Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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000
FXUS65 KABQ 252233
AFDABQ

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM
333 PM MST WED FEB 25 2015

.SYNOPSIS...
AN ACTIVE WINTER PATTERN WILL CONTINUE FOR THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT
THROUGH NEXT WEEK AS A SERIES OF UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCES IMPACT
THE AREA. THE FIRST WILL COMBINE WITH A POTENT BACKDOOR COLD FRONT
TO PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL ACROSS THE SANGRE DE CRISTO
MOUNTAINS AND ADJACENT HIGHLANDS TONIGHT INTO LATE THURSDAY
MORNING...WITH LESSER AMOUNTS FOR THE REST OF THE EASTERN PLAINS.
THE SECOND WILL BRING POTENTIALLY SIGNIFICANT SNOW THURSDAY NIGHT
INTO FRIDAY...IMPACTING MUCH OF THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL
MOUNTAINS...AND EAST CENTRAL PLAINS. THE LAST SYSTEM WILL
POTENTIALLY BE THE STRONGEST AND LONGEST LASTING...BRINGING
POTENTIALLY HEAVY SNOW TO MUCH OF NORTHWESTERN AND CENTRAL NEW
MEXICO. HIGH TEMPERATURES WILL REMAIN BELOW TO WELL BELOW NORMAL
THROUGHOUT THIS TIME...WITH PORTIONS OF THE NORTHEAST POTENTIALLY NOT
SEEING HIGHS ABOVE FREEZING AGAIN UNTIL MONDAY.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
A VERY ACTIVE WINTER WEATHER PATTERN WILL OFFER LITTLE BREAK FOR
THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT THROUGH THE NEXT WEEK...SO ENJOY THE BRIEF
BREAK TODAY WHILE YOU CAN. RADAR IMAGES ALREADY INDICATE SHOWERS
BEGINNING TO DEVELOP ALONG AND JUST EAST OF THE SANGRE DE CRISTO
MOUNTAINS THANKS TO A BIT OF AFTERNOON INSTABILITY. THE FIRST
UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE CURRENTLY SITS OVER FAR SE UTAH AND WILL
BE THE FOCUS FOR ACTIVITY INTO THURSDAY. A POTENT BACKDOOR COLD
FRONT WILL SLIDE DOWN THE EASTERN PLAINS TONIGHT INTO THURSDAY
MORNING...AND PROVIDE MUCH COOLER AIR AND SIGNIFICANT UPSLOPE
FLOW. THE FRONT AND DISTURBANCE WILL COMBINE TO PRODUCE SIGNIFICANT
SNOWFALL ACROSS THE SANGRES AND ADJACENT HIGHLANDS WITH LESSER
AMOUNTS ELSEWHERE. ONE THING TO WATCH IS FRONTOGENSIS DEVELOPMENT
BETWEEN TUCUMCARI AND NORTHERN CURRY COUNTY...WHICH MAY CREATE
HEAVIER BANDS OF SNOW IN THAT AREA AND RESULT IN HIGHER AMOUNTS.
SHOWERS WILL TAPER OFF IN THE LATE MORNING HOURS THURSDAY AS THE
DISTURBANCE MOVES EAST...BUT NOT COMPLETELY END OVER THE MOUNTAINS
AS THE SECOND DISTURBANCE IS RIGHT ON THE HEELS OF THE FIRST.
HIGHS THURSDAY WILL BE WELL BELOW NORMAL AREA WIDE...AND UP TO 40
DEGREES BELOW NORMAL ACROSS THE NE.

