Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 241746 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1146 AM MDT Mon Apr 24 2017
18Z TAF CYCLE
Strong westerly winds have already begun to increase over NM this
morning, and will continue to do so through the afternoon where winds
are expected to peak between 25 to 30 knots with gusts as high as 45
knots. An Aviation Weather Warning will be forthcoming at ABQ this
afternoon. Westerly winds are not expected to diminish significantly
overnight into Tuesday morning, ranging between 10 to 20 knots, with
gusts up to 30 knots. A change in the weather pattern is expected
Tuesday morning, with a trough dipping into the Four Corners region.
This will increase the chance for light showers of rain for western
and northern TAF sites including, FMN, GUP, and SAF. There is some
uncertainty if showers will reach AEG and ABQ. Downsloping wind will
delay precipitation chances at LVS until perhaps late Tuesday
.PREV DISCUSSION...253 AM MDT Mon Apr 24 2017...
An active Pacific storm track is expected this week with lasting
impacts into the weekend. The first storm system will take aim on
northern and central New Mexico today and Tuesday. Strong winds will
occur both days with widespread critical fire weather conditions
today. Precipitation will go on the increase from north to south late
tonight and continue through Tuesday. The main precipitation event
will occur Tuesday night into Wednesday across the northeast half of
the area due to the tandem of a back door cold front and upper level
low. A brief break, besides some northern mountain precipitation, is
expected Wednesday night into Thursday. Another, potentially potent
Pacific low will affect the area late week into the weekend. Another
round of significant precipitation and most certainly a cool down
is expected during this period.
Near and longer term models continue to beef up precipitation chances
through the next several days. After reviewing the latest Ensembles
and operational runs of the GFS/Canadian and ECMWF models...decided
to be less pessimistic and adopted the SuperBlend strategy for PoPs.
Model continuity and unity is pretty high thus increasing confidence
for an active Pacific storm track through the next 7 days. Deep
convection remains across the eastern equatorial Pacific thus giving
credence to the further south jet track.
Near term impacts will be the first in a series of Pacific
disturbances tied to an extra strong Jet today and Tuesday. Todays
highlights include a widespread critical fire weather event combined
with strong wind...low humidity and an unstable airmass. Increased
high temps above model guidance and more in line with the ECE
across the lowland areas of the east as well as Rio Grande Valley.
This bumped up temps to near record levels across the EC and SE
plains this afternoon so worked that into the hazard grid. Wind
speeds have also come in higher...perhaps due to efficient
mixing...thus some additional zones have been added to the Wind
Advisory product. Thought about adding blowing dust for SC and SE
areas. The main dust impact area during the past big wind events has
been White Sands thus Lincoln and Chaves county could be affected by
raised dust. Raised overnight lows above model guidance for tonight
across some portions of the forecast area. Models are getting more
bullish with adequate moisture to wring out over the mountains
starting late tonight and lasting into Tuesday. Bumped up cloud
cover, PoP`s and QPF accordingly. Another round of wind advisory
conditions are expected Tuesday favoring the southern tier. Models
show pretty good agreement with the overall weather trend the next
couple of days so confidence continues to increase.
One of the stronger precipitation periods during the next several
days appears to be tied to a combo back door cold front, upper
Pacific low passage Tuesday night into Wednesday. The northeast half
looks to be favored. Increased PoP`s accordingly and also increased
precipitation amounts slightly above WPC amounts since both GFS/NAM
have been bullish for the NE third the past few days.
Brief break in the main weather is expected later Wednesday into
Thursday. The wind gradient however, will increase on Thursday as the
jet strengthens and sags further south. Gusty springtime winds are
once again expected. Models also continue to show some precipitation
potential across the far north...favoring the NC mtns.
The second big weather system impact is expected Friday and last into
the weekend. Models have jumped around a little on the closed low
solution. Latest ensembles support that possibility although they
remain a bit warmer than their operational counterparts. Either
way...confidence is growing and at least medium...if not high for a
significant cool down and precipitation chances. Went with a modified
Super Blend solution. High temps would be several degrees below
normal by Saturday.
Trending drier and less cloudy Sunday and Monday.
...WIDESPREAD CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS TODAY...
...STRONG WINDS ALONG AND SOUTH OF INTERSTATE 40 TUESDAY BUT
COOLER WITH HIGHER HUMIDITIES OVERALL...
Strong westerly winds aloft today combined with a surface lee
trough, widespread humidities below 15 percent and above normal to
near record high temperatures will lead to widespread critical fire
weather conditions today for all locations below any significant
snowpack. Wind gusts to around 50 to 55 mph are possible especially
along the central mountain chain as well as over much of the western
Winds will be slow to taper off tonight, especially over the higher
terrain as a stronger disturbance moves into the Four Corners
region. Chances for rain and very high terrain snow showers will be
found after midnight tonight from the Chuska to the San Juan
mountains. Humidity recoveries tonight will improve over the
northwest but will be poor over many areas along and south of
The disturbance and associated cold front will push into New Mexico
Tuesday. Strong west to northwest winds are expected again Tuesday,
especially along and south of Interstate 40, but overall
temperatures will cool and humidities will be higher than 15 percent
for most locales. The exception may be the southern portions of
zones 106 and 108 where spotty critical fire weather conditions
could develop for a couple of hours. North of Interstate 40, chances
for showers and thunderstorms increase. Snow levels will likely be
near or above 8500 feet over the northern mountains but any
accumulations look to be meager at best.
Chances for precipitation Tuesday night shift to the northeast and
east central where the affects of the back door cold front and upper
low circulation intersect. Showers and thunderstorms during the
evening will give way to rain and snow showers late Tuesday night
with a couple of inches of snow possible along the Raton
Ridge/Johnson Mesa. Low temperature trends will be cooler by 10 to
15 degrees and overnight humidity recoveries improve, with only the
southern portion of zone 106 potentially seeing some fair to poor
Drier and cooler weather prevails Wednesday under northwest flow as
the upper low departs to the east of New Mexico. Very spotty
critical conditions will be limited to locations south of Interstate
40 Wednesday afternoon but high temperatures will vary from 5 to 10
degrees below average.
Winds increase again Wednesday night and Thursday, as additional
energy plunges into the central Rockies. Spotty critical conditions
could develop over the middle Rio Grande valley and portions of the
east central plains Thursday afternoon but will depend at least
partially on the timing of an incoming cold front and an upper
disturbance. Chances for precipitation increase Thursday night and
Friday over the north, then spread southward Friday night and
Saturday as the disturbance strengthens into an upper low over the
state. High temperatures take a hit Friday and again Saturday,
falling to 10 to 20 degrees below average Saturday. Vent rates will
pretty much be excellent through Thursday then areas of fair to poor
rates show up over the north and east Friday and Saturday.
Red Flag Warning until 9 PM MDT this evening for the following
Wind Advisory until 9 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...