Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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000
FXUS65 KABQ 231008
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
308 AM MST Fri Feb 23 2018

.SYNOPSIS...
A storm system in the southern Great Basin will generate breezy
southwest winds across much of northern and central New Mexico today.
Temperatures will be milder today, though only the eastern plains
will see high temperatures rise slightly above normal. The storm
will then move eastward and across northern New Mexico tonight with
light to moderate snow expected in the western highlands and
northern mountains. South of the storm winds will become breezy to
windy tonight and Saturday across the central highlands, the south
central mountains and the high plains of south central New Mexico.
A Pacific cold front will cross New Mexico Saturday, bringing
significantly colder air to the state. A fast moving storm will cross
northern New Mexico late Saturday night and Sunday morning with light
snow expected in the northern mountains. Cold air will remain in
place across the state Sunday. A strong warming trend Monday and
Tuesday will push high temperatures above normal east of the central
mountains by Tuesday. The storm track will shift farther south during
the middle of next week, and a storm ejecting eastward from southern
California could bring rain and elevation snow to western and central New
Mexico late Tuesday night and Wednesday.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
An upper level trough in the southern Great Basin this morning will
move slowly eastward into northwest AZ this afternoon. Ahead of this
system, southwest winds aloft will increase in speed and a lee
surface trough will develop in east central and northeast NM. The
increasing surface gradient and stronger winds aloft will produce
southwest winds between 15 and 25 knots across the southwest and
south central higher terrain and in the high plains east of the
central mountains. Southwest flow will also bring milder air into NM.
High temperatures will still be 5 to 10 degrees below normal from
the central mountains westward, but highs will recover to near to
slightly above normal in the eastern plains. The upper level trough
will move from AZ into west central and northern NM tonight. While
this storm system will bring only modest amounts of deeper layer
moisture to west central, northwest and north central NM, upslope
flow on the west facing slopes will enhance precipitation rates.
Though most of these areas will only receive an inch or less of new
snow tonight through Saturday morning, the mountains will receive
totals ranging from 2 to 6 inches. A winter weather advisory has
been issued for the Tusas Mountains tonight for 4 to 6 inches of
snowfall. A strong Pacific cold front is projected to move into
western NM late this evening and cross the state overnight. Strong
cold advection behind the cold front will result in high temperatures
Saturday that will be 5 to 15 degrees colder than today and about 10
to 20 degrees colder than normals for late February.

A shortwave trough in northern Oregon Saturday morning will dive
rapidly southeastward Saturday and Sunday. This compact storm system
will bring light snow to the northwest and north central mountains
late Saturday night and Sunday morning, before quickly exiting to the
east. Another shot of reinforcing cold air behind this system will
keep temperatures well below normal Sunday.

A strong trough digging southward along the U.S. west coast Monday
and Tuesday will produce west winds aloft Monday and southwest winds
aloft Tuesday. This flow aloft will advect milder air across NM.
Temperatures will moderate during the first part of next week, and
will be near to slightly below normal west of the central mountains
and above normal east of the central mountains by Tuesday afternoon.
A weak lee surface trough in northeastern NM Monday will strengthen
Tuesday. Breezy conditions will develop in the eastern plains Monday
afternoon and breezy conditions will increase in coverage Tuesday to
include south central, southwestern and west central NM in addition
to the eastern plains. A close low over southern CA Tuesday will move
eastward across the Southwest Tuesday night and Wednesday. 00Z runs
of the GFS and ECMWF are in better agreement on the timing of this
system. Precipitation is expected to increase across western NM
Tuesday night and spread across central NM Wednesday. A trailing
shortwave will cross northern NM Wednesday night, and light snow will
continue across portions of northern NM Wednesday night, while
precipitation will end by early Wednesday evening to the south.

Drier west northwest to west southwest flow aloft Thursday and Friday
will allow temperatures to gradually return to near normal by Friday
afternoon.

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&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
...STRONG WINDS AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY LIKELY FOR THE NORTHEAST
AND EAST CENTRAL PLAINS TODAY AND SATURDAY AS WELL AS EARLY NEXT
WEEK...

Winds will increase again today as another disturbance approaches
New Mexico from the west, bringing snow showers to the northwest
third to half of the state this afternoon and tonight. Accumulating
snowfall will favor the Northwest Mountains tonight. High
temperatures will be within a few degrees of normal today and will
cool below average Saturday. Minimum humidities of 15 percent or
less will dominate the Northeast and East Central Plains as well as
portions of the Middle Rio Grande Valley this afternoon and Saturday
afternoon. However, with generally low Haines forecast both days
will not issue any fire weather highlights at this time.

Strong to severe west winds expected tonight into Saturday
especially over the Southwest Mountains, along the central mountain
chain and over the East Central Plains. Gusts to 50-65 mph are
possible.

