Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 061748 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1048 AM MST Wed Dec 6 2017

The main focus the next 8 to 12 hours will be a back door cold front
shifting southwest thru eastern NM into the Rio Grande Valley. A gap
wind will develop at KABQ aft 18Z with gusts up to 25 kt. Eastern NM
terminals will see winds taper off slowly thru sunset. A weak upper
level wave will shift south into NM tonight with sufficient moisture
to spread -SN into the northern mts. The focus for light accums is
expected over the Sangre de Cristos thru 15Z. Mt top obscurations are
likely but all terminals expected to remain VFR. Mid clouds near 050
along and east of the central mt chain will clear slowly from north
to south Thursday.



.PREV DISCUSSION...313 AM MST Wed Dec 6 2017...
A trough of low pressure aloft will be leaving southern California
and Arizona today, shifting southeastward. To the north, another
disturbance aloft will be sliding down the Rockies, poised to enter
New Mexico this evening. Prior to its arrival, another cold front
will spill into New Mexico from the northeast today. Temperatures
will stay 10 to 15 degrees below normal in the eastern half of New
Mexico today with precipitation slowly decreasing over the southern
tier of the state. New batches of light snow will then enter the
state from the north tonight into Thursday with chilly temperatures
accompanying. A quick warming trend will commence Friday with high
temperatures returning closer to seasonal averages, and by this
weekend, above normal temperatures are in store along with dry


An interesting pattern will fall over NM today and tonight as the
CA/AZ trough shifts southeastward and another perturbation slides
southward in the meridional flow taking shape. At the surface, the
cold front is already working across the plains of CO, and should
invade the eastern half of NM by noon. The front itself will provide
some upslope along the eastern faces of the central mountain chain
and eventually the Continental Divide, but no widespread cloud cover,
or for that matter, precipitation is depicted by the models until
tonight when upper forcing arrives with the arrival of the short
wave trough from the north. In the southern zones, precipitation
chances will linger through the day, but any rain or snow amounts
will be meager with precipitation down there waning by dusk.

The short wave trough should cross the CO-NM border this evening with
precipitation breaking out over the mountains and shifting southward
into the overnight hours. Model depictions of QPF have increased and
turned a bit more widespread, but amounts are still light, mostly at
less than a tenth of an inch. Temperatures through the eyes of the
models are also looking much colder at the surface and aloft tonight
into Thursday. While QPF is rather low, snow ratios are going to see
a drastic boost, and thus some higher snow amounts have come out in
the forecast for tonight going into Thursday. Thursday`s high
temperatures were also ratcheted down with all zones running anywhere
between 7 to 22 degrees below climatology. For the most part, precipitation
will fade from north to south by late Thursday afternoon, however a
thin slug of moisture could briefly re-introduce some showers over
the Johnson mesa and Raton Pass Thursday night.

A stiff meridional component to the flow will linger into Friday with
some windy conditions taking shape in the northeast plains. Despite
the northerly flow, temperatures will spike several degrees due to
the rising mid tropospheric pressure heights in the amplifying
pattern. Temperature-wise most areas will meet or exceed normals
Friday afternoon.

The flow relaxes and turns more northwesterly into Saturday and
Sunday with pressure heights still rising and temperatures climbing.
The rex block, or high over low, pattern setting up over the western
states could yield a small window for some diffluence and mid to high
clouds arriving into NM from the southwest, but otherwise no weather
impacts are foreseen through the weekend.

A weak cold front could impede the warming trend in the east on
Monday, but temperature readings still appear to stay above average.
True to form, the forecast models are struggling with the details on
how the rex block will break down next week. At this point a dry and
warmer-than-average pattern looks to fit the bill and the extended
forecast reflects this.



Clear skies have developed across northern NM, allowing for cold
morning lows that will be 5-20F below normal. A few bouts of light
rain/snow will be possible across southern NMZ108-109 today as the
weakening mid-level disturbance moves over the region, but wetting
precipitation is very unlikely.

A backdoor front will invade the eastern plains today, bringing a
reinforcing surge of cold air advection. The latest GFS has come
in-line with the NAM surface wind speeds, and thus, have increased
values in the grids. At the same time, a mid-level shortwave will
track across NM from north-south tonight. This will allow for light
snow tonight into Thursday, particularly along the central mountain
chain. Upwards of one-tenth of an inch of precipitation, or 2 to 5
inches of snowfall, is possible in the Sangres. This disturbance in
combination with the backdoor cold front will favor modest canyon
breezes along the Rio Grande Valley. In fact, MOS guidance for the
NAM/GFS/ECMWF all suggest canyon winds are possible between 15z/Wed
through 18z/Thu. Meanwhile, ventilation rates will be poor for the
western zones and the increased winds will favor good to very good
conditions in the east. Rates will increase statewide for Thursday
with excellent conditions possible in the northeast plains.

A high-amplitude ridge will continue to strengthen in the eastern
Pacific and will take up more real estate over the western U.S. for
Friday into the weekend. A rapid warming trend can be expected with
highs 5 to 15 degrees above normal by Sunday. A backdoor front will
invade the eastern plains on Monday, putting a damper on readings -
although still above seasonal averages. Ventilation rates should be
poor statewide this weekend with improvement in the eastern plains
on Monday due to the elevated wind speeds. DPorter




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