Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 260554 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1054 PM MST Sat Feb 25 2017
06Z TAF CYCLE
A weak upper level trough will move in from the west late tonight/
Sunday bringing an increase in mid-level clouds accompanied by ISOLD
light snow showers across western and central NM. Best chances for
light snow impacting a terminal will be Sunday afternoon at KGUP. LCL
mt obscurations possible across western and central NM Sunday
afternoon. Elsewhere, mid clouds with areas of virga will prevail.
Upper trough slides east into TX around sunset Sunday with clouds
moving out rapidly.
.PREV DISCUSSION...245 PM MST Sat Feb 25 2017...
A disturbance will pass over the state Sunday, resulting in mostly
cloudy skies, areas of light rain and high terrain snow across
central and western portions of the area. Look for a warm-up Monday
preceding a more potent disturbance that will bring improved chances
for precipitation Monday night through Tuesday. Snow levels will fall
late Tuesday, with decent accumulating snow forecast above 7000
feet. Tuesday`s disturbance will also bring much stronger winds,
especially across eastern New Mexico. A colder airmass will follow
Tuesday night into Wednesday with a warming trend resuming thereafter,
sending daytime temperatures back above normal areawide by next
A very dry atmosphere prevailed this morning, with the KABQ upper air
sounding revealing a PWAT of 0.11 inch. This is in the process of
changing though with moisture advection underway in advance of a
weak shortwave trough, forecast to push overhead tomorrow. The 12z
model solutions are showing very little QPF associated with the
shortwave trough passage and continue the downtrend from previous
runs. Look for an increase in clouds, with any wetting precipitation
likely confined to the higher western terrain.
Moisture advection will continue Monday ahead of a more potent
longer wave trough, forecast to begin impacting our area Monday
night. Warming is forecast ahead of the trough Monday, especially
across the Eastern Plains where lee side troughing and downslope
winds will play a role. Highs are forecast above normal across the
Eastern Plains Monday, where elevated fire weather conditions are
likely (see Fire Weather discussion below for details). 12z model
solutions continued the uptrend in QPF for Monday night through
Tuesday from previous runs, with a solid wetting event looking more
likely across western New Mexico. More specifically, the western high
terrain and northwest mountains look to pick up some solid snow
accumulation, which may approach one foot just above Chama. The
upswing in PWATS across New Mexico ahead of the upper level trough
looks directly related to modeled convection on Monday along the
surface front west of Southern California and the northern Baja
Peninsula. Winter weather advisories will likely be required, with a
couple mountain zones possibly requiring warnings. The other impact
consideration, potentially significant, with this trough are winds.
Forecast wind speeds continue to trend up for Tuesday, especially
east, as 700mb winds are forecast to reach up to between 50-65kts
across much of central and southeast New Mexico. Winds advisories and
perhaps a few high wind warnings will likely be required Tuesday.
Blowing dust is an additional consideration across the Southeast
Plains that will need to be looked at closer, although any
significant impacts from dust will likely be south and east of our
area. A cold front will follow late Tuesday into Tuesday night and
send temperatures back below normal for a couple of days.
Dry conditions will prevail from mid week through next weekend with a
warming trend that will send daytime temperatures above normal
areawide by next Saturday.
Focus for any critical fire weather conditions will be on Monday.
Closed low just off the northern CA coast will move inland tonight
and cross NM late Sunday into Sunday night. Light QPF amounts across
the western and northern mountains Sunday through Sunday night may
result in a couple of inches of snow, mainly across the San Juan
mountains. High temperatures Sunday will remain below normal though
they will be close to normal on the far eastern plains. Breezy to
locally windy across the east. Minimum RH will bottom out around 15
percent on the far east central plains near the TX border. The
strongest winds though will be along the east slopes on the central
mountains and the adjacent highlands. Thus not expecting critical
fire weather conditions. Mixing heights are well above normal across
the east and it will become pretty unstable in the northeast Sunday
afternoon, but wind and RH not expected to reach critical
thresholds. Vent rates will be fair to good in the west and good to
excellent in the east.
Most of the ingredients for critical fire conditions will be met on
Monday across the northeast and east central plains. Min RH will be
12 to 14 percent, winds will reach breezy to windy levels and high
temperatures will be around 10 degrees above normal. Mixing heights
will be around 6000 feet, a little above the average, but the
instability is not there with low or very low Haines values and
700mb to 500 mb lapse rates around 6 to 7. So, will hold off on a
Fire Weather Watch for now. There may be a decent amount of cloud
cover as well Monday which could impact high temperatures.
A second, stronger short wave trough will move inland Monday and
cross NM late Tuesday and Tuesday night. Increased the winds several
mph across the east with windy to very windy conditions. Highs will
still be a little above normal and mixing heights are impressively
high, above 10,000 feet. Instability will be so so. The limiting
factor at this point for Tuesday is the RH values, with the lowest
readings in Quay County near 15 percent. A little higher temps
and/or lower dewpoints could lead to critical conditions, so stay
tuned. Wetting precipitation is expected across the west and north
Monday through Tuesday with accumulating snow in the mountains and
periods of rain at lower elevations.
A drying trend will begin Wednesday and continue into next weekend.
A chilly day on tap Wednesday will be followed by rising temps into
next weekend, reaching near normal Friday, then above normal
Saturday. Min relative humidities will be below 15 percent in the
east but winds will be light to at best moderate for late next week
into the weekend.
18Z TAF CYCLE
Expect west/southwest winds to increase all TAF sites this afternoon
except FMN. Peak gusts 20-25kt focusing around KSAF, KABQ and KAEG.
Peak gusts 25-30kt KGUP and KTCC. Peak wind 30-35kt KLVS. Otherwise,
VFR all areas with increasing high clouds from the west by late day.