Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 251802 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1102 AM MST Sat Feb 25 2017

Expect west/southwest winds to increase all TAF sites this afternoon
except FMN. Peak gusts 20-25kt focusing around KSAF, KABQ and KAEG.
Peak gusts 25-30kt KGUP and KTCC. Peak wind 30-35kt KLVS. Otherwise,
VFR all areas with increasing high clouds from the west by late day.


.PREV DISCUSSION...321 AM MST Sat Feb 25 2017...
The dry airmass will persist over New Mexico today with exception of
some mid to upper level moisture seeping in from the west increasing
cloud cover. Temperatures will remain below normal central and west
through early next week but eastern areas will creep to near...above
normal Sunday through Tuesday. A quick moving upper level trough
will pass through state Sunday with some precipitation chances
favoring western areas. Rain and snow chances will increase further
Monday night into Tuesday central and west as a potent upper level
trough impacts the region. Temperatures will fall back below normal
before rebounding toward the end of next week.


Zonal flow aloft will persist today with a few afternoon breezes
across higher terrain areas central and east. As the day progresses,
look for clouds to increase as some mid/upper level moisture seeps
across the state ahead of an approaching but quick moving upper
level trough. Some wetting precipitation chances could develop across
western areas Sun with the passing trough. Another more potent upper
level trough will makes it way toward the state Mon/Tues with greater
moisture to follow.  According to GFS/ECWMF/NAM12 comparisons, it
looks like greater snow chances could favor the western mtns Monday
night into Tues afternoon before spreading eastward while low
elevation rain showers take fold elsewhere. Look for all activity to
dissipate Tues evening as the trough exits to the east. Left over
energy from the exiting trough will help develop a back door cold
front that will push south and west across the eastern plains Wed
morning before washing out Wed evening. Meanwhile, temperatures will
become 10 to 15 degrees below normal areawide Wed.

Mid to late next week, a drier milder pattern will return as the
latest model runs indicate a developing cut off low off the Baja
Peninsula. Meanwhile, look for temperatures to rebound near/to
possibility above normal.



The coldest temps in an entire month are in place across NM this
morning due to a very dry boundary layer and strong radiational
cooling. A surface boundary over eastern NM has made it all the way
west to the central highlands. The latest short-term model guidance
suggests a weak surface low or lee trough will develop along a line
from near Clayton to Mills Canyon and Santa Rosa by late day. This
essentially eliminates the coverage of critical fire from the east
central plains. Strongest winds aloft are still expected to mix down
west of this boundary however the coverage and duration of critical
fire is too patchy over the northeast highlands and plains. Decided
to cancel the fire weather watch and coordinated with SPC and WFOs.

Top-down moistening will begin tonight as a narrow fetch of moisture
shifts eastward from the eastern Pacific. Winds will remain elevated
on Sunday however thickening and lowering cloud cover will limit
instability and keep high temps below normal. Models are squeezing
out some snow showers over the southwest and west-central higher
terrain Sunday morning, with perhaps a dusting to half inch of snow.

Winds aloft will increase Monday behind the departing wave and yet
another batch of thick cloud cover approaches from the west. A
strengthening pressure gradient will result in widespread breezy to
windy conditions over NM Monday. The greatest potential for critical
fire will focus along the TX state line where temps average 5F above
normal and haines values rise to between 4 and 5. Breezy conditions
will continue into Monday night.

Guidance continues to trend wetter for Tuesday with another mass of
deep moisture shifting east from the Pacific. This looks to be the
best shot for decent precip accumulations in roughly 2 weeks over
northern and western NM. Temps will be cold enough to support snow
down to around 6,000`. Winds will remain strong with the passage of
this system, especially across the eastern plains and the higher
terrain. A reinforcing blast of colder temps move in behind this
system, keeping temps below normal for at least another couple days.






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