Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 242350 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
450 PM MST Fri Feb 24 2017

VFR conditions will prevail during the next 24 hours. West winds will
diminish shortly after sunset. West winds will increase at most
terminals Saturday afternoon.



.PREV DISCUSSION...255 PM MST Fri Feb 24 2017...
Much colder tonight due to a very dry air mass which has overspread
most of New Mexico. A few snow showers may be found over the higher
terrain near the Colorado border and northeast plains tonight. Dry
with highs below average Saturday and some afternoon breezes in the
east, which could lead to critical fire weather conditions over the
northeast and east central plains. A moist westerly flow will bring
increasing chances for rain and snow showers to mainly the northwest
third to half of New Mexico Saturday night through Tuesday but the
east should be relatively dry with some afternoon breezes. High
temperatures will remain below average during this time and may not
recover to near average until late next week.


Dewpoints have really cratered this afternoon with single digits in
many areas and a few mid to upper teens in the far northeast where
the moisture is relatively more plentiful behind the back door
surface boundary. Potentially a few flurries spread over the nrn mts
and into the northeast, in line with RAP13 and HRRR which have been
fairly persistent with this idea but taper off any minor
precipitation later tonight. Due to the drier air mass, low
temperatures tonight will be colder, especially over the northwest
third by about 5 to 15 degrees and lows overall will be below

Zonal flow Saturday will be dry with some breezes in the east.
Chances for precipitation increase Saturday night and Sunday for
portions of the west and central as a weak trough passes overhead.
Another such feature is expected Monday through Tuesday, but there
looks to be more imported moisture with this second feature,
therefore it may be a more prolific snow producer for some of the
higher terrain and west facing slopes of the northwest, where at
least spotty advisory level snows could accumulate. But neither of
these features would be considered a significant storm system by any
means. Occasionally breezy to windy conditions will impact the east
as well as the higher terrain during this period and overall
temperatures will continue to be below average.

Mid to late next week appears to be dry, although models continue to
have some differences in the formation and location of a closed/cut
off to our southwest. Right now the solutions are mostly dry, and we
may warm to near average late next week.



A progressive pattern through early next week will enhance potential
for critical fire weather conditions on several days. A few notable
features in this pattern will make for challenging decision making.
For today, a back door frontal boundary made it further south and
west than indicated yesterday so it has taken a bit longer for the
humidity to drop to the 10 to 15% range over the east central
plains. The greatest confidence area for critical conditions will be
along and south of I-40 east of Santa Rosa where high temps are
expected to be near normal with moderate haines values. Farther
north and west temps are almost 10F below normal and haines are low.
A red flag warning this afternoon over the east central plains will
expire this evening as winds decouple.

A similar challenge exists for Saturday as winds are shown to veer
around to the southwest over much of eastern NM toward mid day.
Another round of critical fire conditions is possible over the east
central plains and northeast plains Saturday afternoon. Have issued
a Fire Weather Watch for zones 104 and 108. Critical fire conditions
could expand into eastern portions of zones 103 and 107 as well
Saturday. Left it to the overnight shift to decide whether to
upgrade to Red Flag since high temperatures remain below normal and
Haines indices are low to moderate.

Windy conditions will persist into Sunday, however a fast moving
upper level trough will bring increasing mid level moisture and in
turn increase cloud coverage. This will limit fire weather concerns
Sunday. Strong downsloping winds over the east central to northeast
plains continue into Monday possibly producing yet another round of
critical fire weather conditions. Tuesday will see a rinse and
repeat of Sunday with another trough quickly swinging through the
region increasing cloud cover and producing modest precip chances
mainly over the western half of the state.

After Tuesday, the weather pattern quiets down with both the ECM and
GFS showing lower winds and a generally stable environment.
Ventilation rates decrease considerably on Wednesday and Thursday.
Temperatures will rebound to normal to just above normal levels to
by mid to late next week.



Red Flag Warning until 6 PM MST this evening for the following
zones... NMZ108.

Fire Weather Watch Saturday afternoon for the following zones...

Wind Advisory until 5 PM MST this afternoon for the following
zones... NMZ521-523-529-532-533.


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