Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 201134 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
534 AM MDT Thu Apr 20 2017
12Z TAF CYCLE
A backdoor cold front slid down the Eastern Plains overnight and
has resulted in a wind shift at KLVS, KTCC and KROW, as well as an
east canyon/gap wind at KSAF and KABQ early this morning. Gusts will
come close to meeting airport weather warning criteria at KABQ
between 13-18Z. Westerlies will pick up this afternoon across
western portions of the area, with gusts to between 30-35kts
forecast. VFR conditions are forecast to persist through the TAF
period, although brief MVFR cigs are possible at KLVS and KTCC early
.PREV DISCUSSION...246 AM MDT Thu Apr 20 2017...
A backdoor cold front will continue to push west into the Rio Grande
Valley this morning. Temperatures across the eastern plains will be
10 to 20 degrees below Wednesday`s readings. A few degrees of cooling
is forecast for the Rio Grande Valley with little change west. This
front is expected to combine with an upper level trough to bring
chances for showers and thunderstorms to the northern mountains this
afternoon and across the northeast highlands and plains tonight and
Friday. Strong winds will be the main story elsewhere Friday as the
upper trough moves through. Another backdoor cold front will move
through eastern New Mexico Friday night, pushing west to the Arizona
border Saturday. Much cooler conditons will result, especially east.
Warmer weather underneath a high pressure ridge will result Sunday.
Backdoor cold front pushing swwd at a good clip this morning. Front
is currently located near a Raton to Clines Corners to Clovis line.
Models agree this front will push wwd into the RGV toward sunrise.
Cooler temps will result east of the central mountain chain with a
few degrees of cooling in the RGV. By afternoon, an upper level
trough will nose in from the northwest, combining with the sfc front
to result in at least isolated showers and storms over the northern
mountains and far upper RGV. As the upper trough continues to sink
sewd through CO tonight and Friday, shower and storm chances shift
east to the northeast highlands and plains. Strong winds will be the
main story elsewhere Friday on the backside of the upper
trough/closed low. Another, stronger, backdoor cold front will drop
into eastern NM Friday night and through the remainder of the state
Saturday. Much cooler air will follow this front as it makes its way
through the state, especially east.
As an upper level ridge moves over NM Sunday, a warming trend will
get underway. Ridge shifts east of the state Monday with additional
warming taking place under brisk zonal flow aloft. Windy conditions
look likely all areas Monday and Tuesday afternoons and evenings as
winds aloft mix down.
GFS and ECMWF now keep the mid-week trough mainly north of the state
with a deeper trough/closed low forecast to move through NM toward
the end of the work week. Both models bring quite the potent cold
front through the area Friday and Friday night.
A backdoor cold front is racing down the Eastern Plains, with cooler
and relatively moist conditions forecast there today, while
excellent mixing brings stronger winds and even drier air down to
the surface across western New Mexico this afternoon. Elevated fire
weather conditions are forecast across western portions of the area
today, where winds will limit critical conditions to one or two
hours at best.
Humidity recovery Friday morning will generally be poor to fair
across central and western portions of the area, setting the stage
for a critical fire weather event. A clipper-type system will move
east out of Southern Colorado Friday into the plains and push a cold
front across our area. The potential for critical fire weather
conditions Friday will be greatest south of Interstate 40 where a
very dry and unstable atmosphere will reside. The Northwest Plateau
may need to be dropped from the watch given below normal temps
forecast with Haines values of only 3 thanks to an earlier start of
the cold air advection. Otherwise, the watch looks on track with
upgrades likely during the day shift. Look for a cooling/moistening
trend behind the front to last into Sunday, when a ridge will move
overhead and stronger westerlies will punch back into western
portions of the area. Elevated fire weather conditions are forecast
by Sunday afternoon across the western third of our area, with winds
being the only limiting ingredient for critical conditions.
A critical fire weather pattern is setting up for early next week as
stronger westerlies move over the region, with Monday looking like
the day with the most widespread critical conditions. Without
getting too into the forecast details, which are likely to change
with subsequent model runs, critical fire weather conditions may
continue into Wednesday prior to a major cold front sometime
Thu/Fri. Both the 00z GFS and ECMWF operational runs show this
potent trough and cold front, though differ on the timing/strength.
Fire Weather Watch from Friday morning through Friday evening for
the following zones... NMZ101-105>108.