Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 270602 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1202 AM MDT Mon Mar 27 2017
06Z TAF CYCLE
Higher dewpoint temperatures in the wake of a weak backdoor cold
front may result in patches of low clouds across the eastern plains,
with return sely flow possibly leading to a broken cloud deck at
KROW toward sunrise. Otherwise a weak upper level wave in southwest
flow aloft will lead to an increase in mid level clouds for most
terminals Monday afternoon. Southwest winds aloft will mix down
during the afternoon at most terminals with gusts to 30kt possible
at KGUP and KLVS.
.PREV DISCUSSION...331 PM MDT Sun Mar 26 2017...
An active weather pattern remains on tap for the next week as two
storm systems set eyes on the Land of Enchantment. Precipitation will
start as early as Monday evening associated with the first system.
The precipitation will spread eastward on Tuesday, but the bulk of
the precipitation will be on Wednesday across the northeast and east
central plains after the system exits. Breezy to windy conditions can
be expected each day as well as a drop in temperatures. A brief
break in the action is expected for Thursday with a quick warm-up,
then another system is expected to bring precipitation for Friday and
Saturday. Mountain snows can be expected with both systems,
especially for northern New Mexico.
It`s been a fairly quiet day overall despite some morning snow
around Raton Pass as some wrap-around moisture moved in on the back
side of the overnight system. Otherwise, breezy conditions continue.
A back door front clearly seen on the visible satellite imagery
thanks to the bubbling cu along it, will continue to slide southward
this evening and overnight before washing out Monday morning.
Another breezy day is in store for Monday as southwest flow
increases ahead of the next storm system. The system will slide
southward and organize into a closed low over the UT/AZ border
Monday night and early Tuesday. Precipitation associated with this
system should begin across NW NM Monday evening before spreading
eastward on Tuesday. Initially, QPF should be light, and snow levels
will be around 9000 ft. However, as the storm shifts eastward, wrap-
around precipitation/trowal across the plains should be the main
show on Wednesday and snow levels should drop between 7500-8000 ft.
There are still differences in the placement of the low, thus,
differences with how widespread the precipitation impacts will be
across the plains. The GFS is the least bullish, and the ECMWF the
most, while the Canadian seems to be the happy medium. The NAM shows
quite a bit of snow falling across NE NM even at low elevations, but
think that is too ambitious attm. Nonetheless, snow along Raton Pass
and the Sangres seems like a good bet, with lesser amounts across
the San Juan and Jemez Mts. Thunderstorms will also be possible on
both Tuesday and Wednesday. Temperatures should fall below normal
for much of the area.
Thursday should be quiet with shortwave ridging overhead in advance
of another storm system. Temperatures should warm back near normal.
However, another closed low, though stronger than the Tue/Wed system
will dive into NM Friday and cross NM through Sat. There are
significant differences on the placement of the low between models,
but it looks like another round of precipitation for the north and
northeast. The Canadian seems to be the outlier taking the low
across southern AZ and into Mexico while all other models bring the
low somewhere over NM. Another round of below normal temperatures
will be in store to round out the month.
An unsettled weather pattern will continue over northern and central
NM for at least the next 7 days. An upper wave pushing east of the
Front Range has generated moderate northwest winds over much of NM
this afternoon. Critical fire weather conditions are occurring over
the southern fringes of the east central plains as of 2pm. A back
door cold front sliding down the eastern plains will end critical
conditions from north to south by sunset. Widespread excellent
recoveries are expected in its wake for the plains overnight.
Winds will turn around to the southwest Monday ahead of the next
storm system for midweek. Despite deeper mixing and a deepening
surface low over eastern NM winds struggle to reach into the windy
category until late in the day. Some marginal critical conditions
are possible over the favored windy spots within the high plains and
near the south central highlands. High temps will trend back above
normal all areas. Winds will remain elevated in the higher terrain
Monday night as winds aloft strengthen ahead of the upper trough
Fairly substantial changes were projected by the latest forecast
models for Tuesday with respect to wind speeds across southern and
eastern areas. A more northwesterly placement of the upper low by
Tuesday afternoon is favoring deeper mixing with a stronger dry slot
and mid level speed max over southeastern NM. As a result the area
of marginal critical fire conditions crept farther northwest into
portions of the east central plains and south central highlands.
Thicker cloud cover and higher humidity arriving ahead of the main
upper low should help mitigate critical fire potential. Meanwhile,
wetting precipitation with a few thunderstorms is shown to spread
into the northern and western high terrain by the afternoon.
Models are still in good agreement showing the wave wobbling toward
the southeast Tuesday night and Wednesday and allowing a conveyor of
deeper moisture to spread over northern and eastern NM. A potential
widespread moderate to heavy precip event may impact the northeast
plains with heavy snowfall for the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The
remainder of central and western NM will see cooler temps, higher
humidity, thicker cloud cover, and still the chance for some rain
The unsettled weather pattern will continue Friday and Saturday as
another wave digs southeast through the Four Corners into NM.