THE SECOND DISTURBANCE WILL DIG SLIGHTLY FARTHER SW THURSDAY NIGHT
INTO FRIDAY...SHIFTING THE MAIN PRECIPITATION FOCUS TO CENTRAL NEW
MEXICO. HEAVIEST AMOUNTS WILL BE ALONG AND EAST OF THE
SANDIAS AND SOUTHERN SANGRES...BUT MUCH OF NORTH CENTRAL AND
EASTERN NM WILL SEE SOME SNOW. EXISTING WARNINGS/ADVISORIES MAY BE
EXTENDED AS A RESULT OF THE CONTINUATION OF THE SNOW...OR FOLLOWING
SHIFTS MIGHT DEEM ENOUGH OF A LULL TO ISSUE SEPARATE HAZARDS FOR
THIS SECOND EVENT. EXPANSION OF WATCH IS POSSIBLE TOO...BUT WILL
LET FOLLOWING SHIFTS MAKE FINAL JUDGMENT. THE ALBUQUERQUE METRO
WILL BE TOUGHEST TO PEG...AS NEAR ADVISORY LEVEL GAP
WINDS...THOUGH SHALLOW...BATTLE POTENTIAL SNOW BANDING OVER THE
AREA. THE 12Z NAM SHOWED A STRONG BAND OVER THE METRO THAT WOULD
BE ABLE TO OVERCOME THE FAIRLY SHALLOW EAST WIND LAYER...BUT THE
SUBSEQUENT 18Z RUN HAS A BAND FARTHER SOUTH AND NORTH OF THE AREA.
THIS WILL BE SOMETHING TO MONITOR FOR EVENTUAL WARNING/ADVISORY
DECISION. AGAIN...WITH THIS DISTURBANCE QUICKLY EXITING EAST
FRIDAY...SHOWERS WILL TAPER OFF BY THE AFTERNOON...ONLY FOR THE
THIRD DISTURBANCE TO INITIATE SHOWERS AGAIN ACROSS W/NW NM FRIDAY
NIGHT. HIGHS FRIDAY WILL GENERALLY BE A FEW DEGREES COOLER THAN
THURSDAY.

THE THIRD DISTURBANCE WILL BE THE STRONGEST...BECOMING A CLOSED
LOW OVER OREGON FRIDAY AND PRETTY MUCH REMAINING CLOSED AS IT DIGS
SOUTH INTO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. SW FLOW AHEAD OF THAT SYSTEM WILL
KEEP GOOD FORCING OVER NW NM FOR FRIDAY AND SATURDAY...WITH
PRECIPITATION CHANCES BEING FOCUSED OVER WESTERN NM. THE SYSTEM WILL
EJECT AND WEAKEN SUNDAY INTO MONDAY...AND PRECIPITATION WILL
SPREAD EAST WITH IT. SNOW LEVELS WILL INITIALLY BE HIGH WITH THIS
SYSTEM AS THE SW FLOW DRAGS WARMER AIR ALOFT TO THE
AREA...EVIDENCED BY 700MB TEMPS NEAR FREEZING OVER ABQ SUNDAY AND
MONDAY. SO RAIN WILL BE COMMON FOR VALLEY LOCATIONS WITH A
RAIN/SNOW MIX HIGHER UP. HIGHS TEMPS WILL WARM AS WELL...THOUGH
GENERALLY REMAIN BELOW NORMAL. JUST WHEN YOU THINK IT MIGHT BE
OVER...A FOURTH DISTURBANCE WILL FOLLOW RIGHT IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF
THE THIRD...AND KEEP SHOWERS GOING FOR MUCH OF NORTHERN AND
CENTRAL NM THROUGH THURSDAY. AFTER IT IS ALL SAID AND DONE...FEET
OF SNOW WILL HAVE LIKELY FALLEN OVER PARTS OF THE NORTHERN
MOUNTAINS THROUGH THURSDAY. FORTUNATELY...MODELS SEEM TO AGREE
THAT SOME REPRIEVE FROM THIS ACTIVE PATTERN WILL COME LATE NEXT
WEEK AND INTO THE WEEKEND...THOUGH THAT IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE.

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
STILL LOOKS VERY UNSETTLED THROUGH AT LEAST THE MIDDLE OF NEXT WEEK
DUE TO SEVERAL SYSTEM PASSAGES. SOME OF THE SYSTEMS WILL FAVOR
EASTERN AREAS LIKE THE NEAR TERM SYSTEM WHILE OTHERS WILL FAVOR
WESTERN/CENTRAL AREAS.

NEXT STORM SYSTEM IS CURRENTLY BEARING DOWN ON THE FORECAST AREA AND
ESPECIALLY THE PLAINS AND EAST SLOPES OF THE SANGRE DE CRISTO
TONIGHT. A PREFRONTAL WIND SHIFT HAS ALREADY OCCURRED ACROSS MOST OF
THE EASTERN PLAINS AND ADDITIONAL COLD AIR WILL RAPIDLY DESCEND ON
THE PLAINS THIS EVENING. THIS IS WHEN THE WETTING PRECIPITATION WILL
START UP. THE COOLER AIR SHOULD PUSH THROUGH THE CENTRAL MTN
GAPS...ESPECIALLY AT ALBUQUERQUE AND SANTA FE...AND CREATE GUSTY GAP
WINDS LATER TONIGHT. IN ALL ACTUALITY...THERE WILL BE VERY LITTLE
SEPARATION IN THE TWO CLIPPER WAVES AND BACK DOOR SURGES THAT OCCUR
THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT. THE THURSDAY NIGHT/FRIDAY SYSTEM SHOULD PUSH
COOLER AIR EVEN FURTHER WEST AND ALLOW FOR SOME ACCUMULATIONS
FURTHER WEST OF THE CENTRAL MTNS. VENTILATION ON THURSDAY WILL BE
PRETTY GOOD BUT LOWER ON FRIDAY THANKS TO LOWER MIXING HEIGHTS.
HUMIDITY VALUES WILL BE UNUSUALLY HIGH WITH A COOLER THAN NORMAL
AIRMASS.

