Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 300441 AAB
AFDABQ

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM
941 PM MST THU JAN 29 2015

.UPDATE...
NEEDED TO ADD LOWER CHAMA RIVER VALLEY ZONE...ZONE 517...TO WINTER
STORM WARNING AREA AND ALSO DELAYED START OF MOST OF WARNINGS AND
ADVISORIES IN ROUGHLY NE HALF OF FCST AREA TIL 09Z TO ACCOUNT FOR
EXPECTED SLIGHTLY LATER SIGNIFICANT PRECIP ONSET AND ALSO TO ALLOW
TEMPS TO GET CLOSER TO THE FREEZING MARK. THOSE ARE BIGGEST
REASONS FOR THIS UPDATE...BUT ALSO SLIGHTLY LOWERED LOW TEMPS FOR
EARLY FRI IN PORTIONS OF MAINLY CENTRAL TO N CENTRAL NM WHERE
DEWPOINTS HAVE DROPPED A LITTLE LOWER THAN EXPECTED WHICH SHOULD
ALLOW FOR AT LEAST A DEGREE OR TWO OF ADDITIONAL EVAPORATIVE
COOLING WITH THE EARLY STAGES OF THE PRECIP. ALSO LOWERED MUCH OF
THE EASTERN PORTION OF THE POPS DUE TO SLIGHTLY LATER PRECIP ONSET
TIMES AND ALSO DROPPED LATE NIGHT QPF A BIT MOST OF THE AREA.
UPDATED ZONES AND WINTER WX PRODUCT WILL BE ISSUED ASAP.

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&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...516 PM MST THU JAN 29 2015...
.AVIATION...
00Z TAF CYCLE
A MIX OF WINTRY PCPN WITH MT OBSCURATIONS WILL MOVE OVER THE AREA
FM THE W AND SW THIS EVENING AND BECOME WDSPR LATE TONIGHT THROUGH
FRIDAY NIGHT. SNOW LEVELS WILL RANGE FROM AROUND 4500 FT OVER NE
AREAS TO AROUND 8000 FT OVER SW AREAS. THE BIG FORECAST CHALLENGE
THE NEXT 24 HOURS WILL BE IDENTIFYING WHEN OR IF RAIN WILL CHANGE
OVER TO SNOW AT LOWER ELEVATION TAF SITES. WE HAVE MODERATE
CONFIDENCE IN THE PCPN TYPE IN THE FORECAST AT KSAF AND
KLVS...BUT LOWER CONFIDENCE AT OTHER TAF SITES. SOME LOCATIONS MAY
SEE A BRIEF PERIOD OF SNOW OR SNOW/RAIN MIX LATE TONIGHT INTO
FRIDAY MORNING...THEN CHANGE BACK TO RAIN LATER IN THE DAY.

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&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...339 PM MST THU JAN 29 2015...
.SYNOPSIS...
A SIGNIFICANT WINTER STORM EVENT WILL IMPACT NORTHERN AND CENTRAL
NEW MEXICO THROUGH SATURDAY. ABUNDANT SUBTROPICAL MOISTURE WILL
FLOW NORTHWARD AHEAD OF A PACIFIC LOW AND CREATE A MIX OF LOWER
ELEVATION RAIN AND HIGHER ELEVATION SNOW. SOME SLEET WILL ALSO BE
POSSIBLE AT TIMES DUE TO THE EVER CHANGING TEMPERATURE PROFILE OF
THE ATMOSPHERE. SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS WILL BE POSSIBLE
ABOVE 7500 FEET. THE PACIFIC SYSTEM WILL DIG SOUTHWARD SATURDAY
NIGHT INTO SUNDAY AND BEGIN THE DRYING PROCESS. DRIER AND WARMER
WEATHER IS ANTICIPATED FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
AS MENTIONED DURING PREVIOUS SHIFTS...VERY TRICKY FORECAST IN
TERMS OF DETERMINING SNOW/RAIN/SLEET IMPACTS ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE.
FEEL THAT THE MODELS WILL UNDER DO THE INTENSITY AND REACH OF THE
ELEVATED MOIST/WARM TONGUE AHEAD OF THE PACIFIC LOW BUT AT THE
SAME TIME COULD BE UNDERDOING THE IMPACT OF COOLER/LOWER DEWPOINT
AIR ADVECTING IN FROM THE NORTH AT THE SURFACE. THAT COMBINATION
CREATES A VERY TRICKY PRECIPITATION TYPE FORECAST.

