Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 151201 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
501 AM MST Wed Nov 15 2017


VFR conditions are in place across northern and central New Mexico
early this morning with just some high cirrus clouds overhead. A cold
front is moving over eastern New Mexico with a few locations
reporting gusty north northeast winds, and the winds could
eventually turn gusty from the east in KSAF and KABQ as the front
nudges in later this morning. Low clouds could develop in portions
of southeastern to east central New Mexico late tonight into early
Thursday morning with some MVFR/IFR ceilings.



.PREV DISCUSSION...245 AM MST Wed Nov 15 2017...
A weak cold front will bring cooler temperatures to the eastern
plains today. Elsewhere, temperatures will be close to yesterday`s
readings. As a storm system moves into the Pacific Northwest
Thursday, west winds will be on the increase. Winds will peak on
Friday, ahead of the mainly dry Pacific cold front on track to move
through the state Friday afternoon and Friday night. Scattered
showers and mountain snow showers are possible in the northern
mountains Friday and Friday night but strong west winds will be the
main impact from this storm system. Dry northwest flow aloft will
return for the weekend. Temperatures will remain near to below
average on Saturday, warming to slightly above seasonal averages


Backdoor cold front now more evident as north and northeast winds at
Raton and Clayton increase early this morning. This feature will push
south and southwestward today, pushing west of the central mountain
chain and points west during the late morning hours. Surface pressure
gradient alignment more indicative of southeast winds for much of the
RGV and not a true east wind scenario. Temperatures behind the front
cool 15-20 degrees below Tuesday`s highs east of the central
mountain chain and several degrees across central areas. Temps
rebound quickly Thursday as west winds increase across western and
eastern NM ahead of an upper level trough moving into the PACNW.
Strong west winds develop over the Sangres Thursday night and across
much of the forecast area Friday. Wind highlights looking like a good
bet for the Sangres east to the TX line Friday afternoon. 00Z model
suite continues to be a hair slightly farther south with the above
mentioned trough as it slides east-southeast through the Rockies
Friday and Friday night. Models bring showers and high mountain snow
showers to the Tusas Mountains east of Chama and Tierra Amarilla and
northern Sangres Friday. Snow levels drop significantly behind the
sfc cold front Friday night. An inch or two of snow is possible above
about 9K feet from the Tusas east to northern Sangres by sunrise

Temperature guidance for Sunday morning dropped a hair so lowered
ABQ Sunport low temp to 33F. Not much surface pressure gradient to
speak of so 32F is certainly not out of the question around sunrise
Sunday. Latest freeze record for ABQ is November 22.

GFS all over the place run to run for Sunday into next week while
the ECMWF remains fairly consistent with each run. ECMWF brings
another trough/closed low into northern NM late-day Monday into
Monday night. The positive tilt to this trough is not ideal by any
stretch but it`s a shot at precip and cooler temperatures, especially



A disturbance embedded in the westerly flow aloft has propagated
east of the Rockies and into the northern Great Plains early this
morning. An attendant cold front is being driven southward down the
plains, already invading northeastern NM. The front will have pushed
into the entire eastern half of NM shortly after dawn, with some
occasional gusts accompanying. As the front spills through gaps and
canyons within the central mountain chain, gusts will spread into
some central valleys through the late morning. Thereafter, the
surface winds will decrease to light to moderate speeds today, and
the lower mixing heights in the wake of the front will keep some
corridors of poor smoke ventilation/dispersion through the
afternoon. Across the eastern half of NM, high temperatures today
will run 10 to 20 degrees cooler than yesterday, but still at or
above seasonal averages for mid November.

As night falls, a hodgepodge of humidity recovery is expected with
mid slopes and higher elevations being on the lower side. A quick
return flow establishing in the east central plains of NM will usher
in higher dewpoints and consequently excellent RH recovery by
daybreak Thursday.

Zonal flow aloft persists into Thursday with surface winds veering
southerly or southwesterly in most zones. This will boost
temperatures Thursday afternoon with highs climbing 10 to 15 degrees
above normal across the forecast area with breezy to locally windy
conditions and improving smoke ventilation and dispersion rates.
Winds will be locally strong over the Sangre de Cristos where some
occasional gusts to 45 mph will be possible. Minimum RH will stay
just above critical thresholds Thursday afternoon, but some
localized spaces in northeast NM could briefly meet critical fire
weather thresholds.

Into Thursday night and Friday the westerly flow aloft will undergo
a dramatic strengthening as a Pacific trough races toward the
Rockies. The northern mountains of NM still appear to be at risk of
very strong gusts Thursday night before the stronger speeds mix down
and spread over adjacent areas during the daytime Friday. Thanks to
a gentle tap of modified subtropical moisture in the mid levels of
the atmosphere, humidity appears to mostly stay just above critical
criteria Friday afternoon, but some localized/brief critical
conditions could impact the east central plains. Otherwise, the
winds will be of concern themselves with widespread gusts of 40 to
50 mph expected Friday afternoon, and not to be forgotten, a couple
inches of northern mountain snow could also fall through the
Thursday night-Friday stretch. A cold front will then follow,
entering the eastern half of NM Friday night into Saturday.

Sunday and Monday of next week appear to be dry with rebounding
temperatures, however forecast models feud about the Tuesday to
Wednesday time frame. The GFS retains a drier flow aloft while the
European insists on a disturbance diving southeastward into NM with
a quicker arrival of cooler air and some brief precipitation.




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