Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 232352 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
552 PM MDT Sat Sep 23 2017

Two district areas of convection continue across NM late this
afternoon. Both areas will continue to shift ewd during the evening
hours. MVFR to IFR conditions from either -shras/-tsras or stratus
clouds will be likely at KLVS, KTCC and KROW overnight. Dry air will
filter into western and central NM into the Rio Grande Valley after
sunset, resulting in clearing sky at TAF sites west of the central
mt chain. LCL sfc fog is possible mainly east of the central mt
chain where moist south to se winds will continue overnight. Very dry
air on southwest flow aloft will move in to all areas Sunday.



.PREV DISCUSSION...250 PM MDT Sat Sep 23 2017...
The first round of storms is moving across the Eastern Plains of New
Mexico while producing heavy rainfall, with more forecast overnight.
By early Sunday morning, many locales in the Eastern Plains will
have received between one and three inches of rainfall. A cold front
will push across western portions of the state tonight, bringing in a
cooler and drier airmass which will help low temperatures to drop
below normal for a couple nights in a row. Another upper level low
pressure system will drop down over Arizona around mid week and will
bring renewed chances for showers and storms to much of New Mexico
through the end of the week. High temperatures will continue below
normal mid to late week thanks to abundant cloud cover and rain


First fall weather event is underway, with a broken line of
thunderstorms currently moving northeast across the East Plains and
scattered showers and storms in the baroclinic zone across western
New Mexico along and just behind the surface cold front. Temperatures
behind the front across far western New Mexico have managed to stay
in the 50s so far, thanks in part to clouds and light rain. A
baroclinic leaf is showing nicely now in the latest satellite imagery,
extending from the northern/central Rockies south into northwest
New Mexico. Anomalously high PWATs across the Eastern Plains, modeled
to be between 1.5-1.7" by 00Z, are contributing to significant rainfall
rates. Thankfully, these storms are moving between 35 and 50 mph, so
other than training of storms the flash flood potential has yet to
materialize. A couple of flood advisories were issued earlier due to
heavy rain with amounts between one and two inches. A few storms have
likely produced wind gusts up to near 55 mph, but nothing severe so
far. Surface based instability from the latest LAPS analysis is not
too impressive, with the best shot at severe currently across
Roosevelt and far eastern Chaves counties. At 230pm, showers are on the
uptrend moving northeast into the Albuquerque Metro, with surface winds
ahead already gusting to between 35-40 mph. A few gusts to between 50-55
mph are likely this afternoon in the RGV as these showers move in
with the front.

Both the latest HRRR and 18Z NAM12 generate another round of storms
across the Southeast and East Central Plains later this evening,
which may be our flash flood maker given earlier rains likely
saturating grounds. Expect storms to persist across portions of the
Eastern Plains overnight before moving into Texas early Sunday morning.
Storm total rain amounts across the Eastern Plains through Sunday
morning will generally range from 1 to 3 inches, although would not be
surprised to see isolated totals near 5 inches.

Much colder, drier air will move in behind the front. 12z upper air
data showed -C at 700mb over Flagstaff with +10C at KABQ. Further
northwest under the parent upper low, 700mb temperatures are down to
-7C across portions of Nevada. So, this cold front will be noticable
and our forecast lows tonight and Sunday night across western New
Mexico reflect this as a number of lower elevation locales may see
the first freeze of the season. Sunday night looks to be the coldest
of the next seven. Meanwhile across eastern New Mexico, a backdoor
cold front will drop down Monday and stabilize much of the East
Central and Northeast Plains, while Gulf moisture pools across the
Southeast Plains ahead of the front. There are some differences in
the timing of the front between the latest GFS and NAM, but either
way storms will likely trend back up late Monday across at least
southeast New Mexico. At the same time, another (although weaker)
upper low will close-off to our west and allow the backdoor front
to work west across our area, bringing increased moisture to much
of central/western New Mexico by Tuesday. Look for renewed chances
for showers and storms from mid to late week as this upper low is
slow to move out. High temperatures are forecast to continue below
normal during this period thanks to additional cloud cover and
anticipated rain-cooling. After a fairly dry start to September,
it appears the month will end on a wet note.



Moisture has streamed north into NM with dewpoints in the 60s on the
eastern highlands and plains. Over one inch of rain has fallen
around Roswell, about one inch from Fort Sumner to Conchas and
Tucumcari, and nearly two inches around Raton so far today. More
rain is on the way through much of the night in the east, with one
or two more inches possible. Showers and storms in the west will
continue into this evening before diminishing and ending before
midnight. Good RH recoveries in the west and of course excellent in
the east.

Lingering showers and storms over eastern NM Sunday will mostly end
as dry air blasts east by the approaching dry slot. Humidities will
trend much drier as dewpoints fall into the teens to around 20 as
far east as the central mt chain. A lack of stronger winds and
cooler temps Sunday will the limiting factor for critical fire
weather conditions. Dry air, clear skies, and light winds Sunday
night will lead to the coldest temps of the season so far for
central and western NM. Widespread freezing temps are likely for all
the high terrain and elevated plateaus and valleys of northern and
western NM.

Monday will feature much of the same for western NM with very low
humidity and slight afternoon breezes. A back door cold front will
surge southward and westward across eastern NM and arrive within the
Rio Grande Valley by late in the day. Another round of showers and
storms is expected across the central high terrain and portions of
eastern NM Monday. Moisture will attempt to surge west across the
Continental Divide Tuesday morning while another upper level wave
takes shape over the Great Basin.

Extended guidance has come into a little better agreement concerning
the second closed low that develops. GFS and CMC close it off near
Las Vegas, NV Tuesday, while the ECMWF is farther north. The CMC and
ECMWF have the closed low over UT by Thursday, while the GFS has it
over the four corners region, and much more QPF than the other
models Thursday through Friday. But the overall message will be a
continuation of the active weather, with rather high humidity, thick
cloud cover, cool temperatures and areas of poor ventilation through
the end of next week.



Flash Flood Watch through late tonight for the following zones...



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