Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 311126 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
526 AM MDT TUE MAY 31 2016

Upper low over south central AZ at 11Z to drift to south of KELP
next 24 to 36 hrs. Cold front to push down the eastern plains and
into the Rio Grande Valley by 21Z. Mts will become occasionally
obscured in sct-nmrs shra and tstms with brief mvfr cigs/vsbys
central mt chain eastward aft 18z. A few of the tstms may contain
large hail and wnd gusts to near 50kt. West of the central mt
chain isold to sct showers and tstms may produce gusty erratic
winds. Areas of mvfr cigs/vsbys in showers, tstms and br to
develop from the east slopes central mt chain and over the plains
aft 01/03Z.


As a low pressure system tracks over southern Arizona a surface
cold front will enter northeastern New Mexico today. This cold
front will bring in some low layer moisture with thunderstorms
expected to blossom along and behind the boundary. The atmosphere
will be unstable enough for a few strong to severe storms this
afternoon and evening, mostly in the northeast and east central
portions of New Mexico. A few thunderstorms will also take shape
this afternoon in western New Mexico, but very dry air beneath the
cloud bases will cause most of the rainfall to evaporate before it
reaches the ground. By tonight the cold front will spill farther
south and west through much of of New Mexico, bringing gusty
winds, cooler temperatures, and a continued increase in moisture.
This will signify a cooler, wetter weather pattern for Wednesday
and Thursday for most of the state, the exception being the far
western sections.


Thunderstorms have been firing along the cold front stretched over
the plains this morning. For now the surface boundary has stalled
in southeastern CO, but later today it is expected to back into
the northeastern quadrant of NM. In the upper levels the upper low
circulation over southern AZ is fairly well-defined with some mid
level moisture and impressive large scale ascent spreading over
Chihuahua, far west TX, and extreme southern NM. The perturbations
aloft driving this ascending motion have drawn a diffuse increase
of moisture into the ABQ forecast area, but certainly not as
impressive as farther south. With the dry slot on the heels of
these perturbations, the moisture should mix out some in much of
central to western NM. Forecast soundings once again show strongly
inverted-V profiles, and this will lead to another day of high-
based cumulus development near and surrounding the continental
divide with dry storms or virga possible.

It will be a different day in the eastern half of the state with a
dynamic pattern unfolding due to the frontal passage. Moisture
advection and surface convergence will help ignite storms along
and near the frontal boundary this afternoon with potential for
a few strong to severe storms. CAPE values are not terribly high,
but sufficient bulk shear in the lower half of the troposphere and
frontogenetical lift will help storms.

The front will advance beyond the central mountain chain of NM
this evening. Gusty winds will not only accompany the front as it
slides down the eastern plains, but these gusts will accelerate
through gaps and canyons within the central mountain chain. Do not
anticipate the need for a wind advisory in ABQ or other canyon
wind-prone areas, but some gusts to 35 mph will not be out of the
question. Higher dewpoints will accompany the front, and this
coupled with upslope flow on the eastern high plains and eastern
faces of both the central mountain chain and the continental
divide will fuel thunderstorm development Wednesday, and to a
lesser extent on Thursday. Temperatures will fall 10 to 15 degrees
below average in central to eastern NM Wednesday, rebounding
slightly into Thursday. By Thursday the low will have tracked
toward the Big Bend area of TX.

Some remnant moisture will be available for recycling on Friday.
Upslope areas of the broader, higher terrain areas will be best
suited to exploit the moisture Friday, with slight chances
continuing over the high terrain into the upcoming weekend. By
Saturday, a highly amplified ridge of high pressure will set up
over the western U.S. while a wind shift could potentially slide
into eastern NM with some moisture advection helping storm chances.
After the spell of cooler temperatures Wednesday and Thursday,
readings should rebound Friday and Saturday, but will fall back a
few degrees in the east into Sunday due to the aforementioned wind
shift or front.



Upper low circulation which was located over sw to south central AZ
late Monday will sag into Old Mexico today, then swing south of El
Paso Wednesday. This is a definite change with the low circulation
remaining intact for a longer period, as well as tracking farther
south before it drifts into Texas on Thursday. The slower and more
southerly track has allowed more moisture to be drawn northward and
into south central and southwest NM, as evidenced by the mid 40s to
mid 50s dew points over portions of the lower Rio Grande Valley, the
0.89 in PW at EPZ on the 00Z sounding, TPW imagery, as well as
ongoing convection along and south of the NM border.

A surface boundary remains forecast to sag into ne NM this morning
then through the plains this afternoon. Hard to tell exactly where
the boundary is at this time due to recent convection in se CO, but
there appears to be a better defined wind shift stretched over east
central CO at 2AM. Short term models indicate the boundary will be
faster and moist upslope flow may develop sooner today than
previously thought, with an east wind developing into the mid Rio
Grande Valley by midday. Convection in the plains may give the
boundary a shove and may be hard to discern from outflow, as the NAM
winds suggest for late this afternoon. In any event, the gap wind
looks to be strongest late this afternoon through late evening, with
the accompanying low level moisture surge towards the contdvd.

Despite the differing details, the general forecast trends remain
intact, with the drier convection with erratic and gusty outflows
over the west and wetter convection central mt chain and east today
and tonight, where potential for a few strong to severe storms
exists. Drier convection with gusty winds will be limited to the
contdvd and wwd Wednesday, while wetter showers and storms roam the
remainder of the forecast area. Cell motion may be erratic at times,
driven by outflow boundaries, low level convergence along the
contdvd and the circulation around the upper low/trough. Cooler
temperatures forecast Wednesday and improving RH recoveries for most
areas tonight and Wednesday night.

A building ridge will be the main weather feature for Thursday and
into the weekend. A drying trend overall is expected but especially
in the west as showers and storms turn drier and become more focused
over and near the higher terrain due to north to northeast steering
flow. Relatively weak north to northeasterly wind shifts at the
surface may occasionally impact the eastern plains, possibly
Saturday night and Sunday night. These may increase overnight
humidity recoveries on a day to day basis mainly in the east. By
early next week, recoveries over much of the west will become fair
to poor. By next Tuesday or Wednesday, a system tries to work under
the ridge, but after a round of convection across the east Sunday
night, the GFS looks pretty dry overall. The ECMWF makes a case for
an import of moisture from the south later next week, by not
allowing the incoming system to work under the ridge as the GFS




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