Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 140535 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1035 PM MST Wed Dec 13 2017

Re-enforcement of the back door cold front will drop south through
the eastern plains overnight and spill into the Rio Grande Valley
Thursday morning. The associated upper level trough will drop sewd
through NM Thursday, bringing with it lowering MVFR cigs and a few
snow showers to the northern mts into the northeast with mt top
obscurations. TAF sites should remain VFR. Only KLVS could see a
-shra during the day Thursday. For now will only carry VCSH.


.PREV DISCUSSION...353 PM MST Wed Dec 13 2017...
A cold front is currently sliding into eastern New Mexico where some
northerly gusts are occasionally exceeding 20 to 30 mph, yet
temperatures are still holding above normal. A disturbance aloft and
a reinforcing shot of colder air will arrive tonight into Thursday,
setting temperatures back another 10 to 15 degrees. In addition, some
light mountain snow will develop tonight into Thursday. Precipitation
will tend to favor the northern mountains, but a mix of rain and
snow will be found in the adjacent highlands and perhaps as far south
as the Sacramento and Capitan mountains. Dry conditions are then
expected Friday with temperatures rebounding closer to seasonal
averages, and by Saturday high temperature readings will exceed
normal by 5 to 10 degrees in most of northern and central New Mexico.
There is much uncertainty in the forecast for Sunday into early
Monday as another potential upper level disturbance could encroach
upon New Mexico.


The cold front has pushed over most of the eastern plains of NM with
moderate to occasionally strong northerly winds behind the boundary.
While cooling effects have been limited with this initial push, the
more potent short wave trough upstream will usher in a much colder
airmass to the state into Thursday. As for this evening, high clouds
will increase over the northern tier of the state with top-down
moistening leading to lowering cloud bases after midnight and
precipitation breaking out over the northern Rockies. While this
scenario is drastically different from model runs of 36-48 hours or
older, the depicted QPF amounts have remained quite light over the
past few runs. Snow accumulation will be most over the northern
mountains, but these should still be light, generally in the 2 to 4
inch range and perhaps a dusting to an inch in adjacent

With 700mb temperatures of -5 to -10 C forecast to spread over much
of central to eastern NM on Thursday, the daytime highs will run
colder than average. Precipitation could spread southward into the
central and south central mountains, but any QPF/accumulation should
be less than the northern mountain zones. By late afternoon, most of
the precipitation should have diminished to a very light, spotty, and
showery variety. The short wave trough will merge with the Old Mexico
low, pushing south of NM into Thursday night.

By Friday, a lighter north northwest flow aloft will linger over NM
with lee side surface troughing taking shape, resulting in
downsloping breezes and consequentially some compressional warming
into the plains. Elsewhere, any temperature gains on Friday will be
fairly minimal, but all areas should still be within a few degrees
either side of normal.

On Saturday, a few to several degrees of warming will be observed
with the lee side surface low holding over northeast NM. Dry
conditions look to hold through Saturday, but the upper level pattern
will quickly be evolving. A meridional flow from the Canadian
Rockies is expected to usher another short wave trough southward,
likely moving into the central U.S. Rockies by late day Saturday.
Another satellite lobe of energy will also take shape as a closed low
that would progress southward along or just offshore of the CA coast
through late Saturday.

The specifics of the upper level pattern moving into Sunday quickly
become plagued by uncertainty, as forecast models have drastically
different solutions with a wide range of precipitation regimes
advertised. The European model keeps the central Rockies short wave
trough and the eastern Pacific low as two distinct entities, tracking
at different paces with the former dragging a short-lived shot of
colder air and wintry precipitation over northern NM. The GFS
counters this solution by keeping the Pacific low tethered to the
central Rockies shortwave, moving together in phase with the low
crossing the US- Mexico border late Sunday. This GFS solution would
favor the southern half of the state precipitation-wise.



Weather prediction models continue to trend deeper with an upper
level trough for Thursday and again Sunday. Colder air will move in
behind a cold front Thursday, with an inch or two of snow possible
for the northern mountains. Ventilation rates will improve a bit into
the fair range most areas Thursday after the front moves through.

Temperatures warm up some Friday and Saturday, especially east,
ahead of the next upper level trough and associated cold front. Vent
rates will be poor most areas on Friday in the wake of the departing
trough, but will improve slightly Saturday ahead of the next surface
cold front. Accumulating snow potential from the Sunday storm system
is trending up but the where remains elusive. ECMWF suggests the
snow will be across northeast NM whereas the GFS brings widespread
valley rain and mountain snow to central and southern NM Sunday and
Sunday night.





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