Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 241059 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
459 AM MDT SAT SEP 24 2016
12Z TAF CYCLE
Upper low circulation over the central Rockies with weak trof extending
southward over NM. Isold mt obscurations due to br/fg possible til
around 15Z nrn mt valleys. Otherwise skc-sct aoa 140. Aft 18Z lcl
nw sfc wnd gusts to 30kt extending from the KFMN area thru KCQC.
Aft 25/06Z stg cdfnt to plunge into ern NM with nly wnd gusts to
.PREV DISCUSSION...330 AM MDT SAT SEP 24 2016...
A cooler than normal and somewhat unsettled weather regime is
shaping up for the next several days. Today will be dry but
rain chances will increase from southeast to northwest later
tonight through at least the earlier half of next week if not the
rest of the week. The main reason will be due to a pesky low
pressure system that will get cut off from the mean jet flow. This
system will drag subtropical moisture into the state and allow for
varied precipitation chances and increased cloud cover. A cold
front will also plunge southward across the area tonight into
Sunday and set up a much cooler temperature forecast into early
next week. By the latter half of next week temperatures should
gradually modify and return back to near normal levels.
Today will be the transition weather day. Drier but coolish
conditions will exist. Analyzed the current freeze warning for the
San Juan basin. Thought about canceling it due to some broken mid
level cloud cover over a portion of the zone as well as above
freezing dewpoint temperatures. After reviewing the latest weather
observations...found a location at 34 degrees in the La Plata
river valley so decided to keep it going although more of a soft
freeze is expected. Certainly some freezing going on in mountain
The parent Pacific trough is still intact but models remain
steadfast with a cut off low scenario developing tonight into
Sunday. Confidence is very high with this scenario although
moisture transport into the low from the Gulf and subtropics is
much more convoluted. Models seem to be delaying boundary layer
moistening across the SE so kept the reduced PoPs for the tonight
period but increased them on Sunday as the moisture tap and upper
level/orographic lift dynamics become better aligned. This trend
would continue into Sunday night although alignment for
precipitation appears to sink a little further to the south. This
is because the low is projected to sink further south and west.
The main question is how far west does the cut off low retrograde.
The Canadian/ECMWF seem to be trending further west which means
lessening precipitation chances over the forecast area briefly
early next week. The GFS is slightly hinting towards that solution
as well although the operational run has the low positioned a
little further to the east thus keeping some precipitation going
across southern/western portions of the forecast area. Current PoP
forecast through early next week reflects a blended approach.
The GFES and ECMWF ensemble 500 mb height fields look to be real
similar the earlier half of next week. The cut off low would
eventually shift northward and weaken some. Moisture would flow
northward ahead of the low but the main lift dynamics would
initially be found further to the west. As the week
progresses...the low would get absorbed back into the mean flow as
the next Pacific trough nears and eventually moves over the
western coastline. High temperatures would ultimately modify/warm
during this period despite varied precipitation chances and
afternoon cloud cover. Due to the nature of the cut off low and
uncertain amounts of subtropical moisture flowing northward...plus
lack of model run to run consistency...have to peg next week as a
lower confidence period. Especially in terms of day to day PoP
trends and rainfall potential.
Other near term forecast challenges and/or significant impacts
would be the surface wind flow Sunday through Sunday evening. The
frontal push will produce strong winds in itself and advisory
level conditions will be possible as the day progresses on Sunday
across the eastern plains. Then there is the easterly wind impact
within the Rio Grande Valley Sunday afternoon into the evening.
Based on the upper low position and boundary layer flow
projections...a stiff easterly wind is expected and advisories
will be very possible.
A drier and cooler air mass has lead to some colder temperatures
early this morning. The upper low continues to spin just to our
north and a few clouds may graze the northern border with CO today
before the low lifts northeast this evening. A baggy trough left
behind over NM will morph into a closed low which eventually becomes
cut off from the main wind flow over NW Old Mexico Monday.
There is a slight chance for showers over the peaks of the NW mts
near the CO border today, as well as in the far east central.
Otherwise it should be dry with highs near to below average. Vent
rates will be mostly good or better today.
Another vigorous cold front will impact NM Sunday. The front may
push into the northeast plains around midnight tonight, then surge
southward early Sunday morning. At least localized nly wind gusts to
40 or 45 mph will be associated with the boundary in the plains.
The circulation of the previously mentioned upper low may assist
with strengthening the east winds associated with the front`s
westward progress into the RGV. 30 kt east winds forecast at H7 and
below into the Albuquerque area swd through the day Sunday, so look
for wind gusts around 45 to 50 mph below canyons. Even the Santa Fe
area could see gusty NE to SE winds to 40 or 45 mph, depending
exactly where the low circulation sets up. The front will bring a
reinforcement of cooler air, with Sunday`s highs 5 to 15 degrees
below average. Vent rates will be good to excellent along and south
of I-40 but fair to poor the farther north you go. Chances for
showers or storms will be highest over the far east central, then
spread westward Sunday night as the front reaches the Contdvd.
Moisture looks to increase Monday with low level east to southeast
winds persisting. Chances for wetting rain seep north and westward,
and forecast highs Monday afternoon trending 10 to nearly 20 degrees
below average south of I-40. Gusty east to southeast winds will
plague the southwest mts as well potentially reaching 35 to 40 mph.
Mixing heights will be quite low, leading to areas of fair to poor
vent rates over much of the west and north Monday afternoon.
Thereafter, high temperatures slowly warm, as the upper low
retrogrades and high pressure builds over NM. Models are pretty much
in agreement the low will be drawn northward in the circulation
around the upper high center, into AZ and the Great Basin, then
cross the central Rockies as an open trough. The GFS still also
develops a weak tropical system as a satellite circulation to the
main low but it doesn`t appear to have much impact. Upshot is slight
chance to chance pops will persist for mainly the west and central
through much of next week. Some of the very high terrain may see
overnight snow showers but don`t look for accumulations. Poor vent
rates may be widespread Tuesday and Wednesday.
Freeze Warning until 8 AM MDT this morning for the following