THE FOCUS WILL SHIFT TOWARDS WESTERN/CENTRAL AREAS DURING THE
WEEKEND AS A MORE POWERFUL PACIFIC LOW TAKES AIM ON THE STATE. THIS
LOW APPEARS TO BE SLOW MOVING AND SHOULD TAP INTO SOME HIGHER
SUBTROPICAL MOISTURE. SNOW LEVELS WILL EVENTUALLY RISE AS THE
WARMER/MORE MOIST AIR FLOWS UP OVER THE STATE. OROGRAPHIC LIFT ALONG
THE MOUNTAINS SHOULD PROVIDE BENEFICIAL WETTING MOISTURE FAVORING
THE WESTERN/NORTHERN MTNS. THE NE HIGHLANDS AND PLAINS SHOULD
BENEFIT FROM MOIST AIR FLOWING OVER A COOLER DOME FOUND NEAR THE
SURFACE. HUMIDITY VALUES WILL REMAIN QUITE HIGH ALTHOUGH
TEMPERATURES WILL MODIFY SOME. HIGH TEMPS SHOULD REMAIN BELOW NORMAL
HOWEVER. AREAS FOUND ALONG THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE WESTWARD SHOULD DO
REALLY...REALLY WELL. SIMILARLY FOR AREAS AROUND CHAMA AND THE NW
MTNS. CONFIDENCE FOR THE WEEKEND EVENT IS QUITE HIGH...ESPECIALLY
LIQUID WATER AMOUNTS. TYPE OF PRECIPITATION...RAIN VERSUS FREEZING
VERSUS SNOW WILL MOST LIKELY VARY SOME AS WE GET CLOSER TO THE EVENT
PERIOD.

THE SYSTEM SHOULD WEAKEN SOMETIME ON MONDAY BUT ANOTHER PIECE OF THE
PACIFIC JET STREAM AND ASSOCIATED LOW PRESSURE AREA SHOULD TAKE AIM ON
THE STATE TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY. ANOTHER BACK DOOR COLD FRONT IS
PROJECTED AHEAD OF THIS WAVE PASSAGE WHICH MEANS A PRETTY SOLID
PHASING OF THE UPPER AND LOWER LEVEL LIFT DYNAMICS. THE BACK DOOR
COLD FRONT ALSO MEANS LOWERING SNOW LEVELS. WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR THIS
TREND BUT ECMWF/GFS LOOK PRETTY SIMILAR. CONFIDENCE FOR THIS SYSTEM
IS AT LEAST MODERATE ALTHOUGH DETAILS WOULD MOST LIKELY VARY SOME.
VENTILATION LOOKS TO BE PRETTY GOOD EARLY NEXT WEEK BASED ON
PROJECTED HIGHER MIXING HEIGHTS AND TRANSPORT WINDS. HUMIDITY VALUES
WOULD REMAIN ON THE HIGH SIDE.

50

&&

.AVIATION...
18Z TAF CYCLE
WX CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE DURING THE NEXT 6 TO 12 HRS THANKS
TO A BACK DOOR COLD FRONT AND CLIPPER SYSTEM. INITIAL BAND OF MID
LEVEL CLOUDS WILL MOVE OVER THE AREA THIS AFTERNOON AND EMBEDDED
WITH BE GUSTY NW WINDS. WIND SPEED GUSTS SHOULD BE 30 KT OR LESS
AT TERMINAL SITES. WIND SPEEDS WILL DECREASE ACROSS
WESTERN/CENTRAL SITES THIS EVENING AS THE COLD FRONT PLUNGES
SOUTHWARD ACROSS THE PLAINS AND EVENTUALLY SQUEEZES THROUGH THE
CENTRAL MTN GAPS. INCREASED GAP WIND EXPECTED AT ABQ/SAF AS A
RESULT BUT SPEEDS SHOULD BE MODERATE AND GENERALLY OCCUR AFTER 6Z.
THE MAIN IMPACT DUE TO THE FRONT WILL BE LOWER CIGS/VIS DUE TO
INCREASED SN. LVS/TCC WILL MOST ASSUREDLY DROP DOWN INTO IFR/LIFR
STATUS ALTHOUGH THERE WILL BE A MVFR TRANSITION. THAT WILL LAST
THROUGH THE MORNING HOURS. ROW WILL MOST LIKELY EXPERIENCE MVFR
CONDITIONS AFTER 12Z. MVFR CIGS POSSIBLE AT SAF LATER TONIGHT.

