Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 231732
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1132 AM MDT Tue May 23 2017

.AVIATION...
18Z TAF CYCLE
East canyon winds are dying down now through the central valley. The
backdoor frontal passage will continue south over the eastern plains
this afternoon, with shower activity not expected at KROW. Skies
clear through the afternoon with strong NW flow mixing to the sfc
over the west, including KFMN, KGUP, KAEG, and KABQ. Questions remain
on where the sfc moisture bdry sets up tonight for KSAF with an
associated easterly wind shift. VFR conditions Wednesday across the
forecast area.

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...316 AM MDT Tue May 23 2017...
.SYNOPSIS...
Much quieter weather conditions are in store for the next few days. A
front shifting through the eastern plains early this morning will set
the stage for cooler conditions this afternoon. A few storms are
possible along and just east of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains as
well, but severe weather is not expected. Dry, warm and breezy
conditions are expected areawide on Wednesday. Winds will increase
further on Thursday, as will the potential for critical fire weather
conditions. Another back door front is expected late in the week
which will increase potential for showers and thunderstorms Friday
into early next week.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
A wave in northwest flow aloft is helping to propel a back door cold
front through the plains early this morning. Breezy to locally windy
conditions exist behind the front. The front is trying to squeak
through the central mountain chain gaps this morning. A few breezes
are possible.

Cooler and more stable conditions will return this afternoon in the
wake of the front. High temperatures will be 15 to 20 degrees below
normal across the plains as the low clouds behind the front will be
slow to erode. Elsewhere, highs will be up to 5 degrees below
normal. A few thunderstorms may develop along the east slopes of the
Sangre de Cristos, but coverage will be much less than yesterday,
and severe weather is not expected.

Warmer temps will return on Wednesday as weak ridging moves over the
area. Most areas will be within 5 degrees of normal. Otherwise, dry
and breezy conditions can be expected. The warming trend will
continue across eastern NM on Thursday as the ridge flattens and a
lee side trough deepens across southeast CO resulting in downslope
flow. Winds will increase as well thanks to strong mixing and the
deepening lee side trough. Critical fire weather conditions are
also expected, discussed in greater detail below.

Slightly cooler conditions expected on Friday, but breezy to windy
conditions will persist. Another trough will cross Colorado on
Saturday, and an associated back door front will slide into NE NM.
Showers and thunderstorms will return to the northeast as a result,
and the front will continue to slide south through the plains
Saturday night.

Low level winds will veer around to the east and southeast on Sunday
and Monday, drawing some Gulf moisture into at least eastern NM, but
some moisture suggest that the moisture will move all the way to the
AZ border Monday night. Meanwhile, a dirty upper level ridge will
shift over NM. Should this occur, daily round of thunderstorm
activity would be possible early next week.

34

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Dry northwest to even north winds aloft to dominate today and
tonight before trending westerly Wednesday. High temperatures today
will be about 5 to 15 degrees below average central and east, and
within a few degrees of average west. Vent rates to be excellent
west and northeast today, with some areas of fair to poor along the
RGV and central mountain chain.

Still a low confidence humidity/wind forecast for central NM today,
especially the Rio Grande Valley, as even short term models not in
agreement how robust of an east wind may be into the Valley. Ended
up going with a compromise of north wind in valley areas, with an
east wind along the foothills, which is a possible scenario. This
plays havoc for the humidity forecast though so expect there will be
some  potentially wide and localized variations in humidities. In
addition, drier northwest to northerly winds aloft will battle any
increase in moisture. By this afternoon, mostly isolated convection
is expected along and east of the central mountain chain. Along the
Contdvd, some spotty critical condtions are possible this afternoon,
but not enough for a red flag warning. Humidity recoveries tonight
will be fair over the Contdvd region but worsen to poor into the RGV
Wednesday night.

Wednesday to be warmer and drier overall with highs near to above
average. and high Haines from the Pecos Valley to the AZ border.
Westerly winds may become gusty in the afternoon, and localized
critical conditions may develop over the central highlands. Vent
rates to be good to excellent.

A drier and windier forecast still good for Thursday and Friday as
an unsettled weather pattern dominates the Pacific Northwest and
northern Rockies. High temperatures will be above average Thursday
and low level moisture is conspicuously absent, therefore have
continued to undercut dew point/humidity forecast guidance.  Haines
of 6 to be widespread as well with impressively high mixing heights
to approximately, or even above 500mb. Consequently, have decided to
add zones 101 and 108 to the fire weather watch for Thursday.

Humidity recoveries Thursday night will be poor over the west and
RGV as well as the east central.  Friday will see some cooling in
the west with slightly below average high temperatures, so despite a
widespread combination of low humidities and strong winds Friday
afternoon, holding off on issuing a fire weather watch for Friday
for now. Additionally, a surface boundary will yo-yo back and forth
over the northeast Friday.

Winds aloft will transition to northwest Saturday and Sunday. The
previously mentioned surface boundary will sag farther south into
the northeast Saturday then sink down the eastern plains Saturday
night, leading to an increase in areal coverage of convection east
and central Sunday. Another surface boundary on tap for Sunday
night, and again Monday night, which could push to the AZ border.
Therefore, high temperatures fall to a few degrees below average
this weekend, and moreso early next week, while humidities trend
higher.

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Fire Weather Watch from Thursday afternoon through Thursday evening
for the following zones... NMZ101-105>109.

&&

$$



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