Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 221149 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
449 AM MST Thu Feb 22 2018

Another disturbance aloft continues to spread moisture and
instability across western and central New Mexico through 19Z before
showers diminish. Mts obscured in areas of MVFR to IFR ceilings and
visibility in snow and br/fzfg west and central, but improving
conditions expected aft 19Z. Also some areas of MVFR to IFR
cigs/vsbys in br/fzfg run up the ern NM border from the KHOB area to
KCVS and east of KTCC before it`s pushed eastward by 18Z. Gusty
southwest to west winds to develop along the central mt chain and
northeast/central highlands aft 18Z where gusts to around 40kts


.PREV DISCUSSION...311 AM MST Thu Feb 22 2018...
The storm system over the Four Corners this morning will weaken and
move into southern Colorado this afternoon. Several additional inches
of snow will fall in the northern mountains, before snow tapers off
late this afternoon. Another storm system will move from the Great
Basin to northern New Mexico Friday and Friday night. This storm
system will bring light snow to western and northern New Mexico late
Friday afternoon through Saturday morning. A strong Pacific cold
front behind the storm will bring gusty winds and cold temperatures
to northern and central New Mexico Saturday. A very fast moving storm
will move across northern New Mexico late Saturday night and Sunday,
bringing another round of light snow to the higher terrain in
northwest and north central New Mexico. Cold air will remain
entrenched over the region Sunday with a slight moderation in
temperature Monday and Tuesday. Another storm system may produce rain
and elevation snow across the region during the middle of next week.


There is strong model agreement in the short term portion of the
forecast. The upper level trough in central AZ this morning will
rapidly eject northeastward today and weaken substantially. Upslope
snowfall will continue across the northwest and north central
mountains through the late afternoon hours with a gradual decrease in
intensity through the afternoon hours. The Tusas Mountains will
receive an additional 3 to 5 inches with more than 6 additional
inches possible in the highest peaks. The Sangre de Cristos will
generally receive an additional 2 to 4 inches with locally higher
amounts. Winter storm warnings are in effect for the Tusas/San Juan
Mountains and the far Northwest Highlands until 5 PM MST today, while
winter weather advisories will be in effect for the West Central
Mountains and West Central Plateau until 12 PM today and for much of
north central NM until 5 PM today. Skies will clear out across the
region late tonight, and low temperatures will be below normal across
most of the region. Low temperatures will be well below normal across
areas of northwest and north central NM where a fresh snow pack will
causes strong radiational cooling. Southwest flow aloft on Friday
will bring a drier and slightly warmer air mass into the region air
mass into the region. Breezy southwest winds Friday afternoon will
cause some downsloping across the eastern plains, where high
temperatures will be a few degrees above normal. High temperatures
across the rest of the region will remain below normal Friday.

A well defined trough will move eastward from the southern Great
Basin Friday and cross northern AZ late Friday and northern NM Friday
night and early Saturday. This storm system will lack a strong source
of moisture and is expected to only produce 1 to 3 inches of snow in
the higher terrain of western and north central NM late Friday
afternoon through early Saturday morning. A strong Pacific cold front
associated with this storm system will enter western NM late Friday
evening and early Saturday morning. Strong cold air advection behind
the front will produce a cold day Saturday with high temperatures 10
to 20 degrees below normal across western and central Nm and 5 to 10
degrees below normal in the eastern plains. A very quick moving
shortwave trough will cross northern NM late Saturday night and
Sunday with periods of light snow through early Sunday
afternoon.Another Pacific cold front will sweep eastward across NM
Sunday morning and early afternoon. A reinforcing shot of cold air
behind the front will keep high temperatures below normal east of the
central mountains and well below normal west of the central

A break in the succession of storm systems affecting NM is expected
Monday and Tuesday with winds aloft shifting from the west on Monday
to the southwest on Tuesday. High temperatures will moderate slightly
on Monday and return to near normal on Tuesday. Models showing a mid
week storm system taking a more southerly track from southern CA
eastward across southern NM. The GFS brings the storm across the NM
late Tuesday and Wednesday, in contrast to the ECMWF which is nearly
24 hours slower in the late Wednesday through Thursday time frame. At
this point have weighted the forecast heavily towards the GFS
solution, based on its run-to-run continuity. This system will be
warmer than recent systems, and rain and elevation snow will move
into western NM and into central NM Tuesday night into
Wednesday.Eastern NM would receive little to no precipitation from
this system based on model output, but the projected storm track
could produce precipitation across portions of eastern NM. Will have
to watch future model runs to get a better handle of this
possibility. Highs wednesday and Thursday are expected to be near to
slightly below normal.




A rather active period of weather is forecast through the next 7 days
as several short wave troughs swing through the Great Basin and
central Rockies, and brush northern New Mexico. Precipitation from
ongoing light snow early this morning over the northwest, west
central and north central is expected to taper off by midday today.
Otherwise, temperatures will be mostly near to below average from
today through next Wednesday. The only exception looks to be next
Tuesday when highs in the east warm to around 5 to 10 degrees above
average. Vent rates will be mostly good to excellent as well, with
some unseasonably high mixing heights forecast and occasionally
moderate to strong transport winds.

Strong winds combined with low minimum humidities will be a daily
concern Friday through next Tuesday over the eastern plains. Areas of
critical fire weather conditions are possible Friday afternoon,
focused over the Northeast and East Central Plains. On Saturday,
critical conditions are forecast to be much more widespread over the
Northeast and East Central Plains, and bleed into the extreme western
portions of the Northeast and Central Highlands. However, low Haines
is forecast both days, and high temperatures range from within a few
degrees of average Friday to 5 to 15 degrees below average Saturday.
Recent LIS imagery indicates recent precipitation hasn`t moistened
the near surface layer much over the east though. Considering the low
Haines and near to below average highs, decided against a fire
weather watch at this time, but this may change as subsequent shifts

Winds late Friday night and Saturday associated with another fast
moving short wave disturbance and cold front look to be the strong
and possibly damaging with westerly gusts potentially in the 50 to 65
mph range along the central mountain chain and into the east central
plains. Meager precipitation with the disturbance and front will be
possible along the Contdvd and northern mountains.

Critical conditions are possible again Sunday along and east of the
Pecos Valley as another disturbance passes over northern New Mexico,
bringing again some meager precipitation to the northern mountains.
Next Monday and Tuesday the Northeast and East Central Plains could
see critical conditions, as extended forecast models indicate a
stronger upper low digging into Arizona and surface low pressure
deepening over southeast Colorado.


Winter Weather Advisory until 5 PM MST this afternoon for the
following zones... NMZ504-511>514-516>518.

Winter Weather Advisory until noon MST today for the following
zones... NMZ505-506.

Winter Storm Warning until 5 PM MST this afternoon for the
following zones... NMZ503-510.


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