Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 260520 AAC
AFDABQ

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM
1020 PM MST THU DEC 25 2014

.UPDATE...
INCLUDED THE SANDIA/MANZANO MOUNTAINS IN A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY
FOR THE OVERNIGHT INTO FRIDAY MORNING...THOUGH AMOUNTS WILL BE ON
THE LOW END. ACCUMULATING SNOW IN THE SANTA FE METRO GENERALLY
LESS THAN AN INCH. JUST RECEIVED REPORT OF 5 INCHES IN CHAMA. ADVISORIES
FOR CENTRAL/WEST-CENTRAL AND SOUTHWEST ZONES CURRENTLY EXTEND
THROUGH THE DAY FRIDAY BUT A LATER SHIFT WILL NEED TO DROP SEVERAL
ZONES EARLY AFTER TONIGHT/S FRONTAL PRECIP BAND WORKS EAST-
SOUTHEASTWARD. MEANWHILE...WATCHING A POTENT BACKDOOR FRONT
NEARING THE NORTHEAST CORNER LATE THIS EVENING. WEAK SURFACE LOW
CENTER NOW EVIDENT NEAR SANTA ROSA...WHICH WILL SLOWLY
REDEVELOP/TRACK SEWD DURING THE OVERNIGHT. EXPECT SNOW TO QUICKLY
DEVELOP/EXPAND OVER THE FAR NORTHEAST PLAINS EXTENDING TO THE EAST
SLOPES OF THE SANGRES IN WAKE OF THE BACKDOOR FRONT AS COLD
UPSLOPE FLOW DEEPENS. NO OTHER BIG CHANGES IN NEAR TEARM. BETWEEN
STORM SYSTEMS THIS WEEKEND...BUT MAJOR LEAGE ARCTIC PLUNGE
INDICATED EARLY NEXT WEEK AND THE MONDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY
PERIOD WILL BE ONE TO CLOSELY MONITOR. KJ

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...651 PM MST THU DEC 25 2014...
.UPDATE...
IMPACTS DUE TO SNOW AND LOCALIZED BLOWING SNOW HAVE STEADILY
EXPANDED IN A BROAD REGION OF INCREASING LOW TO MID-LEVEL FRONTOGENETIC
FORCING FROM NC NEW MEXICO INTO WC/SW AREAS OF THE STATE SINCE
LATE AFTERNOON. AN ESTIMATED 1-2 INCHES HAD ACCUMULATED IN THE
GALLUP AREA...WITH SNOW PACKED CONDITIONS ALONG INTERSTATE 40
BETWEEN GRANTS AND GALLUP. AS A RESULT...EXPANDED WINTER WX
ADVISORY TO INCLUDE THESE ZONES AS WELL AS THE WC MOUNTAINS.
DECIDED TO RETOOL THE WINTER WX ADVISORY FOR THE NORTHEAST QUARTER
AS IMPACTS THERE LIKELY HOLDING OFF TILL CLOSER TO 10Z-12Z WINDOW.
THAT SAID...INCREASED POPS SIGNIFICANTLY FOR NC/NE AREAS AFTER 06Z
AND ESPECIALLY INTO FRIDAY AS BACKDOOR FRONT/COLD LOW LEVEL
UPSLOPE PATTERN DOMINATES MUCH OF THE DAY. SUSPECT THAT AN UPGRADE
TO WINTER STORM WARNING MAY BE IN ORDER FOR RATON MESA/RATON PASS
REGION AS WELL AS EXTENSION OF THE ADVISORY FARTHER SOUTH. LAST
SIGNIFICANT CHANGE WAS TO INCLUDE OUR NORTHERN SACRAMENTO
MOUNTAINS IN A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY AFTER MIDNIGHT...AS 12Z AND
18Z GUIDANCE FAVORS SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW AS THE ABOVE MENTIONED
FRONTAL BANDS CONTINUES TO SLOWLY PROGRESS SEWD. FAVORABLE
WESTERLY UPSLOPE SCENARIO FOR HIGHER TERRAIN LOCALES OF THE SW/SC
MOUNTAINS. KJ

