The next weather system will move into northern New Mexico Saturday
night and Sunday with a couple more inches of snow possible. Low
temperatures Sunday and Monday mornings will be some of the coldest
since late January. A brief warming trend is expected Monday before
another storm system moves through the area Tuesday and Wednesday
with more wind, colder temperatures, and possible snow.


The primary focus the next 12 to 24 hours will be light snow moving
into northern and western NM along with much colder temperatures and
windy conditions for the entire area. The latest radar and obs show
snow shifting slowly east along the I-40 corridor in AZ with heavy
snow at Flagstaff. Hi-res and near-term models are in very good
agreement shifting this precip into western NM this evening then
focusing the main area of accumulations over west slopes of the
northern mts tonight. No changes in store for the Winter Wx Advisory,
however impacts are possible along I-40 and US-550 near the Cont Dvd
with a brief burst of wintry weather. The High Wind Watch has also
been upgraded to a Warning for parts of the south-central higher
terrain and around Clines Corners. Wind Advisories have also been
added to parts of eastern NM with expansions possible Saturday.

The next upper wave will slide quickly east across northern NM
Saturday night and deliver a brief bout of light snow along west
facing slopes into Sunday morning. Sunday will again be blustery
over the entire area with below normal temperatures. Very dry and
cold air behind this system will bring the coldest low temps in
several weeks Sunday morning. Many folks will see lows in the single
digits and teens Sunday and Monday mornings. Folks that have started
cool season gardening in the RGV and eastern plains will need to
protect vegetation.

Upper level flow will back to the southwest Monday and allow for a
brief warming trend with more wind across the area. Model guidance
diverges Tuesday on the details of the next upper trough approaching
from the west. Nonetheless, an active pattern looks to continue with
at least more cold temperatures and wind Tuesday night into Thursday.




A relatively cold upper level trough over the Great Basin will
result in light snow accumulation (2-5") for the Chuska and Tusas
mountains along with strong winds tonight through Saturday. Critical
relative humidity values and strong west winds will result across
eastern NM Saturday but high temperatures are forecast to remain
below seasonal averages with Haines values in the 2 to 3 range.
Colder air will move in from behind the associated surface cold
front Saturday and with a very dry airmass behind the front, a cold
night is in store Saturday night/Sunday morning. Another weak upper
level trough will drop in from the northwest and across northern NM
Sunday morning, bringing scattered snow showers to northern NM and
moderate to strong winds to central areas of the state.

A break in-between storm systems remains on track for Sunday night
through Tuesday. Winds and a very dry airmass will combine to create
critical fire weather conditions for the northeast plains Monday
morning. High temperatures are forecast to be approximately 5
degrees above average along with higher Haines so a fire weather
watch may be in order. Models agree that a stronger and colder upper-
level trough/low will push into NM Tuesday night or Wednesday,
favoring western and perhaps central NM with wetting precipitation
mainly in the form of snow.

Dry westerly flow aloft is forecast to move overhead Wednesday
night and Thursday. GFS and ECWMF are at odds with how the storm
track behaves late next week into next weekend. ECWMF is trending
more toward the GFS which keeps the next upper-level trough north of



Wind Advisory from 5 AM to 2 PM MST Saturday for the following
zones... NMZ529-534>536.

Wind Advisory until 2 PM MST Saturday for the following zones...

Winter Weather Advisory until 5 AM MST Saturday for the following
zones... NMZ510.

High Wind Warning until 2 PM MST Saturday for the following zones...


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