50

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
FARMINGTON......................  19  40  23  40 /   0  10  30  50
DULCE...........................  11  36  18  35 /  10  20  50  60
CUBA............................  17  37  16  33 /   0  10  70  50
GALLUP..........................  16  45  18  43 /   0  10  30  40
EL MORRO........................  20  40  21  40 /   0  10  50  40
GRANTS..........................  16  41  18  39 /   0  10  60  30
QUEMADO.........................  23  45  24  47 /   0  10  30  10
GLENWOOD........................  30  59  28  64 /   0   0  10   5
CHAMA...........................  10  33  14  33 /  30  30  60  60
LOS ALAMOS......................  23  30  17  28 /  20  20  90  40
PECOS...........................  20  27  11  24 /  60  50 100  50
CERRO/QUESTA....................  14  28  10  27 /  70  30  80  50
RED RIVER.......................  12  24   7  23 /  80  60  80  60
ANGEL FIRE......................   9  25   3  23 /  90  70  80  60
TAOS............................  19  29  14  29 /  60  20  70  50
MORA............................  16  24   8  24 /  90  70  90  50
ESPANOLA........................  24  36  17  31 /  20  10  80  40
SANTA FE........................  25  31  17  26 /  30  10 100  40
SANTA FE AIRPORT................  24  35  16  28 /  20  10  90  30
ALBUQUERQUE FOOTHILLS...........  31  40  25  36 /   5   5  90  40
ALBUQUERQUE HEIGHTS.............  29  43  24  38 /   0   5  80  30
ALBUQUERQUE VALLEY..............  25  44  21  39 /   0   5  80  30
ALBUQUERQUE WEST MESA...........  28  42  22  38 /   0   5  80  30
LOS LUNAS.......................  24  45  23  40 /   0   5  70  30
RIO RANCHO......................  27  42  22  38 /   0   5  80  20
SOCORRO.........................  29  49  26  50 /   0   5  40  10
SANDIA PARK/CEDAR CREST.........  22  34  17  30 /  10  10 100  50
TIJERAS.........................  24  39  20  31 /   5   5 100  50
MORIARTY/ESTANCIA...............  16  31  11  25 /  30  20 100  50
CLINES CORNERS..................  19  27   9  22 /  70  40 100  50
GRAN QUIVIRA....................  23  34  18  34 /   5  10  80  30
CARRIZOZO.......................  26  40  19  42 /   5   5  50  20
RUIDOSO.........................  22  35  12  39 /  10  20  50  20
CAPULIN.........................  11  18   4  18 /  90  80  60  50
RATON...........................  16  21   7  20 / 100  80  70  50
SPRINGER........................  17  22   8  22 / 100  80  70  50
LAS VEGAS.......................  14  20   6  20 / 100  70  90  50
CLAYTON.........................  14  19   4  18 /  70  50  60  60
ROY.............................  15  22   5  19 / 100  70  70  50
CONCHAS.........................  24  25  13  24 / 100  40  80  50
SANTA ROSA......................  22  27  13  25 /  90  40  80  50
TUCUMCARI.......................  23  27  12  24 /  80  40  80  60
CLOVIS..........................  21  30  11  24 /  70  20  60  50
PORTALES........................  23  32  12  25 /  70  20  60  40
FORT SUMNER.....................  24  31  14  26 /  60  40  60  40
ROSWELL.........................  31  37  20  31 /  20  20  30  30
PICACHO.........................  27  32  15  28 /  10  30  40  30
ELK.............................  25  30  13  30 /  10  20  40  20

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY UNTIL NOON MST THURSDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING
ZONES...NMZ516-530-533>535.

WINTER STORM WARNING UNTIL NOON MST THURSDAY FOR THE FOLLOWING
ZONES...NMZ512>515-527>529-531-532.

WINTER STORM WATCH FROM THURSDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH FRIDAY AFTERNOON
FOR THE FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ510-511-517>519-521>524.

&&

$$

24




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