Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 161751 AAC

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1051 AM MST Fri Feb 16 2018

The next batch of rain is developing northward over southern NM late
this morning. Areas along and south of the I-40 corridor will see a
mid level cloud deck near 050 lift north followed by light rain and
periods of MVFR cigs. The area from KAEG to KABQ and KTCC will be on
the northern periphery so confidence is lower at these terminals.
The main impact area will be to the south of a line from Socorro
east to Corona, Ft Sumner, and Clovis where persistent moderate rain
with IFR cigs/vsbys are likely between 21Z and 05Z. This activity
will exit southeast with slow clearing from the northwest overnight.
The potential for areas of dense fog will then increase over this
area, particularly around KROW and the Lower Rio Grande Valley.



.PREV DISCUSSION...844 AM MST Fri Feb 16 2018...
Radar imagery showing precip expanding quickly northeastward over
southern NM this morning. The surface cold front over eastern NM and
upper level feature noted on satellite are consistent with near-term
and hi-res model guidance so decided to stear forecast in line with
the latest HRRR/RAP and 12Z NAM/WRF solutions. Raised PoPs to above
80% for most areas along and south of the US-60 corridor as trends
indicate a slightly northern shift in the precip shield. QPF values
will be impressive again from the South Central Mts east to Chaves
and southern Roosevelt counties.


.PREV DISCUSSION...232 AM MST Fri Feb 16 2018...
A cold front is pushing over New Mexico, and will have the most
impact over the eastern plains where temperatures will be 10 to 15
degrees below normal today. In addition, remnant subtropical moisture
will be in place over the southern tier of New Mexico today and this
evening, keeping increased rain chances along with some snow
accumulation above 9,000 to 10,000 feet. Precipitation will exit the
state tonight with mostly dry conditions forecast on Saturday. A few
showers could develop on Sunday, once again over the southwestern and
south central mountains as another weak subtropical disturbance moves
inland off of the Pacific. Winds will increase on Sunday and Monday
with cooler temperatures spilling into the Land of Enchantment
Monday, and more-so into Tuesday.


The backdoor segment of the cold front is quite apparent over the
eastern plains of NM, encroaching upon Chaves county as of this
writing with some elevated echoes dropping some sprinkles as the
moist subtropical fetch overruns the colder surface airmass. With a
well-defined trough aloft over the eastern Pacific, the subtropical
stream of moisture should continue to precede and blanket southern
NM through the evening. This will keep POPs elevated with some
increases made in the southern zones with this forecast package.
Temperatures will run cooler than average today in the eastern
plains, but should still be able to manage the 40`s, and this should
limit and inhibit any tendencies for snow to mix in with the
precipitation. A transient, but healthy slug of QPF is depicted by
forecast models over south central to southeastern NM this evening,
and the forecast has been fine-tuned to capture these latest
increasing trends. Most BUFKIT forecast soundings for the east
central to southeastern plains keep the temperature profiles
supportive of mostly rain this evening, but some flurries are not
completely out of the question for the northern cusp of this
eastward-propagating precipitation maximum.

A clearing trend is expected for the northern tier of zones on
Saturday, but high cirrus will continue to blanket the southern half
of the state. A weak lee side surface trough will start to redevelop,
and the southerly component in the surface winds will carry
temperatures up several degrees across all zones (especially in the
eastern plains).

The dominant eastern Pacific perturbation will push inland early on
Sunday, creating a slug of mid-level warm air advection across Sonora
and Chihuahua which will gradually shrink condensation pressure
deficits and bring some mid level clouds into southern NM. Some
showers will be possible. For now, forecast has been limited to just
scattered (30%) POPs, but if trends hold, these may get increased in
subsequent shifts. The other concern into Sunday afternoon will be
the increasing winds as the southwesterlies aloft strengthen along
with lee cyclogenesis at the surface. A wind advisory would be in
order if current trends persist.

The winds will be quite strong again on Monday as the polar jet
buckles, digging a trough over the western U.S. while keeping a
strengthened gradient aloft over NM. Any upper forcing for
precipitation would be better placed north of NM, but sufficient
dynamics and orographics could equate to some scattered showers,
mostly over the northern NM mountains. Cooler air will begin seeping
into NM on Monday with a bigger invasion coming into Tuesday.

Going into Tuesday and beyond, forecast models continue to hold
divergent views on exactly how the long wave trough will unfold
and/or exit the western states. Towards the end of the week they do
trend toward more of a southwesterly flow again with differences on
the details and routes to reach this scenario.



A surface cold front will continue sliding south through the state
today. This front will interact with sub-tropical moisture streaming
northeastward over the southern half of the state to generate
widespread showers and high mountain snow showers (snow levels ~
9000 ft) today. Wetting precipitation is likely across much of the
area south of I-40 through evening. Drier air will begin to move in
from the west tonight and Saturday.

By Sunday, west and southwest winds will increase most areas,
especially from the central mountain chain eastward. Widespread
strong winds are likely on Monday as a strong upper level trough
drops into southern CA and western AZ. The trough and associated
cold front is forecast to move into NM Tuesday, accompanied by rain
and snow along and west of the central mountain chain. Much colder
air is forecast to move in behind this system late-day Tuesday and
Tuesday night. The relative cold is expected to linger through the
work week with another system on track for next weekend.





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