Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 211754 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1054 AM MST Sat Jan 21 2017

Unsettled weather will impact much of northern and central New
Mexico today. Expect a mix of rain and snow showers in the lower
elevations of central and western New Mexico with more persistent
and occasionally moderate to heavy snow in the central to western
high terrain of the state. Mountain obscurations will be prevalent
over these central to western zones with periodic bouts of MVFR
and occasional IFR/LIFR conditions during passing bursts of snow.
Winds will also be very strong with highest speeds along and south
of the Interstate 40 corridor where gusts will reach 35 to 50 kt
at times, potentially even higher near and east of KCQC and KSRR.
Precipitation will wane, but low clouds and freezing fog may
develop early Sunday morning, favoring areas where snowfall
accumulations were highest.



.PREV DISCUSSION...345 AM MST Sat Jan 21 2017...
Precipitation will continue today over the west and central with
accumulating snow over the higher terrain, but any rain or snow
should taper off as it reaches the plains. West winds will
strengthen rapidly by this afternoon and even more tonight for much
of the east and south, with damaging wind gusts in excess of 60 mph
possible south of Interstate 40 and east of the Rio Grande Valley.
While precipitation tapers off overall tonight, the strong winds
will persist into Monday. Unsettled and colder weather will continue
into the middle of next week before a drying trend late next week.

Negative tilt trough continues to spread precipitation over the
forecast area from southwest to northeast, although it has been
tending to taper off as it reaches or shortly after it reaches the
plains due to downslope winds. Again trying to balance timing and
areal coverage of wintry highlights with necessity, areal coverage
and timing of wind highlights.  As some of the winter weather
advisories and winter storm warnings expire, high wind warnings and
wind advisories will go into effect.

Precipitation to taper off tonight, but winds to strengthen moreso
and may persist into Monday. The next system approaching from the
west will start increasing chances for snow over the northwest
quarter to third Sunday night into Monday, but snow looks to become
more widespread and frequent Monday night. Snow levels should be
lower Monday night as mt top temperatures fall to -8 to -10C after
warming to -1 to -3C Monday. There will also be more wind with this
system but the potential for damaging wind is less.

Mid to late week an upper trough will linger over the southern
Rockies but apparently chances for precipitation taper off each day.
Temperatures will be below average as a ridge develops to our west,
and brisk north winds prevail over NM. Models have exhibited some
variations on this theme, so details a bit fuzzy.


The second upper level trough in the series will continue to
impact NM today and tonight. Initially, waves of precipitation
will continue to impact mainly western and central NM. Some light
precip may make it across the plains, but as downsloping winds
ramp up this afternoon, precip should have a harder time
persisting across the area. Snow levels will continue to lower
today, to generally between 5000-6000 feet. Additional snow totals
between 1 and 3 inches will be common, though locally higher
across the northern mountains. Much of the precipitation should
diminish near or shortly after sunset.

The winds will really start picking around 11am today especially
near and south of I-40 thanks to a 998-990mb sfc low over NE NM and
strong mixing. Winds will continue to increase this evening along
and just east of the central mtn chain where damaging winds with
gusts up to 70 mph are possible. High wind warnings and wind
advisories will be in effect this afternoon through 5 am Sunday.

A brief break is expected Sunday afternoon, though some breezes will
still be felt along and just east of the central mountain chain.
Then the effects of the 3rd system in the series will start to
impact northwest NM Sunday night. Though the center of the system
will cross the central Rockies, some energy will shift across NM
Monday and Monday night, expanding precipitation across the western
2/3rds of NM once again. Snow levels may be a bit higher with this
system, but strong winds will return.  Nearly all areas will see
breezy to windy conditions Monday.

Some showers will persist on Tuesday as some energy lags behind the
main system, but winds again will be the story, at least across the
east central plains where gusts between 45 and 50 mph will be
common. Elsewhere, expect colder temperatures.

Though the latter half of the week looks dry, it will remain cold.
High temperatures will be below normal areawide starting Tuesday and
will remain below normal through at least Saturday. Not much wind is
expected after Tuesday as well outside of a few gusts near Clines

After mainly excellent vent rates today, ventilation rates will drop
into the poor category for much of western and central NM on Sunday.
Ventilation improves on Monday, except for a few central valley
locales. Further improvement is expected on Tuesday, but as both
mixing heights and transport winds decrease during the latter half
of the week, vent rates deteriorate once again.



High Wind Warning until 5 AM MST Sunday for the following zones...

Winter Weather Advisory until 11 AM MST this morning for the
following zones... NMZ507-509-517-518-521>524.

Wind Advisory until 5 AM MST Sunday for the following zones...

Winter Storm Warning until 8 PM MST this evening for the following
zones... NMZ502-506-508-510>514-516-526.

Wind Advisory from 8 PM this evening to 5 AM MST Sunday for the
following zones... NMZ506-508.

Winter Weather Advisory until 8 PM MST this evening for the
following zones... NMZ501-503>505.

High Wind Warning from 8 PM this evening to 5 AM MST Sunday for the
following zones... NMZ526.


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