Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 161749 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1149 AM MDT Sat Sep 16 2017

VFR conditions will prevail through the day with breezy westerly
winds beginning to mix down at a few higher elevation TAF sites so
far at KSAF and KLVS. Less wind is expected today compared to Friday. A
few scattered showers/storms are possible across the SE plains this
afternoon, potentially as far N as KTCC and even some shower activity in
the ABQ area. However confidence is still low at this time and so
left mention of precip. out at this time, except at KROW. Expect
gusty erratic winds with any passing storm.



.PREV DISCUSSION...207 AM MDT Sat Sep 16 2017...
Southwest flow aloft to dominate the forecast over the next seven
days as a long wave trough stays over the western states. Short wave
troughs will occasionally eject out of the main trough and bring
periodic upticks in shower and thunderstorm activity. However,
overall not too active of a forecast. The most active days look to
be Sunday and then next weekend. Back door cold fronts are scheduled
for tonight, Tuesday night and next weekend.


Not much thunderstorm activity Friday and that will be the case again
today. Drier air has made its way across NM on southwest winds aloft.
Today crop of convection will only manage to produce isolated showers
and thunderstorms to our southern mountains and eastern plains this
afternoon through the evening. Highs will be similar to Friday, near
normal in the west and above normal in the east. A weak back door
cold front will enter northeast and east central NM tonight, but
mostly wash out Sunday, leaving little impact on the sensible

Moisture and instability will be on the increase Sunday as a weak
short wave trough approaching southern CA now lifts northeast over
NM Sunday afternoon and evening. Isolated to scattered showers and
storms will rumble across northern and central NM in the afternoon
into the night. High will be a little cooler owing to increased cloud

It`s back to the drying trend for Monday as the flow aloft turns more
westerly. Storms will be confined to our southwest and south central
areas. The drying trend will continue Tuesday with sparse convection
over the Southwest and South Central Mountains. Highs will warm each
day and be mostly above normal by Tuesday. Wednesday and Thursday
will be mostly dry with moderate breezes and a little cooler
temperatures, thanks to a back door cold front slated to arrive in
the east Tuesday night.

A strong short wave trough will dig out a deeper long wave trough
over the west coast to the Great basin next Friday into next weekend.
An increase in moisture will likely get drawn north into NM, with
some of it possibly from the remains of Hurricane Norma, but its
impact should be minimal at best.



Today should be much like yesterday, with less wind. Disturbed
southwest flow aloft will again trigger showers and thunderstorms
across the lower Rio Grande Valley eastward across the east central
plains.  This will be the favored area for storms, but can`t rule
out a stray storm elsewhere. These storms will move toward the
northeast around 15 to 25 mph.

Tonight into Sunday, southwest flow aloft will persist as a weak and
broad trough sets up over the Great Basin. At the surface, south-
southeasterly return flow will pull some better low level moisture
into the plains, perhaps backing up to the central mountain chain.
Isolated to scattered storms are possible nearly area wide, but will
favor the eastern plains Sun afternoon. Watch for humidities to
trend upward from today`s readings as well. Storms should persist
into the evening and should result in gusty and erratic winds.

The weak trough over Great Basin loses its identity on Monday as
more energy moves into the Pac NW. Dry, zonal flow over NM will
allow much of the lower level moisture to mix out, at least across
the northwest half of the state. This will drop humidities, perhaps
below 15 percent across the northwest plateau, and also lower
precipitation chances. The dry slot will have a firm grip on
northern NM Tuesday as an upper trough slides across the northern
and central Rockies. This will continue the trend of lowering RH
across NM, but wind speeds will also increase. Mountain top winds of
20 to 30kts should, in part, mix to the surface as a 993mb surface
low deepens over SE CO. Critical fire weather conditions are
possible for a few hours around the Gallup area Tuesday afternoon,
though Haines values are marginal (around 4). An hour of critical
fire weather conditions are not out of the question elsewhere as
minimum humidity values are teetering just above 15 percent.

Looks like a back door front will slide down the plains on
Wednesday, but another large trough will begin to deepen across the
western CONUS on Thursday. This will set up strong southwest winds
aloft over NM. Some of this momentum should again mix to the surface
thanks to strong mixing and a deep surface low over eastern CO.
Spotty critical fire weather conditions will be possible.

What about Hurricane Norma? Well, it now looks like she will meander
around the lower tip of the Baja through at least Wednesday before
weakening and shifting ENE into Mexico and Texas late in the week
and into the weekend as the aforementioned large trough continues to
deepen and dive south. So, even though Norma will not have any
direct impacts on NM, the trough should induce another round of
excellent return flow into the plains. This could mean daily round
of thunderstorm activity Thursday through the weekend across eastern
NM. Dry and breezy conditions would persist elsewhere.

Good to excellent ventilation is expected through at least Tuesday,
perhaps lowering briefly across eastern NM on Wednesday, then
returning to excellent ventilation area wide Thursday due to the
strong winds.





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