Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 172236
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
336 PM MST Sun Dec 17 2017

.SYNOPSIS...
An upper level storm system over far south-central Arizona will
continue to result in bands of showers and mountain snow showers
mainly south of U.S. Highways 60 and 380. Accumulating snow is
expected above 7000 feet in the southwest and south-central
mountains through Monday evening. Temperatures will be slightly below
seasonal averages in this same region with near to above average
temperatures north on Monday, warming all areas Tuesday and
Wednesday. Another storm system will impact the northern half or so
of the state Thursday and Thursday night. Much colder air along with
areas of light snow are anticipated for Thursday and Friday. A storm
system with modified Arctic air is forecast to drop into northern NM
Saturday and Christmas Eve.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Closed upper low centered near Why, AZ this afternoon. Bands of rain
and mountain snow continue to rotate newd from the low center and into
southwest NM. So far, Glenwood is reporting 0.25" of rain and 39F.
Higher peaks (Mogollon & Whitewater Baldy areas) in the Mogollon
Mountains likely getting at least moderate snowfall. Models all now
move the closed low east to near Nogales by mid-day Monday, filling
as it does so. Several more precipitation bands will rotate through
southern NM with snow levels rising gradually during the day Monday.
Not expecting much impact from the snowfall in these areas with the
rising snow levels but will leave as winter weather advisories as is
given the potential for moderate snowfall rates above 7500 feet in
the Gila NF and northern Sacs.

Weakened upper low lifts east/northeastward Tuesday with a dry nwly
flow aloft moving overhead. Flow aloft goes zonal Wednesday, ahead of
the next closed low. Models now agree that this feature will move to
near the Four Corners by 00Z Friday (5pm MST Thurs). Associated cold
front plows through the northwest third of the state by sunset
Thursday. Most of the snow from this system is forecast to remain
over CO but areas of light snow are possible for the northwest third.

Model solutions begin to diverge over the weekend. ECMWF keeps the
high amplitude blocking (Omega block) ridge near the west coast
"open", allowing a clipper type upper trough from the Gulf of Alaska
to drop into the Great Basin. As a result, a modified Arctic airmass
associated with the polar vortex is able to make it over the
Continental Divide and into the Great Basin. The resulting strong
baroclinic (temperature gradient) zone sets up over northern NM and
widespread snow results Saturday night into Christmas eve. GFS on
the other hand brings the low northeast of Hawaii into the mix,
forcing the blocking high circulation to close off and not allow the
above mentioned clipper trough to drop far enough south to bring the
modified Arctic airmass and baroclinic zone into NM. A fair amount
of uncertainty continues with regard to this complex large-scale
pattern but the potential for a very cold and possibly snowy scenario
continues for the night of the 23rd into Christmas eve when many
people are travelling. Anyone planning travel during this time should
definitely keep abreast to the latest weather forecasts.

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&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
A slow moving upper level low is currently positioned along the
AZ/Mexico border, with associated precipitation spreading north
across southern New Mexico. Areas of wetting precipitation have been
noted in and near the southwest and south central mountains.
Humidity has improved due to moisture advection ahead of the upper
low, but these trends will reverse over the next couple of days as
the low weakens and progresses eastward. By Wednesday, daytime
temperatures will be back above normal areawide. Look for a mixed-
bag of vent rates through Wednesday, with slow improvement. Vent
rate forecasts have improved over the past several model runs as
well.

By Thursday, a potent upper level low and associated cold front will
begin to impact the state with strong winds and significantly
improved ventilation. Chances for wetting precipitation will trend
up Thursday into Thursday night, favoring the northern mountains.
Vent rates will trend down Friday behind the front, but still be
fair to good most areas. An extremely cold airmass, arctic in
origin, is forecast to drop into New Mexico over the holiday
weekend and may be accompanied by snow.

11

&&

.AVIATION...
18Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions and light winds prevail and are forecast to persist,
but with lowering VFR cigs. Mountain obscurations will develop over
the Southwest and South Central Mountains today/tonight with light
precipitation.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
Farmington......................  21  46  14  46 /   0   0   0   0
Dulce...........................  16  48  14  47 /   0   0   0   0
Cuba............................  19  47  18  45 /   5   5   0   0
Gallup..........................  18  49  17  50 /  10   5   0   0
El Morro........................  14  49  17  50 /  10  10   0   0
Grants..........................  19  48  19  49 /  10  10   0   0
Quemado.........................  21  46  25  47 /  20  20   5   0
Glenwood........................  30  47  29  53 /  40  40  10   0
Chama...........................  16  44  15  45 /   5   5   0   0
Los Alamos......................  29  48  28  48 /   5   5   0   0
Pecos...........................  24  48  23  48 /  10   5   5   5
Cerro/Questa....................  18  43  19  44 /   0   0   0   0
Red River.......................  18  38  19  39 /   5   5   0   0
Angel Fire......................   8  44  12  45 /   5   5   0   0
Taos............................  12  47  11  48 /   0   5   0   0
Mora............................  21  50  21  49 /   5   5   0   0
Espanola........................  27  51  25  51 /   5   0   0   0
Santa Fe........................  29  46  27  46 /  10   5   0   0
Santa Fe Airport................  23  48  21  48 /  10   5   0   0
Albuquerque Foothills...........  33  49  29  48 /  20  10   5   0
Albuquerque Heights.............  30  50  31  49 /  10  10   5   0
Albuquerque Valley..............  26  52  26  51 /  10  10   0   0
Albuquerque West Mesa...........  29  51  29  50 /  10   5   0   0
Los Lunas.......................  19  51  21  50 /  20  10   0   0
Rio Rancho......................  29  51  29  51 /  10   5   0   0
Socorro.........................  28  49  31  53 /  30  30   5   5
Sandia Park/Cedar Crest.........  24  47  24  46 /  20  10   5   0
Tijeras.........................  21  50  22  49 /  20  10   5   0
Moriarty/Estancia...............  16  51  18  50 /  20  10   5   5
Clines Corners..................  25  48  22  47 /  20  10   5   5
Gran Quivira....................  27  47  24  47 /  40  20   5   5
Carrizozo.......................  31  48  28  49 /  50  20  10  10
Ruidoso.........................  27  48  24  49 /  60  30  10  10
Capulin.........................  19  53  21  48 /   0   0   0   0
Raton...........................  17  53  20  50 /   0   0   0   0
Springer........................  19  56  21  54 /   0   0   0   0
Las Vegas.......................  23  50  22  50 /  10   5   0   0
Clayton.........................  26  59  28  53 /   0   0   0   0
Roy.............................  24  54  24  53 /   5   5   0   0
Conchas.........................  31  60  29  58 /  10   5   0   5
Santa Rosa......................  30  57  30  56 /  20  10   5   5
Tucumcari.......................  28  62  27  58 /  10   5   5   5
Clovis..........................  32  58  31  56 /  10   5   5  10
Portales........................  31  59  31  57 /  10   5   5  10
Fort Sumner.....................  27  56  26  57 /  20  10   5   5
Roswell.........................  34  59  29  62 /  20  10   5  10
Picacho.........................  37  54  34  55 /  40  20  10  10
Elk.............................  33  50  29  52 /  60  30  10  10

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Weather Advisory until 11 AM MST Monday for the following
zones... NMZ508-526.

&&

$$

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