BASED ON THE SNOW TOTAL GRID FOR THE EVENT...MAIN CHANGES FROM
THE PREVIOUS FCST PACKAGE INCLUDE LOWERING SNOW AMOUNTS ACROSS THE
LOWER ELEVATIONS...ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE EAST CENTRAL AND
SOUTHEAST PLAINS. THIS IS PRIMARILY DRIVEN BY WET BULB ZERO
FORECASTS SINCE THIS IS MORE OF A SATURATED ENVIRONMENT EVENT. THE
EC AND SE PLAINS AREA IN PARTICULAR WILL HAVE TO BE RE LOOKED AT
IN TERMS OF HIGHLIGHTS BECAUSE THERE IS A CHANCE OF ACCUMULATING
SNOW ALONG THE HIGHER ELEVATIONS OF THE CAPROCK AS WELL AS SOME SLEET
POTENTIAL. ESPECIALLY AS THE ELEVATED WARM TONGUE DEVELOPS. THIS
IS A SYSTEM WHERE UPDATES ARE EXPECTED. OTHERWISE...LOOKING AT
SLAM DUNK WARNING SNOW TOTALS FOR MOST OF THE MTN ZONES. VERY
IMPRESSIVE AMOUNTS SHOW UP ABOVE 8500 FEET. HAVE SOME NEAR 20 INCH
AMOUNTS FOR THE MT TAYLOR AND HIGHEST GILA TERRAIN AREAS. SNOW
AMOUNTS WIHIN THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY...ESPECIALLY GREATER ABQ METRO
AREA WILL VARY WIDELY WITH NEAR WARNING AMOUNTS POSSIBLE RURAL
AREAS WEST OF RIO RANCHO AND THE ABQ FOOTHILLS. NEAR WARNING
AMOUNTS AT SANTA FE POSSIBLE AS WELL. FEEL THAT THE OVERALL
IMPACT OF THE EVENT WARRANTS ADVISORY WORDING. ANTECEDENT WARM GROUND/ROAD
CONDITIONS WENT INTO THAT DECISION MAKING. THE INCOMING COLD
AIRMASS FROM THE NORTH HAS ALREADY BEEN MODIFIED AS WELL. THE
HEAVIER QPF OR LIQUID WATER PERIODS WILL ALSO TRY TO MODIFY THE
SURFACE AIRMASS AS WELL. THUS THE WET BULB ZERO EFFECT. WILL CONTINUE TO
WATCH THE THERMAL/MOISTURE PROFILE CLOSELY.

MAV GUIDANCE STILL QUITE A BIT STRONGER VERSUS THE NAM GUIDACE IN ITS
EAST CANYON WIND VALUES FOR THE ABQ AREA TONIGHT INTO FRIDAY
MORNING. THE MAV DID A BETTER JOB WITH THE LAST EASTERLY WIND
EVENT AND OUR WIND GRIDS SHOW THE HIGHER MAV NUMBERS. THINKING
BELOW ADVISORY LEVELS AT THIS TIME BUT WILL HAVE TO MONITOR. CANT
RULE OUT 30 TO 32 MPH SUSTAINED WINDS FOR A BRIEF PERIOD. BOTH
MODELS SHOW THE EAST WIND IMPACT ACROSS THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY
LESSENING RAPIDLY DURING THE DAY PERIOD ON FRIDAY. BLENDED IN THE EAST
WIND EFFECT ON THE LIQUID WATER VALUES BY MAKING THEM LOWER IN THE
STRONGER WIND ENVELOPE AREA BUT HIGHER ON THE WESTERN PERIFPHERY OF
IT.

