Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 132354 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
454 PM MST Sat Jan 13 2018


Northwest flow aloft prevails over New Mexico with light to moderate
breezes at the surface. VFR conditions are expected to prevail
through the next 24 hours with just batches of high, fair weather
cirrus clouds.



.PREV DISCUSSION...320 PM MST Sat Jan 13 2018...
One more tranquil day is in store Sunday before a strong cold front
drops southward from eastern Colorado Monday. Much colder air will
push in behind the front across eastern New Mexico Monday, spilling
west into the Rio Grande Valley and western New Mexico Monday night
and Tuesday. A few areas of light snow or flurries will accompany
the front across the northeast quarter Monday into Monday night.
Temperatures rebound on Wednesday, especially east. Meanwhile, a weak
storm system drops into New Mexico from the northwest Tuesday night
and Wednesday, bringing with it increasing shower chances to
northern and perhaps western areas. A ridge of high pressure moves in
for Thursday.


Dry northwest flow aloft continues through Sunday morning before
becoming more westerly Sunday afternoon. Meanwhile, a clipper upper
level trough drops south/southeast into the Northern Plains Sunday,
sending a modified Arctic airmass southward along the east slopes of
the Rockies and into eastern NM Monday. This cold air then spills
westward into the RGV and points west Monday evening and overnight.
Models trending colder with this shallow airmass and continue to
develop more in the way of upslope stratus clouds for much of the
east Monday night and Tuesday morning. High temps on Tuesday will
range from several degrees above seasonal averages west to 25
degrees below averages east.

Then the forecast gets a bit tricky for Tuesday night into Wednesday.
As the high amplitude pattern across North America translates
eastward Tuesday, an upper level trough over the PACNW is forecast
to drop southeastward through the eastern Great Basin Tuesday night.
GFS and ECMWF are somewhat at odds with the strength and overall
evolution of this trough as it slides southeast into NM Wednesday.
GFS is the stronger of the two, developing a deeper closed
circulation over CO and northeast NM late-day Wednesday. There is a
good amount of uncertainty with how this trough/closed low will
progress but all global models agree that it will at least bring
chances of lower elevation rain and mountain snow to northern and
perhaps western NM toward mid-week.

GFS and ECMWF agree that a short-wave ridge will move overhead
Thursday with increasing southwest flow aloft for Friday. GFS and
ECMWF both bring a moist upper level trough and associated Pacific
cold front through NM Friday night or Saturday morning. Additionally,
both models and their ensemble means follow up with another trough
approaching the state from the west on day 10. Keep em` comin`.



Dry northwest flow with lighter winds and poor ventilation rates
through Sunday. Highs Sunday will be a few degrees warmer and about
5 to 10 degrees above average.

A stronger cold front will plunge into eastern New Mexico Monday,
with gusty north to northeast winds dropping highs there about 5 to
20 degrees below average. The front will push westward into the Rio
Grande Valley on a gusty east wind and toward the Continental Divide
Monday night. A slight chance of light snow will accompany the front
over the northeast Monday and will persist over the northeast Monday
night as well as develop along the east slopes of the central mt
chain. Any amounts look to be an inch or less. Vent rates Monday
will remain poor central and west, but may improve to good over
parts of the east due to the stronger low level winds associated
with the cold front.

A weak ridge will pass over New Mexico Tuesday. Highs will be 10 to
nearly 25 degrees below average Tuesday, while the far west remains
warmer than normal. Widespread poor vent rates are featured.

Forecast models indicate a weak disturbance will impact the region
Tuesday night, bringing a chance for rain and snow showers to the
west central and northwest. A stronger system could potentially
develop over New Mexico Wednesday, however, models continue to
differ on the evolution of this system. The current weather grids
trend towards a faster moving, more northerly and drier track over
northern and eastern New Mexico per the GFS. The ECMWF track is
farther south with multiple low centers of circulation. While
precipitation is possible, the amounts and areal coverage are still
in doubt. Thereafter, a weak ridge builds Thursday in advance of
another opportunity for precipitation at the end of next week.

Vent rates on Wednesday will be good to excellent west, and continued
poor east. Poor rates dominate Thursday, but could improve Friday as
surface low pressure combines with increasing westerly flow aloft to
boost transport winds.




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