Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 202335 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
435 PM MST Sat Jan 20 2018

Deteriorating conditions are forecast across central and western New
Mexico overnight as a Pacific storm system and associated
precipitation progress east from over Arizona. KFMN and KGUP will be
the most-impacted TAF sites, with IFR conditions forecast at KGUP.
Improvement will be fairly rapid Sunday morning, but strong winds are
forecast to develop shortly thereafter. Gusts to between 35 and
45kts will be common Sunday afternoon.



.PREV DISCUSSION...259 PM MST Sat Jan 20 2018...
An upper level low will move from northern Arizona tonight and across
northern New Mexico Sunday. Ahead of this low, a strong Pacific cold
front will move into western New Mexico late this afternoon and into
central New Mexico late tonight. Rain and a mix of rain and snow
along the front will quickly change to snow late this afternoon
through tonight with one to two inches in the lower elevations and
significant snowfall in the higher elevations of western and central
New Mexico. Snow showers will continue across western and northern
New Mexico Sunday and across north central and northeastern New
Mexico Sunday evening. Windy conditions will accompany the front
tonight, and strong and possibly damaging winds will be likely east
of central mountain chain south of the Sandia mountains on Sunday.
High temperatures will be below normal Sunday with very cold wind
chill values. Dry weather will return on Monday with high
temperatures remaining below normal. High pressure will produce dry
weather Tuesday and Wednesday with temperatures moderating to near
normal by Wednesday.


A potent upper low is forecast to move rapidly eastward from NW AZ
this evening to the 4-Corners by 12Z Sunday and then continue
eastward across northern NM Sunday. A strong Pacific cold front ahead
of the upper low will push through western NM late this afternoon
and continue eastward across the central mountains late this evening
and through the early morning hours Sunday. Strong cold air
advection behind the cold front, reflected by 700 millibar
temperatures falling to around minus 10 degrees Celsius behind the
front, will quickly change rain and a mix of rain and snow to snow,
as the front moves eastward. Snowfall associated with the cold front
will generally be one to two inches in the lower elevations with
higher amounts in the western and northern mountains, especially on
the west slopes. Winter weather advisories have been issued for areas
west of the central mountains, areas in north central NM and the
Raton Ridge and Johnson Mesa, and the eastern foothills and eastern
highlands adjacent to the central mountain chain from the Sandia
mountains northward for tonight into Sunday. Winter storm warnings
have been issued for the northwest mountains and the northern and
southern Sangre de Cristo mountains above 9500 feet. The higher
terrain in the winter storm warning areas could receive over a foot
of snow. Gusty west to west northwest winds behind the cold front
will cause areas of blowing snow behind the cold front across the
winter weather advisory and winter storm warning areas. The central
highlands, south central highlands and south central mountains will
receive one to two inches of snow with the cold frontal passage, but
high wind warnings across these areas late tonight will produce
blowing snow and reduced visibility, creating very treacherous
driving conditions. Downsloping west winds across the eastern plains
behind the cold front late tonight and Sunday will bring little or no
precipitation to these areas. A band of 30 to 50 knots winds aloft
at 700 millibars Sunday will mix down to the surface Sunday morning
and afternoon across most of the eastern plains and eastern highlands
and produce sustained west to northwest winds of 25 to 35 mph with
gusts to near 50 mph. A high wind watch remains in effect for these
areas on Sunday.

As the upper low moves eastward into western and central KS Sunday
night, wrap-around snow will end in the north central mountains,
northeast highlands and northeastern plains Sunday night around
midnight. Breezy northwest winds will continue Sunday night across
most of northern and central NM with breezy to windy conditions in
the mountains. Wind chill temperatures will fall into the single
digits to the teens in the lower elevations Sunday night in the
lower elevations with below zero wind chills in the mountains.

Northwest flow aloft and surface high pressure building across NM
from the northwest Monday will produce a dry but cold day with
high temperatures generally 5 to 10 degrees below normal. A dry upper
level trough will move southeastward across NM Tuesday, keeping
temperatures near to slightly below normal. Despite an upper level
ridge moving across the region Wednesday and warming temperatures
aloft, light surface winds and weak boundary layer mixing will keep
temperatures near to slightly below normal. Southwest flow aloft and
south to southwest surface winds Thursday will push temperatures
above normal. A weak upper level trough moving across UT and CO
Thursday night and Friday could bring some light precipitation to
northern NM. A dry Pacific cold front is expected to cross NM on
Saturday, bringing cooler temperatures and breezy winds.



An upper level low pressure system will pass eastward over the CO/NM
border tonight through Sunday, before ejecting northeastward across
KS Sunday night. A few to several inches of snow is expected in the
mountains. A few inches of snow is also expected at lower elevations
of north central NM, western areas, and also the east central
highlands. Most of the snow will fall tonight and Sunday, then snow
is expected to wrap around the exiting upper low and linger across
north central and northeast areas through Sunday evening.  The storm
system will also steer the jet stream across the state with very
strong winds.  The strongest winds should favor the Sandia/Manzano
and Gallinas Mountains eastward with gusts from 60 to 65 mph on
Sunday. Wind gusts to 50 mph will be common elsewhere on Sunday,
except possibly to 60 mph from around Farmington to Mount Taylor in
the afternoon. A strong Pacific front will cross from the west
tonight shifting winds out of the west, before they shift out of the
northwest on Sunday afternoon. Then, a brisk back door cold front
will plunge southward through the eastern plains late Sunday
afternoon strengthening winds across northeast areas, where gusts
may also reach 60 mph during the late afternoon and early evening.

After high temperatures a few to 15 degrees below normal on Sunday,
readings will trend upward through Thursday. Humidities will fall a
few to around 30 percent and winds will weaken significantly in the
wake of the exiting storm system on Monday. A dry upper level trough
will then cross the Desert Southwest Tuesday and Tuesday night,
before a ridge of high pressure crosses Wednesday and Wednesday
night. This will cause humidities to fluctuate some.

Another upper level trough will approach on Thursday, causing
southwest winds to become breezy again. Critical fire weather
conditions will be possible across the NE plans, where Haines will
reach 5 as temperatures soar up to 11 degrees above normal and
humidities crater below 15%. The trough will pass eastward over the
central Rockies on Friday, when it will steer another Pacific front
across NM from the west with breezy to windy conditions and a
chance for snow mainly in the northern mountains.

After excellent ventilation Sunday, areas of poor ventilation will
develop on Monday, then become increasingly widespread through
Wednesday, before some improvement across southern and eastern areas
on Thursday.



High Wind Warning from 11 PM this evening to 5 PM MST Sunday for
the following zones... NMZ523-524-526-539-540.

Winter Weather Advisory from 8 PM this evening to 4 PM MST Sunday
for the following zones... NMZ511-512-515>522.

High Wind Watch from Sunday morning through Sunday afternoon for
the following zones... NMZ533>538.

Red Flag Warning until 6 PM MST this evening for the following
zones... NMZ104-108.

Wind Advisory from 8 AM to 5 PM MST Sunday for the following
zones... NMZ525-528-529-532.

High Wind Watch from Sunday morning through Sunday evening for the
following zones... NMZ530-531.

Winter Weather Advisory until noon MST Sunday for the following
zones... NMZ501>509.

Winter Storm Warning from 8 PM this evening to 8 PM MST Sunday for
the following zones... NMZ510-513-514.

Winter Weather Advisory from 8 AM to 8 PM MST Sunday for the
following zones... NMZ527.



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