Saturday night and Sunday will see more snow showers over the
northern mountains and continued windy conditions mainly along and
south of Interstate 40. Highs Sunday will be about 5 to 15 degrees
below average.

More wind forecast for next Monday and Tuesday and will be combined
with low humidities in the afternoons across the Northeast and East
Central Plains. Critical fire weather conditions over those zones
appear more likely as moderate to high Haines forecast as well as
high temperatures warming to several degrees above average. In
addition, much of the higher terrain will see lower overnight
humidities and some fair to poor humidity recoveries are possible
over the Northeast and East Central Plains. Another disturbance
could bring additional precipitation to western and central New
Mexico around the middle of next week along with some modest
cooling.

Vent rates will be good to excellent for the majority of the
region today through the middle of next week.

&&

.AVIATION...
06Z TAF CYCLE
Upper-level trough has departed NM. Drier air working into the state
will provide VFR conditions at all TAF sites tonight. Strong winds
will develop once again Friday as another upper trough approaches
from the west. Gusts approaching 40kt again likely at KLVS in the
afternoon. Gusts generally 20kt to 30kt at the other TAF sites. Snow
showers will develop Friday over the northwest high terrain with
ceilings lowering to MVFR at times and occasional mt obscurations
after 18z. Precipitation will expand south and east Friday night with
ceilings and visibilities lowering, perhaps impacting KGUP and KFMN
after 00Z Saturday.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
Farmington......................  42  16  36  17 /  20  50  10  10
Dulce...........................  38  14  32   8 /  30  70  20  40
Cuba............................  38  12  30  11 /   5  60  20  30
Gallup..........................  41  10  35  12 /  10  50   5   0
El Morro........................  42   9  32  10 /   5  50   5   0
Grants..........................  46  13  37  12 /   0  30   0   0
Quemado.........................  45  17  36  15 /   0  30   5   0
Glenwood........................  51  24  47  23 /   0  20   0   0
Chama...........................  34   8  28   3 /  30  70  30  50
Los Alamos......................  43  22  35  20 /   5  30  10  10
Pecos...........................  45  18  34  15 /   0  20   5   0
Cerro/Questa....................  37  14  30  10 /   0  40  10  20
Red River.......................  31  10  21   5 /   5  50  20  20
Angel Fire......................  37   7  25   4 /   0  40  10  20
Taos............................  41  13  34  10 /   0  30   5  10
Mora............................  46  15  33  14 /   0  20   5  10
Espanola........................  49  21  42  17 /   0  20   5   5
Santa Fe........................  45  21  35  18 /   0  20  10   0
Santa Fe Airport................  48  20  38  17 /   0  20   5   0
Albuquerque Foothills...........  51  25  41  24 /   0  10   0   0
Albuquerque Heights.............  53  26  43  25 /   0  10   0   0
Albuquerque Valley..............  55  22  45  21 /   0  10   0   0
Albuquerque West Mesa...........  53  24  43  23 /   0  10   0   0
Los Lunas.......................  57  19  47  18 /   0  10   0   0
Rio Rancho......................  52  25  42  23 /   0  10   0   0
Socorro.........................  58  27  51  23 /   0   5   0   0
Sandia Park/Cedar Crest.........  48  19  36  20 /   0  10   5   0
Tijeras.........................  48  18  37  19 /   0  10   0   0
Moriarty/Estancia...............  52  18  39  15 /   0   5   0   0
Clines Corners..................  48  18  34  18 /   0   5   0   0
Gran Quivira....................  51  23  40  21 /   0   5   0   0
Carrizozo.......................  55  26  46  23 /   0   5   0   0
Ruidoso.........................  50  22  40  23 /   0   5   0   0
Capulin.........................  49  17  40  12 /   0  10   5   0
Raton...........................  51  18  42  14 /   0  10   0   0
Springer........................  55  22  44  19 /   0   5   0   0
Las Vegas.......................  49  19  38  16 /   0  10   0   0
Clayton.........................  55  25  46  19 /   0   5   0   0
Roy.............................  53  22  44  18 /   0   5   0   0
Conchas.........................  62  29  52  26 /   0   5   0   0
Santa Rosa......................  61  25  48  22 /   0   5   0   0
Tucumcari.......................  66  30  55  21 /   0   0   0   0
Clovis..........................  64  29  51  24 /   0   0   0   0
Portales........................  65  30  52  23 /   0   0   0   0
Fort Sumner.....................  62  27  51  22 /   0   0   0   0
Roswell.........................  67  32  59  26 /   0   0   0   0
Picacho.........................  62  30  51  27 /   0   0   0   0
Elk.............................  58  28  48  25 /   0   0   0   0

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
High Wind Watch from this evening through Saturday afternoon for
the following zones... NMZ523-526-539-540.

Winter Weather Advisory from 5 PM this afternoon to 5 AM MST
Saturday for the following zones... NMZ510.

&&

$$

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