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...439 PM MST THU DEC 25 2014...
.AVIATION...
00Z TAF CYCLE
MVFR CONDITIONS...WITH SHORT-LIVED IFR...WILL ACCOMPANY AREAS OF
SNOW AND A FEW SHOWERS AT KGUP AND KFMN OVERNIGHT. PRECIPITATION
WILL SPREAD EAST ACROSS THE AREA AS THE UPPER LEVEL LOW OVER UTAH
PROGRESSES INTO NE ARIZONA THROUGH THE EARLY MORNING HOURS. MVFR
IMPACTS ARE POSSIBLE AT KAEG AND KSAF...AND POSSIBLY KABQ AS WELL.
FURTHER EAST AT KLVS AND KTCC...A BACKDOOR COLD FRONT WILL SLIDE
IN FRIDAY MORNING...WITH AREAS OF SNOW AND POTENTIAL FOR MVFR
IMPACTS. CONFIDENCE TOO LOW AT THIS POINT TO INCLUDE IN A
PREVAILING GROUP AT KTCC AND KLVS...BUT MAY NEED TO BE ADDED AT
THE 06Z ISSUANCE OF THE TAFS. MOUNTAIN OBSCURATIONS WILL BECOME
WIDESPREAD ACROSS NORTHERN NEW MEXICO BY FRIDAY MORNING.

11

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...311 PM MST THU DEC 25 2014...
.SYNOPSIS...
UNSETTLED WEATHER WITH ROUNDS OF SNOW AND VERY COLD TEMPERATURES
THROUGH THE END OF 2014 INTO THE START OF 2015.

TWO STORMS TO BRING SNOW AND VERY COLD AIR TO NORTHERN AND CENTRAL
NEW MEXICO THROUGH THE START OF 2015. THE FIRST STORM ALREADY
IMPACTING PARTS OF THE FORECAST AREA WITH STRONG WINDS AND SOME
SNOW. THE FIRST STORM WILL SLOW CROSS NM TONIGHT AND FRIDAY WITH A
WEAKER TROUGH CROSSING FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY. A BRIEF BREAK ON
SUNDAY WILL BE FOLLOWED BY A STRONG COLD FRONT FROM THE NORTH
MONDAY INTO TUESDAY. BITTER COLD AIR IS EXPECTED BEHIND THIS FRONT
ALONG WITH SOME SNOW. THE SECOND SIGNIFICANT STORM WILL DEEPEN
OVER CA DURING THE EARLY TO MID WEEK PERIOD AND BEGIN TO AFFECT NM
NEW YEARS EVE OR NEW YEARS DAY THROUGH FRIDAY.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
THE FIRST STORM BRINGING STRONG WINDS TO SW AND SC AREAS THIS PM
WHILE SNOW DEVELOPS OVER NW AREAS. WINDS WILL GRADUALLY DIMINISH
TONIGHT AND FRIDAY FOR MOST AREAS...EXCEPT WE ARE EXTENDING THE
WIND ADVISORY THROUGH THE NIGHT OVER OUR SC ZONES. SNOW WILL BE
THE MORE PRESSING ISSUE TONIGHT THROUGH FRIDAY EVENING. THE STORM
WILL BE CENTERED OVER THE FOUR CORNERS REGION EARLY FRIDAY MORNING.
SNOW WILL CONTINUE TO DEVELOP TONIGHT WITH THE MODELS ALL AGREEING
ON A BAND OF SNOW CROSSING OUR SW AND SC ZONES THROUGH THE NIGHT
WHILE GENERAL AREAS OF SNOW DEVELOP OVER THE NW AND NC ZONES. WILL
KEEP THE WINTER STORM WARNINGS AS IS AND ADD SOME WINTER WEATHER
ADVISORIES SURROUNDING THE WARNINGS AS WELL AS OVER OUR SW ZONES.
PRETTY TOUGH FORECAST FOR THE NEXT 24 TO 36 HOURS AS TO THE EXTENT
OF SNOW ACCUMULATIONS. COULD BE A LOT OF ONE OR TWO INCH AMOUNTS
AT LOWER ELEVATIONS OVER THE W...CNTRL AND NE ZONES. EVENING AND
OVERNIGHT SHIFTS WILL NEED TO TAKE A CLOSE LOOK AT OUR THINGS ARE
PROGRESSING AND POTENTIALLY WILL NEED TO ISSUE ADDITIONAL WINTER
WEATHER ADVISORIES. SEE THE LIST OF CURRENT ADVISORIES AND
WARNINGS AT THE END OF THIS PRODUCT.

