Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 202353 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
553 PM MDT Mon Mar 20 2017
00Z TAF CYCLE
Mid level clouds and a few virga shafts will continue until around
sunset with the potential for local gusty surface winds across the
southwest and west-central mountains. High clouds will stream, at
times, from west to east overnight. Sct mid clouds and isold virga
shafts return to most terminals Tuesday afternoon.
.PREV DISCUSSION...307 PM MDT Mon Mar 20 2017...
Big changes are on the way for northern and central NM. The very warm
and dry conditions will hold on for most areas through Tuesday, then
we will start to see cooler temperatures and increasing chances of
precipitation through the second half of the week. A back door cold
front will drop into northeast NM tonight with some cooling there
Tuesday. The front will make better progress south Tuesday night,
with all of the east cooler on Wednesday, but remaining above normal.
Winds will also be on the increase starting Wednesday and continuing
through Friday. A second storm will brush he north Sunday, with a
stronger storm from late Monday into Wednesday or next week.
Another toasty afternoon with temperatures well above normal and near
record or record breaking highs for several locations, mainly in the
east. Another mild night tonight with some mid and high clouds. There
will be a weak back door front moving into the northeast tonight,
with cooler lows in the far northeast. With dewpoints coming up now
and a bit of instability, the western portions of our CWA could get
a few virga showers through early to mid evening. Certainly no
significant rain amounts, but wind gusts up to 50 mph are possible.
Another warm day on tap for Tuesday, although the far northeast will
be 10 or more degrees cooler than today. A few more record highs will
be possible. The back door cold front will make better progress south
Tuesday night, with much of the east noticeably cooler Wednesday.
Behind the front Tuesday night, sprinkles or light showers could
dampen the far northeast. Wednesday will be dry everywhere, with
western and southern areas remaining quite warm. Winds will increase
in the central and northeast areas, with some critical fire weather
concerns (see the fire weather discussion below).
The big swing in our weather gets going Thursday as a potent trough
deepens as it comes ashore in CA Wednesday. A closed low will form
and then cross NM late Thursday into Friday. A surface cold front
will blast across the state Thursday, with breezy to windy conditions
in most areas, strong winds across portions of the east. Temperatures
will be much cooler in the west while precipitation chances increase,
favoring the western and central areas. The far eastern plains could
see a thunderstorm Thursday afternoon or evening. Thursday night and
Friday will be much cooler. Wrap around moisture will mean lingering
rain and mountain snow showers Thursday night and Friday.
Saturday will be dry and warmer. Sunday will turn cooler with gusty
winds as another trough swings across NM. Showers will be limited to
the northwest and north central mountains.
A stronger disturbance could bring rain and mountain snow showers
late Monday into Wednesday in the west and north. Gusty winds and
cooler temperatures will be felt in most areas.
Quite a bit more cumulus have developed as expected over the higher
terrain, particularly over the continental divide this afternoon. A
few virga showers have been noted across zone 109 moving toward the
Rio Grande Valley, and gusty winds may be occurring with these
showers given the dry low level environment. Single digit humidities
are occurring across eastern NM this afternoon and will continue to
do so through the early evening. Winds have fortunately been below
critical criteria. Tonight, humidities should be a few percent
higher than last night, but still poor to fair humidity recoveries
are expected for most locales.
Not a lot of change is in store for Tuesday, except that a weak
front squeaks into Union County during the day which cools
temperatures 10 to 15 degrees up there. Otherwise, still 10 to 25
degrees above normal area wide. Not looking for as many hours of
single digit RH, but there could still be a few. Winds will be
similar to today, thus no widespread critical conditions are
The front across far northeast NM will shift south and west Tuesday
night and may nudge up to the east slopes of the central mountain
chain by sunrise Wednesday. It still looks like the front will
struggle to mix out Wednesday afternoon given the south-
southwesterly flow aloft, however models are showing it mixing back
eastward a bit farther than earlier. So, there is still uncertainty.
Best guess is the increase in moisture behind the front will
mitigate fire weather concerns at least across the plains (zones 104
and 108) for Wed aftn. However, there could still be 2 to 4 hours of
critical fire weather conditions are zones 106 and 107 as well as
near Gallup as it remains dry and winds start to increase.
The next storm system will impact the area on Thursday. A deepening
low will cross northern NM before exiting the state early Friday. An
associated Pacific cold front will quickly shift from west to east
during Thurs afternoon and evening which will bring strong
southwesterly winds around to the west with speeds increasing
further. The moisture that was across the eastern plains will
quickly mix out to near or just east of the Texas state line, but
moisture associated with the system will be moving in from the west.
Precipitation will return along and behind the front. Western and
northern NM will be favored, but precip may also make it into the
Rio Grande Valley. Meanwhile, a few hours of critical fire weather
conditions are possible for the eastern plains. Though high
temperatures will remain above normal for the east, temperatures
will fall below normal for much of the west behind the front.
Cooler temperatures in store for Thursday night, and near normal
temperatures are expected on Friday. Northwesterly winds will remain
strong on Friday but will diminish in the afternoon and evening as
the system pulls away from the state and ridging moves in. Some wrap-
around precip remains possible for the north. Temperatures will
warm back above normal for Saturday under shortwave ridging, then
another system will graze northern NM on Sunday which will increase
wind speeds again. Critical fire weather conditions may be in store
for much of eastern NM Sunday afternoon.
High haines remains in store through Wednesday area wide, and across
the east on Thursday before lowering Friday. Excellent ventilation
is expected throughout the week.