AS FAR AS SURFACE TEMPERATURES...DECIDED TO GO WITH SLIGHTLY
WARMER OVERNIGHT LOWS BUT COOLER DAY TIME HIGHS THROUGH SATURDAY.
OTHERWISE VERY LITTLE CHANGE TO THE TEMP GRIDDED FORECAST.

MODELS STILL TAKE THE UPPER LOW SOUTHWARD AND WEAKEN IT
SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY. THUS HAVE THE HIGHLIGHTS ENDING AT 5
PM SATURDAY. THE 12Z AND 18Z NAM MODEL SHOWS A LITTLE MORE
WEAKENING SATURDAY AND LESS QPF VERSUS THE GFS SO THAT TREND WILL
NEED TO BE WATCHED. THE UPGLIDE OR OVERRUNING DYNAMICS ALSO WEAKEN
RAPIDLY SATURDAY NIGHT AS INDICATED BY BOTH THE NAM/GFS. DRIER
WEATHER FOR SUNDAY WITH SMALL CHANCE POPS.

GRADUAL WARMING AND DRYING TREND EARLY NEXT WEEK BASED ON THE LAST
FEW RUNS OF THE GFS AND ECMWF. THERE IS SOME POTENTIAL FOR GUSTIER
BREEZES AS THE FLOW TURNS MORE NORTHWESTERLY AND STRENGTHENS.
PERHAPS A BACK DOOR COLD FRONT ACROSS THE EASTERN PLAINS MIDWEEK.

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&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
.NO MAJOR FIRE WEATHER CONCERNS DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS...

EXPECT WIDESPREAD WETTING PRECIPITATION AREAWIDE TONIGHT THROUGH
EARLY SUNDAY. LOOK FOR BELOW NORMAL TEMPERATURES ON FRIDAY WITH
SLIGHT WARMING SATURDAY AND SUNDAY...WITH STRONGER WARM UP FOR
MONDAY.

A PACIFIC STORM SYSTEM CONTINUES TO EDGE TOWARD THE FORECAST
AREA...MEANWHILE A BACK DOOR FRONT PUSHED WEST THROUGH THE RGV
WHICH LOWERED DEWPOINTS AND TEMPERATURES...ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE
NORTHEAST HIGHLANDS. EASTERLY WINDS WILL PEAK LATER THIS EVENING
AFTER SUNSET...ESPECIALLY WITHIN THE RGV BUT WILL GRADUALLY TAPER
OFF FRIDAY. WIDESPREAD WETTING PRECIPITATION IN THE FORM OF A
RAIN/SNOW MIX WILL DEVELOP LATER THIS EVENING INTO FRIDAY. HIGHER
ELEVATIONS WILL FAVOR SNOW WHILE LOWER ELEVATIONS COULD SEE RAIN OR
A RAIN/SNOW MIX. EXPECT HEAVY SNOW ACCUMULATIONS ABOVE 7000 FT FOR
CENTRAL AREAS AND ABOVE 8500 FT FOR WESTERN AREAS.

PRECIPITATION WILL END SUNDAY. A WEAK BACK DOOR FRONT WILL KEEP
TEMPS BELOW AVERAGE FOR THE EASTERN PLAINS. BY EARLY NEXT WEEK LOOK
FOR DRY CONDITIONS AS NORTHWEST FLOW ALOFT TAKES OVER.

EXPECT WIDESPREAD POOR VENTILATION RATES FRIDAY AND SATURDAY...WITH
SOME IMPROVEMENT IN THE FAR EAST SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY.

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
WINTER STORM WARNING UNTIL 5 PM MST SATURDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING
ZONES...NMZ502-506-508-524>526-539.

WINTER STORM WARNING FROM 2 AM FRIDAY TO 5 PM MST SATURDAY FOR THE
FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ504-510>515-517-521>523-529-533.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FROM 2 AM FRIDAY TO 5 PM MST SATURDAY FOR
THE FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ503-507-516-518-519-527-528-530>532.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 5 PM MST SATURDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING
ZONES...NMZ540.

&&

$$

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