SNOW WILL BE FOCUSED OVER THE NC AND NE ZONES FRIDAY INTO FRIDAY
NIGHT AS A STRONG BACK DOOR COLD FRONT ARRIVES IN THE NE FRIDAY
AND CONTINUES SOUTH FRIDAY NIGHT. MUCH COLDER AND WELL BELOW
NORMAL TEMPERATURES WILL BE THE RULE FOR MUCH OF THE FORECAST
AREA FRIDAY.

THE WEEKEND WILL BE MOSTLY DRY AND COLD...ALTHOUGH SUNDAY WILL
TRY AND WARM UP TO NEAR NORMAL IN A FEW SOUTHERN LOCATIONS. THE
FOCUS WILL THEN BE ON A STRONG COLD FRONT FROM THE N ENTERING NM
SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY WITH BITTER COLD AIR BEHIND IT. AT THE
SAME TIME A POTENT STORM SYSTEM WILL BE TAKING SHAPE TO OUR W. THE
STORM WILL DEEPEN SHARPLY OVER CA DURING THE EARLY AND MID WEEK
PERIOD BEFORE MOVING EAST WEDNESDAY AND BEGIN IMPACTING THE STATE
NEW YEARS EVE AND NEW YEARS DAY. WITH FRESH COLD AIR IN PLACE THERE
IS POTENTIAL WITH WIDESPREAD AND SUBSTANTIAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS. CHJ

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
INTERESTING WEATHER PATTERN OVERALL DURING THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS.
LOOKS UNSETTLED WITH COOLER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES AND BOUTS OF
STRONGER WIND FLOWS AND DECENT VENTILATION RATES. THE MAIN PRIZE IN
TERMS OF UNSETTLED/COOL WEATHER LOOKS TO BE NEXT WEEK. THE PHASING
OF A VIGOROUS AND ANOMALOUSLY COOL COLD FRONT WITH THE UPPER LEVEL
PACIFIC ENERGY STILL LOOKS TO BE IN QUESTION BUT CONFIDENCE IS
BUILDING THAT SOMETHING INTERESTING WOULD OCCUR. STAY TUNED.

CURRENT PACIFIC SYSTEM WILL DRAG A COLD FRONT/PRECIPITATION ACROSS
THE FORECAST AREA REST OF TODAY THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT. THE SYSTEM IS
COLD ENOUGH TO PRODUCE MORE SNOW THAN RAIN. ALMOST ALL AREAS HAVE
THE POTENTIAL OF ACCUMULATING SNOW ALTHOUGH LOWER ELEVATIONS OF THE
RIO GRANDE VALLEY/EAST CENTRAL/SOUTHEAST PLAINS HAVE THE LOWEST
POTENTIAL. THE NORTH CENTRAL MOUNTAINS SHOULD DO PRETTY GOOD...IT IS
LOOKING GOOD FOR THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS AS WELL ALTHOUGH MOST OF
THAT AREA WOULD BE OUT OF OUR FIRE WX AREA. WIND WILL REMAIN GUSTY
ACROSS SOUTHERN/EASTERN AREAS BUT AS THE TROUGH DIGS...THE GRADIENT
WILL RELAX. LESS WIND FOR FRIDAY ALTHOUGH SOME BREEZES WILL REMAIN.
HUMIDITY VALUES WILL BE ON THE HIGHER SIDE FRIDAY. THE LOWEST RH
READINGS OF THE NEXT SEVERAL DAYS WILL BE FOUND ACROSS THE LOWER RIO
GRANDE VALLEY...EAST CENTRAL/SE PLAINS TODAY. COOLER THAN NORMAL
TEMPS DURING THE AFTERNOON BETWEEN 10 TO 20 DEGREES ACROSS MOST OF
THE AREA.

