Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 290001 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
601 PM MDT Tue Mar 28 2017
00Z TAF CYCLE
Upper level low will continue to slide eastward tonight. A few TSRA
persist across eastern NM as of this writing, but should diminish by
03Z. However, as the low shifts eastward, wrap-around moisture and
abundant upslope flow will allow widespread rain and snow to develop
across the plains mainly between 06Z and 12Z and lingering through at
least 18Z Wed. IFR, though locally lower, cigs and vsbys will
overspread areas along/east of the central mt chain in RA and SN. SN
will favor areas along the Sangres and portions of NE NM to include
KLVS. Showers across western NM may become more focused along and
just east of the ContDvd through the early morning. A gradual
improvement in conditions from NW to SE is expected Wed aftn.
.PREV DISCUSSION...321 PM MDT Tue Mar 28 2017...
Isolated thunderstorms will continue across central and eastern areas
through sunset. Occasional gusts with small hail will accompany some
storms. Meanwhile, snow showers will develop and intensify across
the northern mountains, east central and northeastern plains tonight
through Wednesday morning. A potent back door front will push south
overnight helping to plummet temperatures tonight and Wednesday.
Temperatures will rebound Thursday from a brief weather break but
another incoming upper level system will bring more unsettling
weather Friday through Sunday.
Current radar shows some isolated to scattered thunderstorms over
much of central and eastern NM that will continue pass sunset. So
far a few storms have produced pea size hail near the ABQ Sunport.
As the center of the upper low shifts eastward south of the I-40
corridor, isolated activity will slowly diminish while snow showers
develop and intensity across the northern mtns, EC and NE Plains
tonight into the Wednesday morning. Anticipate snow levels to lower
around 5500 to 6500 tonight...especially across the east where levels
will lower to around 5000 ft. With snow levels lowering even more
followed by models indicating moderate to heavy snow showers along
and east of the central mtn chain, we deceived to include the
remaining EC/NE zones in the winter weather advisories beginning at
midnight tonight, lasting through Wed aftn. Snowfall accumulations
will range from 5 to 12 inches near Raton Pass/Johnson Mesa...with
greater accumulations across the peaks of the Sangre De Cristos.
Other areas across the EC/NE Plains will see accumulations range from
2 to 4 inches. Snowfall intensity will peak Wed morning in those
areas which will deteriorate travel conditions along I-25 from Las
Vegas to the NM/CO border and other highways across the NE Plains.
Potent wrap around activity from the exiting upper low will increase
northerly winds areawide...with windy cond in the east Wed associated
with a back door cold front pushing southward. Meanwhile, temps will
plummet 5 to 15 degrees in the east with some lingering warmer cond
in the west.
A brief period of upper level ridging will build over the region
Thurs allowing allowing drier and warmer cond to prevail during the
short period. Another incoming upper level system will bring another
round of unsettling weather to the state Fri through the weekend.
The low pressure system advertised the past several days is centered
over central NM this afternoon and is generating lots of showers and
isolated thunderstorms across the region. Wetting rainfall impacted
many areas of northern and central NM overnight and much more is on
the way through Wednesday. Showers and storms are expected to merge
into a band of heavy precipitation along the I-40 corridor east of
the ABQ metro overnight with heavy snowfall likely in the Sangre de
Cristo Mts and parts of the northeast plains. A wrap around area of
rain with amounts greater than 0.25" is possible even within the Rio
Grande Valley tonight. Rain and snow will then exit from west to
east Wednesday with strong north/northwest winds in it`s wake. Soil
moisture values will be significantly higher by this time tomorrow
over central and eastern NM.
Guidance is trending drier and windier for Thursday within portions
of western and central NM ahead of the next trough gathering over
the Great Basin. Patchy critical fire wx conditions are likely for a
few hours around the lower reaches of the Rio Grande Valley and near
the ContDvd of the west central highlands. The more significant fire
period will focus on Friday with widespread windy conditions with
deep mixing and above normal temps. Will not issue a Fire Wx Watch
at this time but it is looking increasingly likely Friday.
The next system will arrive Friday night and attempt to carve out
over NM thru the weekend. Much more uncertainty in place with this
system as model timing and placement is all over the place.
Nonetheless, a return to more unsettled weather is likely.
Winter Weather Advisory from midnight tonight to noon MDT Wednesday
for the following zones... NMZ523-530>534.
Winter Weather Advisory until 6 PM MDT Wednesday for the following
Winter Storm Warning until 6 PM MDT Wednesday for the following
Winter Weather Advisory until noon MDT Wednesday for the following