Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 170539 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1039 PM MST Thu Feb 16 2017


Mid level wind speeds will strengthen with gusty winds beginning
over the higher elevations tonight, then spreading to the lowest
elevations during the day on Friday. A few showers may develop over
northwest areas west of the continental divide Friday afternoon as a
storm system begins to cross the California coast. Some of this
should shift eastward over north central areas during the evening
with some mountain top obscurations likely. A gusty back door cold
front will also drop southward through the eastern plains on Friday
with a wind shift.



.PREV DISCUSSION...319 PM MST Thu Feb 16 2017...
After a tranquil night, strong west and northwest winds will
increase from the central mountain chain east to the adjacent
highlands including Las Vegas and Clines Corners Friday morning.
Winds will gradually diminish during the afternoon. Elsewhere on
Friday, westerly breezes, above average temperatures and increasing
clouds will result. A Pacific storm approaching the area from the
southwest will continue to spread mid and high level clouds across
the region Saturday with showers and mountain snow showers on track
for Sunday and Sunday night. Drier and warmer conditions return for
early next week.


Weak and dry closed low over far southeast NM resulting in scattered
mid and high clouds and not much else. Upper level ridge will slide
in from the west behind the closed low overnight. West-northwest
wind max near mountain top level and above will result in a lee side
sfc low and gusty nw winds from the central mountain chain crest ewd
to the central and northeast highlands Friday morning. Elsewhere,
westerly breezes with increasing mid and high clouds will make for a
rather gloomy day. Models picking up on a slightly stronger and more
moist (mid-level) southwest flow aloft across the northwest quarter,
possibly resulting in a few light showers from Cuba nw to the Four
Corners area.

Winds decrease Saturday with mid and high clouds continuing to
stream in from the west. Models now in good agreement that the
incoming closed low will dig south-southeast across CA and far
northwest Mexico Saturday and Saturday night. Increasing Pacific
moisture will combine with a 105-110kt southerly jet to generate
scattered to numerous showers and mountain snow showers Sunday
afternoon and evening. Latest GFS and ECMWF have trended colder with
a more bonafide mid-level front moving ewd through the state Sunday.
Lowered snow levels somewhat as a result (down to ~6500-7000 ft) for
Sunday. This system is quite progressive, limiting the duration of
rain and snow. Favored area for accumulating snow will be across the
northern mountains on Sunday. A few showers linger Sunday night and
perhaps into Monday with high pressure building in from the west
Monday night and Tuesday.

Drier and warmer weather continues under the above mentioned ridge
through Wednesday night. GFS and Canadian have trended farther south
with the upper trough/closed low on tap for the latter half of next
week. ECMWF says no way and trends farther north. ECMWF solution
would be quite the wind maker for Thursday and Friday. Model skill
scores favor the ECMWF solution but recent faux pas by the European
model with a similar pattern across the western CONUS make it more
difficult to dismiss the GFS and Canadian global model forecasts.



The warming/drying trend continues into Friday, with above normal
temperatures most areas. Elevated fire weather conditions are
forecast Friday afternoon across the Eastern Plains, where Haines
values of 5, low relative humidity and breezy/gusty conditions are
forecast. Vent rates will be good most areas Friday.

Trend reversals begin Saturday with moisture advection in advance of
an approaching upper trough/low. Above normal temperatures are
forecast Saturday despite increasing cloudiness. The trough is still
forecast to be elongated/split as it moves east across the region,
with the main upper low well south of New Mexico. Chances for
wetting precipitation will ramp-up quickly Sunday and continue
Sunday night, then drop-out of the forecast Monday. Snow levels will
be relatively high, with rain forecast at a majority of lower
elevation locales.

A new warming/drying trend will begin Monday as the trough moves out
and a ridge moves in behind it. Vent rates will trend down Mon/Tue
with the ridge overhead, but will trend up going into mid/late week
along with winds and temperatures. Highs will actually be back above
normal areawide as early as Tuesday. The 12z medium range model
solutions trended further south with the trough mid/late next week,
but strong winds are still forecast to move over the state Wednesday
night through Thursday night. Chances for wetting precipitation look
to be confined to the northwest higher terrain for now. At this
time, Wedesday looks to bring elevated fire weather conditions with
improving vent rates while Thursday may bring critical fire weather
conditions, especially across the Eastern Plains.





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