Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 252353 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
553 PM MDT Sat Mar 25 2017
00Z TAF CYCLE
Pacific shortwave taking aim on NW and NC portions of the forecast
area. Precipitation will spread from west to east across the NW third
of the state this evening and overnight. The main banded
precipitation with some MVFR impacts at FMN/GUP will occur this
evening. Cant rule out some TS impacts but did not include that in
the forecast at this time. MTN top obscd will impact the NC mtns
during the overnight. Some residual lower cigs will be possible at
GUP and perhaps FMN following the precipitation event later tonight.
Kept some SCT near 2000 decks to show that possibility. Also
expecting a cold frontal passage with wind directions changing from a
southerly to westerly direction. Some breeziness during the
overnight will make for a tricky forecast. Other than some
wind...conditions will be better on Sunday with partial clearing.
.PREV DISCUSSION...325 PM MDT Sat Mar 25 2017...
A disturbance will pass over northern New Mexico tonight and Sunday
with scattered rain and high mountain snow showers expected across
the northern third. A cold front will push into northeast New Mexico
Sunday afternoon with gusty winds. Monday will see a short break,
then a much stronger system will impact the region Tuesday through
Wednesday. Rain and high mountain snow showers, as well as some
thunderstorms will be common, although this will be a fairly warm
system so significant snow accumulations should be confined to the
higher terrain near and above 8000 feet. Another storm system is
queued up for the beginning of April.
Swath of relatively thick high clouds stretched from nw and north
central NM through the central valleys should continue traversing
eastward this evening, as showers develop over the nw and north
central. Could be some isolated lightning as well. Any snow
accumulations look to be limited to less than advisory levels above
7500 ft or so as models don`t show much cold air with the
disturbance. One change, the back door cold front is faster Sunday
afternoon, so northwest winds east central look to be gusty but sub
Not much of a break Monday with highs a few degrees above average,
then the next storm system starts to affect the northwest. While
this system isn`t bringing much cold air with it, it looks pretty
wet. Snow could be plentiful but again above 8000 feet or so along
the central mt chain. The dryline may be active Tuesday as well over
portions of the eastern plains. High temperatures both Tuesday and
Wednesday will be below average for most locales.
There will again be a brief break Thursday before yet another storm
rolls into the state, in time for April 1, but it may track farther
south over southern NM so the back door front and upper dynamics may
not mesh as well. Highs recover some Thursday but trend 5 to 10
degrees below average Saturday.
Not much change on recent model guidance with respect to a very
active pattern across the southwest U.S. through next week. In the
near-term, marginal critical fire wx conditions are still on tap for
the remainder of today along and south of the U.S. 60 corridor. An
upper level low and associated Pacific front approaching from the
west tonight will shift winds sharply to west and northwest. A few
showers are likely over the northern and western high terrain with
spotty wetting amounts expected. Some light snow is also possible on
higher peaks near the CO border.
Northwest winds will remain rather strong for much of eastern NM
behind the departing wave. Temps will trend a bit cooler but still
remain above normal in most areas. A dry slot on the back side of
the upper wave will drive surface humidities into the 10-15% range
along and south of the I-40 corridor, especially across the east
central plains. An approaching back door cold front will create a
timing issue regarding confidence on a Red Flag Warning so will go
with a Fire Wx Watch for now. This front will race south and end any
critical conditions around sunset. Then humidities recoveries trend
to excellent across much of eastern NM.
Monday will feature flow aloft becoming more zonal then southwest by
late day. Marginal critical conditions are likely again along and
south of the I-40 corridor. This period will need a closer look as
there is potential for deeper mixing and stronger winds with more
temps above normal.
The wetter wave train begins Tuesday with several more substantial
upper lows crossing slowly southeast through NM into the weekend.
Tuesday and Wednesday will trend cooler and actually below normal
for most of the region. Widespread cloud cover with scattered rain
and high terrain snow is expected. The northeast corner of NM has
the best shot at widespread moderate to potentially heavy precip
Tuesday night and Wednesday. Very heavy snow amounts are possible
once again for the northern mts above 8000`. Yet another system is
on the horizon for Friday and Saturday with perhaps a farther south
track to the low center.
Fire Weather Watch Sunday afternoon for the following zones...