Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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857
FXUS65 KABQ 240547
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1147 PM MDT Thu Mar 23 2017

.AVIATION...
06Z TAF CYCLE

Precipitation, visibility, and ceiling impacts will be of greatest
concern through the overnight and early morning hours in north
central New Mexico. As low pressure strengthens over the northeastern
part of the state, some periods of heavier banded snow will impact
the northern mountains and the Raton ridge where very low visibility
in snow and blowing snow will be a concern along with mountain
obscurations. Winds will be strong in this area too through dawn, but
will see an extreme resurgence through the post-dawn morning hours
and into the remainder of the day. Wind speeds will be severe, mainly
over northeastern and east central New Mexico Friday where gusts of
50 to 60 kt are expected. Precipitation coverage and intensity will
have diminished substantially by Friday afternoon with improving
visibility/ceilings.

52

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...332 PM MDT Thu Mar 23 2017...
.SYNOPSIS...
Upper level low intensifying as it moves east across AZ this
afternoon. The low will be over the four corners area at 6pm MDT
this evening and move east to the CO, OK, NM state lines at 6am MDT
Friday morning. A surface cold front will continue east tonight with
strong winds ahead and behind it, as well as evening showers along
with a few thunderstorms. Snow in the northern mountains into the
far northeast tonight into Friday. A second front will blast south
across the eastern plains late tonight into Friday.

A break Friday night into Saturday then the next storm brings light
precipitation to the north late Saturday into Sunday night. A
stronger storm for Tuesday through Thursday and perhaps another
right behind for the end of the week.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Weather change underway as a potent cold front sweeps through central
NM currently. Strong winds ahead and with the front with virga bombs
producing high, potentially damaging winds. ABQ has reported a wind
gust of 67 mph earlier this afternoon. Showers and a few lightning
strikes will continue along and behind the front into this evening.
A second front will blast south across the eastern plains later
tonight into Friday with high, maybe damaging winds. Enough cold air
will work into the northern mountains and far northeast for snow
tonight through Friday morning. The area from Raton Pass to Capulin
and Des Moines could get both snow and high winds, creating white-out
conditions for a few hours either side of daybreak Friday. We have
extended most of the high wind warnings and wind advisories through
the day Friday. We will issue a winter weather advisory for the
Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Raton Ridge/Johnson Mesa area for
later this evening through early Friday afternoon.

Winds and precipitation will diminish Friday afternoon and evening.
Dry and cooler Friday night. Mostly dry and milder Saturday.

Storm number two will brush NM Saturday night into Sunday night with
light precipitation, brisk winds and some cooling. Much stronger
storm still on track for Tuesday through Thursday, with yet another
disturbance possible Friday! CHJ

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
A vigorous upper level trough will deepen into a closed low pressure
system as it passes eastward over the the NM/CO border this evening.
Then it will deepen rapidly further once it gets past the Sangre de
Cristo Mountains late tonight into early Friday morning. Strong
winds that developed today will persist through tonight as the flow
aloft strengthens in response to the rapidly deepening low pressure
system. Locations east of the continental divide can expect another
windy to very wind day on Friday as the deep upper low exits slowly
eastward.  Wind directions will shift out of the northwest by
tonight, as a Pacific cold front finishes crossing the area. A
strong back door cold front will also drive southward through the
eastern plains late tonight into Friday with wind gusts approaching
70 mph across NE and E central areas. Precipitation with the storm
system will remain on the light side, except in the mountains near
the CO border, where a few to several inches of snow is expected
tonight into Friday morning.

High temperatures will fall between normal and 13 degrees below
normal in the wake of the cold fronts on Friday, and the week-long
episode of 4-6 Haines will come to an end. It still looks like
nearly half of the middle Rio Grande Valley zone will have critical
wind speeds and critically low humidities for several hours Friday
afternoon. Given the marginality of the other fire weather
ingredients, will keep the watch going there.

After a ridge of high pressure crosses Friday night and Saturday,
another upper level trough is progged to deepen into a closed low as
it passes eastward over the NM/CO border on Saturday night and
Sunday. Winds may become gusty again starting Saturday afternoon
across southern and western areas. Then breezy conditions will
redevelop Sunday, especially along and east of the central mountain
chain. The storm will bring a chance for additional rain and
mountain snow mainly to locations north of I-40. Any wetting
precipitation will be very spotty and favor mountain locations along
the CO border. Several hours of critical fire weather conditions
will be possible across the east central plains on Sunday, but
humidities may remain above 15% in most other locations.

Another ridge of high pressure will cross Sunday night and Monday,
but winds will probably strengthen again on Tuesday as another storm
system approaches from the west. The slow moving storm will spread
precipitation over the area Tuesday through Wednesday night as it
crosses central and southern NM from the west. GFS and ECMWF are
similar in track and fairly close in depth, but disagree by about 6
hours on the timing of the system. It does look like a wetting
precipitation producer.  With 700 mb temperatures dropping to -4C or
so, snow should favor mainly the mountains.

44

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
High Wind Warning until 7 PM MDT Friday for the following zones...
NMZ521-523-526-528-529-531>535-537-539-540.

Blizzard Warning until 1 PM MDT Friday for the following zones...
NMZ513-515-527.

High Wind Warning from 6 AM to 7 PM MDT Friday for the following
zones... NMZ530.

Wind Advisory until 7 PM MDT Friday for the following zones...
NMZ506>508-511-519-520-522-524-525.

Winter Weather Advisory until 1 PM MDT Friday for the following
zones... NMZ512-514-516.

&&

$$



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