Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 171131 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
431 AM MST Fri Feb 17 2017
12Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions will prevail for the next 24 hours. Gusty winds will
develop along and just east of the Sandia/Manzano Mountains southward
over the Capitan and northern Sacramento Mountains today. Gusts near
40-45kt are likely. A surface low will deepen and slide southward
across the plains, dragging a weak cold front behind it. Therefore,
winds across NE NM will become northerly late this morning through
the afternoon. Otherwise, increasing clouds from west to east today.
A few showers may develop across northwest NM within a few hours
either side of 00Z Sat, but will have little impact.
.PREV DISCUSSION...330 AM MST Fri Feb 17 2017...
Gusty west to northwest winds to develop over portions of central
and eastern New Mexico today. Clouds will increase over the
west but the east will be mostly sunny. The next storm system
will begin to spread precipitation over western New Mexico
Saturday and more widespread showers Sunday and Sunday night.
Expect rain and higher mountain snow, along with a few
thunderstorms. Drier and warmer again early next week.
Upper low to our south will traverse the southern border of the
state and exit to the northeast. As it does, the sfc low in the
plains will slide southward with winds becoming nly over the area.
Downslope winds to dominate locales along the east slopes of the
central mt chain, from the central highlands into nw chaves county
this afternoon. Otherwise, models suggest a weak wave will pass over
the forecast area today before the main and more substantial system
crosses this weekend. Consequently, temperatures will be a bit
cooler northeast today as well as over the northwest.
The main upper trough will pass over NM Sunday and Sunday night.
Chances for wetting precipitation Saturday look to be limited to
areas west of the RGV. Saturday night precipitation will advance
eastward and may be most widespread Sunday. Put the mention of
thunder back in the wx grids for Sunday with the trough axis
overhead and generally per SPC outlook. Temperatures look to be cool
enough for some snow accumulations mainly aoa 8000 feet or so
Saturday night through Sunday night, but totals mostly below
Monday and Tuesday should be dry, by Thursday another system will
swing through the central Rockies, grazing nrn NM. A substantial sfc
low/front will accompany the system, creating potential for a very
windy period, and bringing some colder air to the region.
Precipitation with this system looks to be limited to the northwest
third or so.
Above normal temperatures will be the rule again today, but winds
will increase across portions of the area. An increasing gradient
aloft combined with a deepening surface low over eastern NM will
result in windy conditions across zone 107 and western portions of
108. Gusts near 45 or 50 mph are possible in this area. Meanwhile, a
weak back door front will move into the plains as the surface low
slides southward. Very dry air behind the front will allow
humidities to drop below 15 percent across the northeast plains and
eastern portions of zone 108. Though fire weather conditions will
be elevated, the strongest winds will not coincide with where the
lowest humidities are, so critical fire weather conditions are not
expected. Nonetheless, Haines values of 5 are expected across all of
Saturday will be the transition between the relatively quiet, dry
and warm conditions and the next storm system. Warm conditions will
persist on Saturday, despite a significant increase in cloud cover
thanks to southerly flow. Precipitation will begin across far
western NM Saturday evening, but won`t make much progress into the
state until Sunday morning. The storm system is still expected to
elongate, weaken and split as it slides over NM Sunday. Meanwhile, a
Pacific front will also push from southwest to northeast across the
area Sunday. The front looks like it is moving across the state a
bit faster than models depicted yesterday, clearing most of the
state by noon. Thus, snow levels appear to be a bit lower than what
was previously expected -- dropping quickly to near 7000 feet early
Sunday, and perhaps falling a bit further Sunday night. The greatest
precipitation amounts will occur across the western third of NM,
though models seem to be trending back on QPF amounts. A few inches
of snow are possible across the higher elevations of the north and
west, with little accumulation elsewhere.
After the system exits, upper level ridging will quickly build into
the area on Monday, allowing temperatures to rebound quickly. Gusty
winds will be possible in favored northwest flow locations such as
the central highlands. The ridge will begin to flatten on Tuesday,
but temps will continue to rise. Lee side troughing starts to take
shape on Wednesday and deepens significantly on Thursday. On
Thursday, a trough will slide eastward just north of the state which
will result in a strong jet right over NM. The combination of
increasing winds aloft and a deepening surface low should result in
very strong winds Thursday across much of the area, though the
strongest winds will be along and east of the central mountain
chain. Dewpoints, and thus humidities, are expected to significantly
fall across the east as well due to strong downsloping. Therefore,
widespread critical fire weather conditions appear possible along
and east of the central mountain chain Thursday afternoon, though it
is not out of the question that the Rio Grande Valley could also see
a few hours of critical fire weather conditions. Across north and
northwest NM, light precipitation will be possible.
Ventilation improves significantly today thanks to the increase in
winds and mixing heights. Only near the Colorado border will poor
vent rates persist. For most areas, good ventilation will persist
through the weekend, but will trend downward on Monday across
northern and western NM and over a broader area on Tuesday. Vent
rates will trend up for the latter half of the work week.