Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 141141 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
441 AM MST Sat Jan 14 2017
12Z TAF CYCLE
Deteriorating conditions are forecast with increasing chances for
wet runways and the potential for freezing drizzle/rain at KLVS
early Sunday morning. IFR condtions at KLVS, KROW and KTCC will
likely become LIFR overnight. An east canyon/gap wind will impact
KABQ this evening and overnight. The highest gust currently
forecast is 30kts, but 35kts is possible and a short-lived airport
weather warning for wind gusts may be required. MVFR conditions
in rain forecast at KABQ and KAEG overnight through Sunday
.PREV DISCUSSION...358 AM MST Sat Jan 14 2017...
As a storm system approaches New Mexico from the southwest,
spotty precipitation will slowly develop through the day.
Precipitation, mainly in the form of rain below approximately 8000
feet, will begin in earnest tonight and continue a times through
Sunday night. Significant snow is likely tonight through Sunday
night in the mountains above about 8000 feet with a mixed bag of
precipitation across the northeast plains. A trailing storm system
will likely bring rain and snow showers to much of the area
Monday and Monday night. A brief break in between systems is
expected Tuesday and Wednesday before a colder upper level trough
moves in from the west Thursday.
Closed upper low center just west of northern Baja this morning.
Weather prediction models remain on track, bringing the low
eastward through northern Baja and Sonora today and tonight.
Models have slowed the onset of precip somewhat so lowered precip
chances most areas today. Initial strong band/line of showers and
high mountains snow showers moves northward into southwest NM this
evening. Widespread and locally heavy precip gets underway across most
areas after midnight. Snow levels will range from 8000-8500 feet
across the northwest half of the state and near 9000 feet in the
south-central mountains. Some very impressive rain and snow
totals likely across the area by Monday night. Snow totals in the
northern and western mountains, including the higher elevations of
the Sandia, Manzano, northern Sacramento and Capitan mountains
will likely be measured in feet. Will upgrade the winter storm
watch to a winter storm warning and add in the Sandia/Manzano and
south- central mountain zones. With near record (99th percentile)
precipitable water (PWAT) amounts for the date and four 12 hour
periods of large-scale ascent over the region, heavy snow
accumulation above ~8k ft is a near certainty. Accumulating snow
impacting the travel corridors will likely begin Sunday night as
snow levels drop to near 7000 feet. Later shifts will have to
address winter weather advisories for accumulating snow along
Highway 550 near the divide and I-40 in and near Clines Corners
Sunday night into Monday. Freezing drizzle or rain remains
possible across the northeast plains tonight where surface temps
hover near or just below the freezing mark. Not anticipating much
ice accumulation before temperatures gradually modify Sunday
Models remain on board with a trailing upper level short-wave
trough and scattered snow showers for most of the forecast area
Monday. Snow levels likely to be near 5500 feet or so with the
northern mountains favored for accumulations.
A break in the action remains on track for Tuesday and Wednesday
before a cold and broad upper level trough moves in from the west
Thursday night and Friday. Another cold and moist system will
quickly follow next weekend.
A significant widespread wetting event is beginning and will ramp-up
late today, peak tonight into Sunday, then diminish Monday.
Relatively high snow levels initially will allow for only rain
generally below 9k feet, but will lower to between 6-7k by late
Sunday. Storm total snow amounts across the peaks will likely be
measured in feet. A second trough will move across Monday, keeping
precipitation going but with lower intensity/amounts. Vent rates
will be a mixed-bag of poor/fair through at least Monday.
A warming/drying trend will begin Tuesday and send temperatures back
to near normal areawide by Wednesday. The jet stream will take a
southerly dip across the Great Basin, Desert Southwest and Southern
Rockies toward the end of the week and into the weekend and bring a
cooling/moistening trend. The initial impact will be increasing winds
and orographically forced precipitation over the peaks and higher
west-facing slopes. However, a deepening/cold system is forecast to
move over Saturday by both the 00z GFS and ECMWF and may result in
more widespread wetting precipitation and significant wind
Winter Storm Warning from 5 PM this afternoon to 4 PM MST Monday
for the following zones... NMZ502-506-508-510>515-521-526-527.