THE COOLER THAN NORMAL TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE DURING THE WEEKEND
ALTHOUGH MODERATE SOME BY SUNDAY. THE WEEKEND PERIOD LOOKS TO BE
LARGELY DRY ALTHOUGH CANT RULE OUT SOME LIGHT SPOT SHOWERS ACROSS
THE NORTH CENTRAL MTNS SATURDAY. MODELS HAVE BEEN CONSISTENT THE PAST 48
HOURS IN STRENGTHENING THE WIND GRADIENT...ESPECIALLY ALOFT ON
SUNDAY. THIS SHOWS UP IN THE LATEST GRIDDED WIND
PACKAGE...ESPECIALLY FAVORING THE HIGHER TERRAIN AND PORTIONS OF THE
EASTERN PLAINS.

THE NEXT WEATHER DISTURBANCE IS STILL ON TRACK FOR THE EARLIER HALF
OF NEXT WEEK. MODELS SEEM TO HAVE PUSHED THE MAIN UPPER LEVEL ENERGY
ASSOCIATED WITH THE PACIFIC LOW FURTHER WEST BUT THAT MEANS A NW
TERRITORY/YUKON ORIGINATING COLD AIRMASS WOULD PENETRATE FURTHER
EAST TO WEST ACROSS THE FORECAST AREA. THE INITIAL COLD AIR SPILL
SHOULD IMPACT THE EASTERN PLAINS SUNDAY NIGHT/MONDAY WITH A
REINFORCING SHOT MONDAY NIGHT/TUESDAY. TEMPERATURES WOULD REMAIN
BELOW TO WELL BELOW NORMAL DURING THE EARLIER HALF OF NEXT WEEK
UNDER THIS SCENARIO. PRECIPITATION IS A BIT TRICKIER BECAUSE IT REALLY
DEPENDS ON THE PHASING OF THE UPPER LEVEL ENERGY OVERTOP THE SHALLOW
BUT COLD AIRMASS. THE GFS MODEL HAS BEEN TRENDING LESS SECURELY FOR
THIS PHASING. THE LATEST ECMWF HAS FOLLOW SUIT. THIS MEANS THE MAIN
PRECIPITATION EVENT WOULD HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE LATTER HALF OF NEXT
WEEK VERSUS THE EARLIER HALF. EITHER WAY...UNSETTLED AND COOLER
WEATHER IS EXPECTED. VENTILATION WOULD LARGELY BE DEPENDENT ON THE
POSITION OF THE UPPER LOW AND THE DEPTH OF THE COLD AIR PENETRATION.
A LITTLE UNCERTAIN AT THIS TIME SINCE THERE HAS BEEN LESS RUN TO RUN
MODEL CONSISTENCY.

50

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
WIND ADVISORY UNTIL 11 PM MST THIS EVENING FOR THE FOLLOWING
ZONES...NMZ524-526.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FROM 4 AM TO 11 PM MST FRIDAY FOR THE
FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ527>531.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 6 PM MST FRIDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING
ZONES...NMZ501-502-505>509-518-521.

WIND ADVISORY UNTIL 6 AM MST FRIDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING ZONES...
NMZ539-540.

WINTER STORM WARNING UNTIL 11 PM MST FRIDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING
ZONES...NMZ503-504-510>517.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL 6 PM MST FRIDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING
ZONES...NMZ526.

&&

$$

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