Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 181747 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1147 AM MDT Tue Apr 18 2017

VFR conditions are expected for the next 24 hours across northern and
central NM with passing high cirrus clouds. Winds will become gusty
today, then breezier on Wednesday as an upper level trough passes
north of NM causing the flow aloft to strengthen and inducing a
surface lee trough. Windy conditions are expected in the Sangre de
Cristos tonight, then these winds will extend as far south as the
Clines Corners area on Wednesday as speeds over the Sangres gradually



.PREV DISCUSSION...237 AM MDT Tue Apr 18 2017...
Southwest winds will increase somewhat this afternoon, especially
across the western higher terrain and eastern plains. Winds in the
higher terrain and areas east of the central mountain chain will
continue overnight. A weak and dry cold front will bring a few
degrees of cooling to western and central New Mexico Wednesday with
strong west to northwest winds the main weather impact along and east
of the central mountain chain. A backdoor cold front remains on track
to move south through eastern New Mexico Wednesday night and west into
the Rio Grande Valley Thursday morning. This front is expected to
combine with a weak upper level wave to produce a few showers and
thunderstorms across the Sangre de Cristo mountains Thursday
afternoon and points east Thursday night. Dry northwest flow aloft
moves in for Friday.


The typical nocturnal dryline push wwd is much less pronounced
tonight compared with last night. This is due in large part to a lee
surface trough/low that is strengthening. This strengthening will
result in increasing southwest winds for eastern NM, sending Gulf
moisture east of NM by about mid-day. Southwest breezes will also
increase across western NM this afternoon as increasing winds aloft
mix down. As a weak upper level trough slides east across northern NM
tonight and Wednesday, winds aloft continue to increase, keeping
winds going through the night in the higher terrain and across areas
east of the central mountain chain. Winds aloft peak around mid
morning Wednesday diminishing during the afternoon. The associated weak
surface front remains on track to move through western and central
NM Wednesday, bringing several degrees of cooling to areas west of
the central mountain chain and little else. The northern portions of
the above mentioned trough sends a backdoor cold front through
eastern NM Wednesday night, then wwd into the RGV Thursday morning.
Now 00Z GFS and NAM have backed off on shower and thunderstorm
chances for the Sangre de Cristo mountains Thursday. Kept the
forecast more in line with the run to run consistent ECMWF which
continues to generate at least isolated showers and thunderstorms
over the Sangres Thursday afternoon and across the east-central and
northeast plains Thursday night and Friday.

A mainly dry northwest flow aloft moves in Friday night and
Saturday. Models send another backdoor front through eastern NM
Friday night and Saturday. Models are not too excited about
generating convection behind this feature given the lack of upper
level forcing. Still a few thunderstorms could result from the east
slopes of the Sangres ewd Saturday afternoon. Front pushes wwd
through the remainder of the state Saturday night.

A transitory broad upper level ridges builds overhead Sunday with
zonal flow moving in for early next week. Models continue with the
idea of brining in an unseasonably deep and relatively moisture
upper level trough/closed low in around mid-week.



Spotty critical conditions today with a bit more widespread threat
of critical fire weather in eastern New Mexico on Tuesday...

Low level moisture has held its ground thus far this morning in far
eastern NM, allowing excellent RH recoveries there. However, it`s a
different story west of the dryline, where RH is struggling to
recover efficiently. As the day unfolds, the dryline is forecast to
shift farther east due to the orientation of a surface cyclone that
will set up near the northeast corner of NM. By late afternoon the
dryline should be aligned with the eastern NM border with TX/OK, and
this will dry dewpoints out over the forecast area, ultimately
dropping RH to less than 15 percent across almost all of the
forecast area. The above normal temperature trend will also persist
amidst the dry conditions. Light to moderate breezes will prevail
for most of the day, although westerly speeds aloft will begin to
increase late in the afternoon, possibly yielding some spotty
critical conditions in both the west central and northeastern
highlands. Also, the deep and high mixing heights will yield
excellent smoke ventilation rates today.

A short wave trough will move off of the Pacific and toward the
central Rockies tonight and Wednesday, bringing increased winds
aloft into northern NM. Northern peaks and ridgetops will observe
this strengthening into the late night and early Wednesday morning
hours, especially over the Sangre de Cristos. During the day
Wednesday, the stronger winds will then spread into other zones with
the highest speeds remaining concentrated over the Sangre de Cristos
and the central mountains/highlands. Precipitation will bypass NM
with the passage of this initial Pacific system and only a slight
cooling of temperatures is forecast. Conditions appear to turn
critical or close to it on Wednesday afternoon, with temperature
readings staying above normal, RH falling to critical values over
most of the forecast area,  prevalent instability, deep mixing, and
stronger winds all aligning over the central highlands and east
central high plains. Have opted to hoist a watch for some of this
area, although there is some reservations due to the somewhat
marginal spatial coverage.

In the wake of the disturbance aloft, a surface cold front will
spill into the eastern plains of NM Wednesday night, setting
temperatures back a few to several degrees in eastern zones. After
the early Wednesday disturbance exiting into the plains, the
progressive westerly flow will quickly allow another Pacific wave to
race toward the Rockies. This next system appears to be deeper and
better organized than its predecessor, but it still is expected to
be more of a wind-producer rather than precipitation. Breezy to
windy conditions are still forecast with a couple to a few hours of
critical conditions in the western highlands Thursday. Into Friday
the latter disturbance will have crossed the mountains and sped into
the central plains of the nation, dragging cooler temperatures into
NM. Despite the cooler temperatures, a  more widespread and stronger
wind event is expected to unfold and this will spread increased
critical fire weather conditions over many zones Friday.

Thereafter, a progressive westerly flow will stay intact, keeping
bouts of stronger winds in the forecast with no significant cool-
downs foreseen. Not until the middle of next week does a more
substantial weather system take aim for NM with increased
precipitation chances.


Fire Weather Watch from Wednesday morning through Wednesday evening
for the following zones... NMZ107-108.


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