Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 190524 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1024 PM MST Thu Jan 18 2018

VFR conditions prevail and are forecast to persist. VFR cigs between
20-30k ft agl will continue overnight, with breaks on Friday. Winds
will get a bit gusty at KLVS and KTCC by Friday afternoon.



.PREV DISCUSSION...343 PM MST Thu Jan 18 2018...
Quiet weather will continue through Friday and the early part of
Saturday before a storm system impacts the Land of Enchantment over
the weekend. Friday will be quite warm, especially across the eastern
plains, where near record high temperatures are possible. Critical
fire weather conditions are also expected near and just south of the
I-40 corridor across eastern NM. A Pacific front will move into
western NM late Saturday afternoon and will race eastward Saturday
evening. Rain will quickly change to snow, with light to moderate
snow amounts expected. Strong winds will also arrive with the front,
and these strong winds will continue on Sunday. Otherwise, colder
temperatures are expected for Sunday and Monday before rebounding
mid week.


An upper level ridge will crest over the area tonight and this
combined with a lee side trough and downsloping winds, low
temperatures should be warmer than last night for most locations. The
lee side trough/low will deepen on Friday to near 1000mb, and windy
conditions should develop near or south of I-40 where the strongest
pressure gradient will reside. Friday`s high temperatures will be
quite warm, with highs 15 to 25 degrees above normal across the east,
and between 5 and 15 degrees above normal along and west of the
central mountain chain.

Still on track for a winter weather event over the weekend. Latest
models suggest the system is slightly slower than yesterday, but not
by much. Pacific cold front and accompanying precipitation should
move into western NM near or just slightly before 00Z Sun. Much of
the precipitation will be associated with the front as it races
across the state Saturday evening. Snow levels will quickly drop to
the surface behind the front. Though, because of the quick-hitting
nature of the front, snow amounts should be on the lighter side,
generally 1 to 3 inches across the west and Sandia/Manzanos, with
more potentially across the northern mountain as snow showers linger
on the back side of the system. Rain changing to snow is also
possible in the ABQ Metro. Some snow is also expected across the
northeast as the back door segment of the front moves in on Sunday -
especially along the NM/CO border.

Both ahead of and behind the front, strong winds are anticipated,
though the strongest winds are expected behind the front on Saturday,
which may create areas of blowing snow and low visibilities. As the
system moves out, just as strong, if not stronger, winds are
expected on Sunday, especially early on Sunday. Gusts near 50 mph
will be possible, and areas that don`t see precipitation, may see
areas of blowing dust.

Much colder temps will be in store Sun/Mon, but a warming trend will
be on tap for the middle part of the week.


Red Flag Warning will be issued for Friday afternoon across the East
Central Plains. Will leave the Fire Weather Watch for Friday, which
is looking more like a marginal event.

Short wave ridge has shifted over NM today and is bringing a good
deal of sunshine and milder temperatures to the area without a lot
of wind. Tonight will be mainly clear and not as cold as recent

The upper ridge will sink southeast Friday as a storm system moves
onto the west coast. Winds will increase as the flow aloft and lee
side surface trough strengthen. The strongest winds will be across
the east central plains, where minimum relative humidities will drop
to 10 to 15 percent, with moderate Haines Indices and near record
high temperatures, well above normal. This will lead to several
hours of Red Flag Warning conditions on the East Central Plains
between noon and 6 pm MST.

Big changes this weekend as the west coast storm system approaches
NM Saturday and crosses the state Saturday night into Sunday. Winds
will continue to increase Saturday as precipitation breaks out
across the west. While it starts to cool in the west, the east will
have one more warm day with highs again well above normal. Minimum
humidities will drop to around 15 percent in the east. This means
borderline critical fire weather conditions for Saturday afternoon
over all the eastern plains. Haines indices will also not be that
impressive, with mostly low and spotty moderate values. We will
leave the watch for now, with the humidity being the main limiting
factor for now.

The bulk of the precipitation will come Saturday night into Sunday.
At the same time a blast of cold air will be arriving, with valley
locations going from rain to snow. This quick changeover could result
in a flash freeze, creating an icy road surface as snow falls on top
of the ice. Sunday will be cold with strong and gusty winds
combining with sharply colder temperatures to produce low wind
chills, especially in the west. Bitter cold Sunday night.

Next week looks dry through Thursday with temperatures recovering to
around normal. The next storm could impact NM Thursday night or

Ventilation will begin to improve Friday with good to excellent
rates over the weekend. But mostly poor ventilation returns for much
of next week.



Red Flag Warning from noon to 6 PM MST Friday for the following
zones... NMZ108.

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



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