Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 161720 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1020 AM MST Thu Feb 16 2017
18Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions with mostly light winds to persist through the TAF
.PREV DISCUSSION...330 AM MST Thu Feb 16 2017...
A warming trend will continue today and Friday with highs above
average, especially across the eastern plains as gusty west to
northwest winds develop. The next storm system to affect the region
is expected Saturday and Sunday. This system will be rather warm
with rain and high mountain snow as well as a few thunderstorms for
the west and central. The eastern plains may see only spotty
precipitation, depending on the exact track of the system. Drier and
warmer again early next week.
Not much change the next couple days as temperatures rise to above
average today and Friday, especially across the eastern plains. The
mercury will get an assist from downslope winds both today and
Friday over the plains, although a wind shift Friday as the surface
low sinks into east central/southeast NM may allow for very slight
cooling in the northeast sector of the state. Winds may be near wind
advisory levels over the central highlands into Chaves county Friday
afternoon but not planning on any highlights attm.
The more challenging forecast concerns the weekend storm system.
Forecast models continue with the idea it won`t be a very cold
system, so most western and central areas will see rain or maybe a
mix at night, while only mt tops have much of a chance for
accumulating snow, and not a lot, as it stands at the present time.
It could be unstable enough for a few thunderstorms Sat night and
Sunday west and central as what colder air aloft there is moves
overhead, so added the mention to the wx grids. That said, forecast
models suggest there could be a couple of focus areas with this
system due to a closed low developing in the base of the trough as
the flow attempts to split. Canadian not quite on board with this
idea so will have to be vigilant. Despite the differences, the
eastern plains don`t appear to be the favored location for
Precipitation may linger into Monday briefly then drier and warmer
into the mid week, which looks rather windy as a low pressure system
develops to our north. Any precipitation mid to late next week may
be confined to the northwest higher terrain.
Another quiet weather day is in store. Above normal temperatures and
light winds will be the rule thanks to upper level ridging over NM.
Meanwhile, an upper low over Mexico will slowly slide toward the Big
Bend region of Texas. Other than a few high clouds perhaps sliding
into the east central plains, this low will have little effect on
NM. Main concern today will be poor ventilation across much of
central and western NM. Fair vent rates are expected across most of
A increasing gradient aloft combined with a deepening surface low
over east central NM will result in an increase in winds Friday. The
most significant increases will be across zone 107 and western
portions of 108. Gusts near 45 mph will be possible in this area.
Additionally, as the surface low slides southward through the
afternoon, a weak cold front will slide into the northeast behind
it. Much drier air will move in with the front, and humidities below
15 percent are possible across the northeast plains and eastern
portions of zone 108. Fortunately, the strongest winds and lowest
humidities still look to be displaced from one another. Haines
values of 5 and high temperatures 10 to 15 degrees above normal are
also forecast across all of eastern NM.
The next storm system still looks like it will impact NM this
weekend. Saturday will be characterized by southerly flow and warm
air advection. Though there will be an increase in cloud cover, high
temps will largely remain above normal. Precipitation should start
across far western NM late Saturday night. Snow levels will be quite
high, at or above 8500 ft for most areas. At the surface, winds will
back, or become southeasterly, in response to the low pressure
system still to the west of the state. This will draw up some low
level Gulf moisture into the area Saturday night into early Sunday.
The storm system will weaken and split into two main centers -- one
traversing the Four Corners region, and the other diving well into
Mexico. Looks like the greatest precipitation amounts may be across
the northwest half or so of NM and will occur on Sunday and Sunday
night. Snow levels through this time remain quite high, AOA 7000 ft,
despite a Pacific front racing from southwest to northeast Sunday
afternoon. Though models are trending toward similar solutions,
there is still room for the details to change. However, it appears
the eastern plains may miss out on much wetting precipitation.
Some showers may linger into Monday morning, but upper level ridging
should quickly build over the state into the afternoon. Ridging will
persist into Tuesday and temperatures, though not very cold to begin
with on Monday, will jump back up to 5 to 15 degrees above normal
Beyond Tuesday, models looks to be trending toward a windy pattern
with critical fire weather conditions possible, especially for the
Ventilation will increase on Friday, with most areas in the good to
very good categories. These vent rates will persist on Saturday, and
for the most part, Sunday as well. Vent rates lower into the poor
category on Monday across far northern and western NM. Widespread
areas of poor ventilation will persist on Tuesday before improving
later in the week.