Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 231057 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
357 AM MST Thu Nov 23 2017

Upper ridge axis to the west of NM with northwest flow aloft,
variable high clouds and weak sfc lee trough. VFR.


.PREV DISCUSSION...244 AM MST Thu Nov 23 2017...
Quiet and warm weather will be the rule for the next several days
thanks to an upper level ridge. A weak back door front will cool the
plains down for Saturday, but high temperatures will still remain
well above normal. A storm system looks to cross New Mexico on
Tuesday which will bring a slight chance of snow to the northern
mountains and increasing winds elsewhere. Temperatures will cool area
wide to normal late November values as well.


A dominant upper level ridge over northern Baja will allow for warm
and quiet weather over the Land of Enchantment on this Thanksgiving
Day. There will be thin, high cirrus clouds spreading southward
across much of northern and eastern NM today, but the main story
will be near record high temperatures. Much of central and western
New Mexico will see high temperatures within a few degrees of the
record for the date.

The ridge will flatten slightly on Friday as a wave crosses the
northern Rockies. The lee side surface trough will strengthen, and
downsloping winds will allow temperatures to soar across the plains.
So, for Friday, record high temperatures will be jeopardy for much
of the east. However, a weak back door front will slide down the
plains Friday night, causing temperatures to lower for Saturday.
Despite this cooling, highs will still be around 10 degrees above
normal across the east.  Elsewhere, highs on Saturday will be up to
20 degrees above normal as the ridge shifts slightly eastward.

Ridging will persist on Sunday, before breaking down on Monday as a
Pacific storm system shifts eastward. This system should cross NM on
Tuesday, though the GFS remains much more progressive and weaker
than the ECMWF. The ECMWF briefly closes the system off over NW NM
and breaks out precip over the northern mountains. The GFS and CMC
indicate no precipitation. So for now, kept PoPs minimal.  The
timing and strength differences also are apparent in the timing of
the associated fronts, thus temperatures on Tuesday may waffle
around somewhat until models settle on a scenario. Regardless, once
the system passes, and the fronts move through, very dry conditions
will settle over NM and freezing temperatures will be in store for
Wednesday morning.



With a ridge of high pressure aloft dominating New Mexico through
Sunday, poor ventilation rates will be widespread today, Saturday
and Sunday. Rates will be good on Friday for most of the higher
terrain while poor rates are forecast for some of the lower
elevations including the Rio Grande Valley, portions of the eastern
plains near the Texas border and the far Northwest Plateau. Near
record to record high temperatures will be possible through central
and western New Mexico today and over the east on Friday. Warmer
highs on Friday over the east will lead to some minimum humidities
less than 15 percent. Combined with the forecast gusty winds along
the central mountain chain, Central Highlands, Guadalupe and De Baca
counties, spotty and localized critical fire weather conditions
could develop in those areas Friday afternoon.

A cold front Friday night will bring about 5 to 15 degrees of
cooling to the east Saturday. However, highs will remain about 5 to
nearly 20 degrees above average. High temperatures will trend warmer
Sunday for most areas, but moreso over the east.

The upper ridge will be suppressed Monday and Tuesday as a system
tracks into the Great Basin then over northern and eastern New
Mexico. Models still not exactly certain how far south the system
will travel into the state, or how much precipitation could be
produced. The ECMWF at this point is trending with a more southerly
track and more precipitation than the GFS, although amounts aren`t
huge. Both models do agree a vigorous cold with gusty northerly
winds will accompany the upper system, which knocks Tuesday`s high
temperatures down to within a few degrees of normal. Temperatures
rebound Wednesday but there may be another dry front late next week
if the ECMWF is right. In contrast, the GFS suggests a wetter
disturbance along with a cold front so there is low confidence in
the forecast as next week progresses.

Westerly winds increase Monday as mountain top winds and a surface
lee trough strengthen. Combined with highs 15 to nearly 25 degrees
above average across the east and sub 15 percent minimum humidities
Monday afternoon, critical fire weather conditions could be
widespread over the northeast and east central plains.




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