Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 190005 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
605 PM MDT Thu May 18 2017

The center of an upper level low pressure system will shift slowly
eastward over CO, while a shortwave trough rotates around the
southern periphery of the system (and across NM) tonight and Friday.
A band of rain and mountain snow will sweep NEWD from W central
areas to N central areas tonight through Friday morning, then showers
and thunderstorms will favor the N mountains eastward Friday
afternoon. MVFR to locally IFR conditions and mountain obscurations
are expected in association with this transient region of
precipitation. A back door cold front will also plunge SWWD into NE
and E central areas late tonight into Friday morning with MVFR/IFR
conditions and possibly some light rain. Further, a few inches of
snow accumulation is expected in the N mountains tonight into Friday.



.PREV DISCUSSION...324 PM MDT Thu May 18 2017...
Potent upper low over Utah Colorado border will bring overnight
shower activity across the northwest half of NM tonight. Showers
will transition to snow early Friday morning with snow accumulations
limited to the northern mountains. Friday and Saturday morning lows
will be near or below freezing across the north and west. Shower
activity shifts to the far northeast plains Friday as the low exits
the region. Temperatures warm back to normal by the weekend with
southerly Gulf moisture returning to the eastern plains, helping to
increase afternoon thunderstorm potential for Monday.


A potent upper low centered over the UT/CO border will continue to
drift east into central CO before ejecting over the northern Great
Plains this weekend. A secondary cold front will push into the NW
quarter of the state by midnight tonight, pushing increased
precipitation chances over the northern mtns Friday. A reinforcing
shot of unseasonably cold air will follow this front with Friday
morning lows at or below freezing across much of the western and
northern halves of NM. Persistent cloud coverage throughout the night
should limit lows to a nudge above freezing for lower elevation and
valley locations, but any deviation could dip temperatures a degree
or two colder at valley locales, including Farmington or Espanola.

The focus for precipitation shifts to the northern mtns Friday with
valley snow possible in the early morning. Snow accumulations will be
limited to the higher elevations of the northern mtns with several
inches possible atop the peaks of the Sangre`s. Cloud cover and
shower activity shift to the far NE plains of NM Friday afternoon
with clearing conditions over the west. Daytime highs will rise a few
degrees out west, but will remain 15-20F below average. Overnight
lows Saturday will remain near or below freezing across the west and
north, if not a degree or two warmer than Friday morning. The upper
low finally exits the region Saturday, with a backdoor front sliding
across the NE plains in the morning limiting the warm up Saturday
there. Otherwise daytime highs are expected to warm 5-10F Saturday.

Temperatures warm further Sunday with fairly tranquil weather across
the area. Southerly return flow across the eastern plains will help
increase lower level moisture with a slight chance for afternoon
showers and storms to develop along the eastern slopes of the central
mtn chain. Afternoon thunderstorm chances increase Monday with the
continued surge of Gulf of Mexico moisture across the eastern plains.
A backdoor front surges south across the eastern plains, beginning
overnight Monday into Tuesday morning and through the day Tuesday.
This will drop daytime highs well below average again across the
eastern plains. Models do diverge in terms of shower and thunderstorm
activity across the eastern half of the state. Long range models
then indicate ridging starting to take hold allowing for a warming
and drying trend to end next week.


Closed upper low over western Colorado is forecast to split into two
circulations tonight. The southern circulation will move through
central and northern NM Friday, bringing with it scattered to
numerous showers and isolated thunderstorms to the northern
mountains and northwest highlands Friday morning. Favored area for
showers and storms will shift eastward to the northeast highlands
and plains Friday afternoon. Isolated showers and thunderstorms are
possible as far south as interstate 40 Friday morning. Several
inches of snow is likely across the northern mountains above about
8000 feet Friday. The closed low weakens and shifts northeastward
Friday night and Saturday. The associated surface high pressure over
the Southern Plains shifts southeastward on Saturday, resulting in a
low level sely flow across the eastern plains. A few showers or
thunderstorms may develop across the northeast plains and highlands
Saturday afternoon where the southeast low level winds interact with
the higher terrain and a backdoor boundary dropping south from

Return sely flow strengthens Sunday, allowing Gulf of Mexico
moisture to surge into the state. Latest models now generating at
least isolated showers and thunderstorms from the east slopes of the
central mountain chain eastward Sunday afternoon and evening.
Western NM remains mostly dry as wly flow aloft wins out.

GFS and ECMWF bring a backdoor cold front into the mix Monday. Both
models favor the eastern plains for afternoon and evening
convection. Some of the storms could be strong to severe. The
backdoor cold front is then forecast to surge southwestward Tuesday.
GFS once again developing widespread showers and storms from the
east slopes of the central mountain chain east. ECMWF is more stable
with the cold air advection in the low levels.

High temperatures remain below average through the weekend, warming
to near average Monday. Vent rates drop areawide Saturday but rise
back into the very good to excellent range Sunday and Monday.





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