Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 122346

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
446 PM MST Tue Dec 12 2017

Mostly clear skies, VFR conditions, and light to moderate breezes
are currently in place across northern and central New Mexico. A cold
front will invade the eastern half of the state Wednesday, bringing
some northerly gusts as high as 25 to 30kt to the plains, but
otherwise the current trends will persist.



.PREV DISCUSSION...219 PM MST Tue Dec 12 2017...
Significant changes to the previous forecast, with a trend toward a
more active and chillier pattern. This includes two periods of snow
in the northern mountains and northeast, the first late wednesday
night into Thursday night, and the second Saturday night through

Two short wave troughs and their associated cold fronts will impact
northern NM through the weekend. The first will dive southeast into
the state Thursday with a shot of mainly snow over the northern
mountains into the northeast late Wednesday night into Thursday
night. A likely stronger short wave trough will do the same and
reach NM by Sunday, delivering some snow again across the northern
mountains into the northeast. Both systems will bring a shot of
chilly air with and behind them. In between and after the storm
systems we will continue experiencing dry and milder than normal


The big ridge of high pressure over the west is getting shoved
offshore as a couple of short wave troughs top the ridge. The second
of these troughs will dive southeast from the northwest U.S. and
reach NM Thursday, possibly joining forces with the pesky low still
sitting over Baja, CA. This will bring about our first episode of
mostly snow to the northern mountains into the northeast late
Wednesday night through Thursday evening. At the surface, a cold
front will reach northeast NM early Wednesday and continue south and
west during the day Wednesday with a significant cool down Thursday
from the Rio Grande valley to the TX border. Prior to this, we will
get a dry and mostly mild day Wednesday. Despite several degrees of
cooling in the northeast, highs will be above normal everywhere
Wednesday. Thursday will be decidedly chillier with below normal
highs in the east, near normal central and above normal in the west.
Temperatures were lowered several degrees, especially in the north
and east. Snow amounts should be light with maybe 2 to 4 inches in
the Sangres and less elsewhere. Rain will mix in with the snow across
the far northeast plains Thursday.

In between systems, Friday will be dry areawide with a noticeable
warmup in the east. The next short wave trough will barrel toward NM
this weekend, reaching the state Sunday. This feature is faster on
the ECMWF and barely exists on the CMC. The best chance at getting
some snow should be Saturday night through Sunday, again over the
northern mountains and northeast. Snow amounts will probably be
rather light once again. Another shot of chilly air will arrive late
Saturday in the northeast and plunge south and west Saturday night.
Most areas will experience below normal highs on Sunday. We lowered
highs several degrees Sunday, especially across the north and east.

As fast as it cools down it will warm up again early next week with
dry weather and highs climbing above normal once again.



A back door cold front will enter northeast areas late tonight, then
plunge southwestward through the remainder of the eastern plains
with a northeasterly wind shift through mid day on Wednesday. Winds
will be breezy on the far eastern plains, but cooler temperatures
should mainly be relegated to northeast areas. Poor ventilation will
be the norm on Wednesday, except for fair and good rates with the
wind across the eastern plains.

On Thursday an upper level trough will drop southward over the
forecast area with another cold front and a chance for rain and snow
showers favoring the northern mountains and northeast.  A few inches
of snow accumulation will be possible, mainly in the Sangre de
Cristo Mountains. High temperatures will generally fall a few to 20
degrees on Thursday from Wednesday`s readings.  Most places should
experience ventilation improvement on Thursday, except for a broad
area of fair to poor ventilation in a swath extending southeastward
from the northern mountains across the east central plains.

Thursday`s upper trough will form a closed upper low over northern
Mexico Thursday night.  This feature will eject east northeastward
across Texas Friday night and Saturday, but any precip over the
forecast area should end Thursday evening. Fair to poor ventilation
is then expected Friday, before pockets of ventilation improvement
on Saturday.

Another upper level trough will bring a chance of rain and snow
showers to the forecast area Saturday night and Sunday, with a cold
front that may push into northern areas as early as Saturday
afternoon. The northern mountains again look favored for
precipitation with this system, but the GFS, Canadian and European
models vary on the depth and timing. This lends significant
uncertainty to the precipitation forecast. Before the precipitation
begins, breezy downslope flow is expected to develop east of a line
from Las Vegas to Clines Corners to Corona on Saturday with some
fairly widespread critical fire weather conditions possible.
Depending on the speed of the cold front, portions of the northeast
could also have critical fire weather conditions on Saturday



VFR conditions the next 24 hours. A lee trough will induce periods of
gusty winds across parts of the eastern plains this afternoon. A back
door cold front will push south and southwestward through the eastern
plains late tonight through mid day Wednesday with a northeasterly
wind shift, which will be gusty across the far eastern plains.




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