Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 291138 AAA
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
538 AM MDT Wed Mar 29 2017

.AVIATION...
12Z TAF CYCLE
Upper low will continue to move slowly eastward across southeastern
NM this morning. The strong wrap-around rain and snow band along the
I-40 corridor from Santa Rosa to the TX line will continue through
approximately 29/18z. IFR/LIFR cigs and vsbys will continue across
areas along/east of the central mt chain in RA and SN. SN will favor
areas along the Sangre de Cristos and portions of NE NM including
KLVS during the morning hours. Improving conditions are expected
across wrn NM after sunrise with improvement east of the central
mountain chain aft 29/21z. Latest models suggest showers will
develop over and near the Jemez/Sandia/Manzano/Magdalena/San Mateo
mts btwn 29/23z-30/06z. Clearing sky and recent rainfall then results
in the potential for fog/low clouds at KABQ, KSAF and KLVS after
30/08z.

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&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...307 AM MDT Wed Mar 29 2017...
.SYNOPSIS...
The first of two Pacific storm systems to impact New Mexico is
currently over the East Central Plains and pulling slowly eastward
into the Texas Panhandle. Precipitation associated with this system
is currently widespread across central and eastern New Mexico, but
will gradually diminish today. Winter storm impacts will be relegated
to locations above 7500 feet in the Northern Mountains, but will also
impact Raton Pass. Look for a break and a brief warmup Thursday in
advance of the second Pacific system, forecast to begin impacting the
area Friday. Windy conditions are expected Friday across southern and
eastern New Mexico while precipitation begins across northwest
portions of the state. Precipitation will ramp-up early Saturday,
with the potential for winter storm impacts across the Northern
Mountains and Raton Ridge. Cooling associated with this second system
will bring daytime temperatures below normal areawide through the
weekend. Look for a brief warm-up next Monday ahead of a strong
Pacific front on Tuesday.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Tricky near-term forecast with snow levels higher than previously
forecast. Snow levels inferred by 09z surface dewpoint analysis
would vary from 7000-7500ft across the area and rain is currently
being reported at KLVS, KCQC, KSAF, KABQ, KTCC and KCAO. Even if snow
were to make it down to the lower elevations, the airmass and ground
temps are sufficiently warm to significantly limit impacts. So, have
cancelled the advisories for the Northeast and East Central Plains.
May need to cancel the East Central and Northeast Highlands soon as
well. Impacts over the warned area will likely be advisory-type, but
will leave as a warning for now. Beneficial rain is currently
widespread across the East Central Plains, Middle and Lower RGV and
West Central Highlands. Winds are forecast to continue the uptrend
behind the backdoor push this morning across the northeast and will
issue a wind advisory for the Northeast Plains. Otherwise, cooling
with this system will hold temperatures below normal today,
especially across the Eastern Plains where highs will be 15-20
degrees below normal.

Look for a break and brief warmup Thursday as a shortwave ridge moves
overhead in advance of the second Pacific storm system forecast to
begin impacting the state Friday. Winds will crank-up Friday as a lee
side trough deepens across the Eastern Plains. The strongest winds
will be across southern New Mexico and the Southeast Plains, where
wind highlights and red flag warnings will likely be required (see
Fire Weather discussion below for details). The Pacific front will
push into central New Mexico by late day, with snow levels lowering
rapidly. Winter storm-type impacts are likely with this second
Pacific system, but will require the backdoor portion of the front to
provide some low level forcing. The areas most likely to be
significantly impacted are the Northern Mountains and Raton Ridge
once again. Moderate forecast confidence on this scenario, but lower
confidence on the timing given differences between the latest NAM
(faster) and GFS. Still, a late Friday night into Saturday high
impact period looks on track. Cooling with this system will send
daytime temperatures below normal this weekend, but a warm-up is
forecast Monday ahead of a third system forecast to push another
Pacific front through on Tuesday. This third system is forecast to
track mainly north of the area, so wind and fire weather impacts will
most likely take center stage.

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&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Closed upper low over east-central NM resulting in widespread
wetting precipitation across central and eastern portions of the
state this morning. This feature will continue to slowly slide
eastward today, continuing a band of wrap-around precipitation
across portions of the eastern plains through midday or so. Strong
north winds on the backside of the surface low will result in gusty
north winds across the northeast plains through the day.

The low lifts east tonight and in its wake, an upper level ridge
moves over for Thursday. Another deep closed low remains on track to
move to the Four Corners Friday morning. Weather prediction models
are in good agreement that the next closed to impact the area Friday
will move through slightly farther north than the current low.
Southwest winds ahead of this low will combine with the mid level
dry slot ahead of this system to produce critical fire conditions
across portions of the RGV south of I-40 as well as the central
highlands and east-central plains Friday afternoon into early
evening. Favored area for wetting precipitation from this low will be
across the northeast quarter of the state Friday night and Saturday.
GFS and ECWMF remain at odds as to how quickly this feature shifts
east. A few showers or thunderstorms could linger across areas east
of the central mountain chain Sunday.

Models agree that Monday will likely end up breezy and dry with an
upper level ridge moving through. Next upper level trough to impact
the area is expected to move through northern NM Monday night and
Tuesday. This track would likely result in dry and windy conditons
south of I-40 with the potential for critical condtions Tuesday
afternoon. Chances for low elevation rain and mountain snow would be
highest across the northern mountains Monday night and Tuesday.

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&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Weather Advisory until noon MDT today for the following
zones... NMZ510-511-523.

Wind Advisory until 6 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...
 NMZ530-531.

Winter Weather Advisory until 6 PM MDT this evening for the
following zones... NMZ516-528-529.

Winter Storm Warning until 6 PM MDT this evening for the following
zones... NMZ512>515-527.

&&

$$

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