Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 110005 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
505 PM MST Tue Jan 10 2017
00Z TAF CYCLE
Wind and mountain waves will be the big aviation hazard issue
during the next 24 hrs. Strong winds aloft will break off the
central mtn chain starting tonight and lasting into Wed. Mtn top
obscd due to orographic induced precipitation will impact the NC
mtns during this same period. Terminal sites will largely be
unaffected in terms of precipitation. Wind forecast will be tricky
tonight at LVS. Gusts btwn 35-45 kt at TCC/LVS on Wed.
.PREV DISCUSSION...316 PM MST Tue Jan 10 2017...
Strong winds are in store overnight once again along and just east
of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Gusts near 65 mph are possible.
Breezy to windy conditions will persist on Wednesday, but these
winds will help temperatures increase to at or above todays
readings, especially across the east. A few locales across the
southeast plains may near record highs for the date. Meanwhile,
some light snow will be possible for the northern mountains. A
strong storm system continues to have its eyes set on New Mexico
late in the week. The bulk of the precipitation should fall
Saturday afternoon through Sunday, but may start as early as
Friday. High elevation areas should see good amounts of snow, but
the precipitation type across lower elevations, particularly the
eastern plains, may be more of a mix.
Strong winds periodically at Raton and Clines Corners today can
largely be attributed to mountain wave activity. 700 mb winds
increase again tonight, generally after 03Z, to between 60 and
70kts per both the NAM and GFS. Thus, will go ahead and upgrade
the High Wind Watch to a warning, and will also add a few
surrounding zones into a wind advisory. The advisory will start
immediately, since KCQC is already reporting advisory-type speeds.
A strengthening lee side trough combined with strong winds aloft
and decent mixing will make for breezy to windy conditions
areawide tomorrow, though fortunately, the winds over the Sangres
should decrease through the day. Upped temperatures a few degrees
too based on todays temps. There will be some mid or high clouds
tomorrow, like today, but all in all it should be as warm as
today, and warmer in some spots. Thanks to downsloping winds, the
eastern plains will be 15 to 20 degrees above normal, which should
be near or just shy of records for many locations.
Thursday still looks to be the transition day before the next
storm system arrives. Temperatures will cool a bit, but still
above normal for most locations. A few breezes are also on tap.
Models are slowly but surely converging on a solution for the late
week system. The upper low will slide eastward along or just south
of the AZ/MX border on Friday and Saturday, and then shift
northeast across NM on Sunday. Prior to the low`s arrival, it
still looks like a back door front will make it into eastern NM on
Friday. The strength of this front will make all the difference
for the remainder of the weekend regarding precipitation type
across the plains. Currently, it doesn`t look to be as strong as
it was showing yesterday, and winds behind the front become
easterly quickly, which then draws up quite a bit of Gulf moisture
into at least the southeast plains. This would be good news for
the southeast and perhaps east central plains, as p-type would
likely be more in the form of rain, rather than freezing rain. But
again, it will depend on the strength of the front, and if it is
anything like the last one, it may be stronger than what models
are suggesting. Across the northeast plains, it does look like
there could be a wintry mix on Friday night, then perhaps a rain,
snow and/or sleet mix on Saturday. It really is very early to pin
down a p-type at this point.
There is also quite a bit of difference in 700 mb temperatures
between the GFS and ECMWF as well, which is troublesome for snow
levels across western and central NM. Current forecast shows quite
a bit more rain than yesterday, but this may change as the details
get ironed out.
The bulk of the precipitation now looks to happen Saturday
afternoon through early Sunday. As the system shifts northeastward
on Sunday, and NM gets into the wrap-around precipitation, snow
levels should lower.
It does still look like there may be some energy on the back side
of the system that dives into Mexico, but drier air filtering into
the area should limit additional precip potential early next week.
More strong winds and mild temperatures through Wednesday. Then the
focus shifts to a potent storm system that could bring northern and
central NM a widespread and significant wintry mix of precipitation
Friday through the weekend.
Strong and potentially damaging winds will persist across the higher
peaks of the Sangre de Cristo`s and areas downwind of the Sangre`s
tonight into Wednesday. Also, strong winds will impact the west
slopes of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, as well as the central
and northeast high terrain. We will upgrade the high wind watch to a
high wind warning and tack on wind advisories surrounding the warned
area. RH recoveries will be good to excellent tonight. Vent rates
will be good to very good for most areas Wednesday.
The storm that will impact NM is off the Pacific Northwest coast
now. It will dive south over the next couple of days and intensify
as it arrives just offshore the southern CA, northern Baja, CA
coasts Friday. Then it will turn southeast, east then northeast over
the weekend, crossing NM Sunday. Models are in better agreement with
this scenario now, with the Canadian model a little faster then the
European and GFS. If the current track remains "on track" most of
the forecast area will see substantial precipitation, with the
potential for heavy snow over the mountains and maybe the northeast.
Speaking of snow, the precipitation type will be a challenge with
this system. A potent back door cold front is still scheduled to
arrive in the northeast early Thursday night and move south and west
during the night into Friday morning. The front will slow or even
stop Friday afternoon, then accelerate south and west Friday night,
including spilling into the Rio Grande Valley. While chilly
temperatures will follow behind the front, they do not look as cold
as what we saw the past few days. Shallow cold air with a warmer
layer above that could mean a period of sleet and freezing rain
Friday night across the eastern plains. Western and central valleys
will likely see only rain through the day Saturday, then change to
snow Saturday night into Sunday as colder air gets wrapped around the
storm. Precipitation will probably switch back to mostly rain across
the eastern plains Saturday. So quite a mix of precipitation types
are expected with this storm. We should get a better handle of what
type the precipitation will be and how much as we progress through
Drier and a little milder weather is expected early next week.
Wind Advisory until 4 PM MST Wednesday for the following zones...
High Wind Warning until noon MST Wednesday for the following