Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 201735 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1135 AM MDT Mon Mar 20 2017
18Z TAF CYCLE
Mid level clouds over southern NM will continue to expand northward,
particularly near the ContDvd this afternoon. A few virga showers
should develop which may produce gusty surface winds across the
southwest mountains. Virga will dissipate this evening. Periods of
high clouds will cross the state overnight.
.PREV DISCUSSION...357 AM MDT Mon Mar 20 2017...
The dry and warm pattern will prevail through Wednesday as afternoon
breezes increase across high terrain areas. Temperatures will remain
above normal through Wednesday. Record to near record highs will
favor central and eastern areas this afternoon. Another back door
cold front will swing into the eastern plains Tuesday, cooling
daytime highs a bit in the east Wednesday but remaining above normal.
By Thursday, a Pacific storm system will bring windier and cooler
conditions to the state. Precipitation chances will increase across
the northern and western mountains. Cooler conditions behind the
system will be short lived as temperatures rebound back above normal
by Saturday. Another potential system will follow Tuesday.
Anticipate another day of record/near record highs across much of
central and eastern NM lasting through Wed. Zonal SW flow aloft will
continue to usher in drier air through Wed. Another back door cold
front will invade the eastern plains Tues night, cooling Wed highs a
few degrees across the east...but remaining above normal. The front
will also usher in some low level moisture across the eastern plains
that looks to linger into Thurs. As the front washes out, return flow
will be dominate across the east setting up a well defined dry/moist
bdry east of the central mtn chain. Destabilization is likely to
occur Wed night-Thurs associated with the return flow that could help
develop some isolated t-storm activity along the NM/TX border Thurs
Meanwhile, a Pacific storm system will be inching toward the state
increasing SW winds each day. Look for sfc winds to reach advisory
levels central and east Wed-Thurs as the Pacific storm system dives
over central AZ. Wetting precipitation will favor areas along and
north of the I-40 corridor with snow showers occurring across the
northern and western mtns. Anticipate cooler conditions Thurs-Fri as
the Pacific low crosses the central Rockies...ushering cooler air
southward into NM. Snow showers look to linger across the northern
mtns Fri before tapering off by Fri evening. Overnight lows will also
fall to freezing/near freezing Thurs and Fri night along and north
of the I-40 corridor. Cooler temps will be short lived as they creep
back above normal by Sat...followed by another possible upper level
system looking to impact the state early next week.
A few changes noted from recent guidance regarding the evolution of
low level moisture across the region through the next several days.
Overall little change advertised for today regarding a thin layer of
mid level moisture moving north from northern Mexico and southern NM.
Well above normal temperatures and deep mixing today will lead to
scattered mid level clouds along the Cont Dvd and perhaps a few
virga showers or a dry lightning strike. The boundary layer will be
very dry with lots of minimum humidity values near 10%. Fortunately
winds will be relatively light most areas so no critical areas are
The biggest change in the forecast occurs Tuesday across eastern NM
as a low level boundary shifts farther west than previously shown.
Minimum humidities trend much higher and high temperatures trend
much cooler. This front may even make it to the central highlands or
even the east slopes of the central mt chain if trends continue.
High temperatures farther west will remain well above normal with
more records likely.
The main period for critical fire weather begins Wednesday as a
strengthening upper wave off the California coast moves slowly east
toward the southwest U.S. Stronger winds aloft, deep mixing of the
boundary layer, and very warm temperatures will likely result in
some critical conditions within the Rio Grande Valley, the nearby
Sandia, Manzano, Gallinas Mts, and the adjacent central highlands.
There are some concerns about thick high clouds and how strong winds
will become so the duration is limited for now. Will pass to the
next crew to monitor guidance trends. Farther east, deeper mixing
struggles near the low level boundary and shallow low level moisture
may mitigate critical humidities in that area.
Winds will increase over the higher terrain Wednesday night and the
low level boundary across the east attempts to shift westward again.
This will add another challenge to how deep mixing and critical
humidities evolve Thursday afternoon over eastern NM. Trends are
that a possible dry line may set up somewhere between the Pecos
River Valley and the TX state line. The focus for any critical
conditions would be within the Rio Grande Valley and nearby higher
terrain and central highlands. The other consideration is strong
cold advection that develops from west to east with rain and high
terrain snow over the north and west.
Much cooler temperatures and higher humidities with continued breezy
to windy conditions impact the area Thursday night and Friday. Snow
may accumulate over the northern high terrain and northeast plains.
This storm system will be the first in a wave train that progresses
across the southwest U.S. through much of next week.