Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 181803 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1103 AM MST Wed Jan 18 2017
18Z TAF CYCLE
IFR/MVFR cigs/foggy conditions will continue improving as mid
level clouds filter in. Look for possible clearing skies tonight
for central and east central areas but anticipate redevelopment of
IFR/MVFR cigs for KFMN/KGUP/KROW overnight. Also, expect a period
of aftn gusts in the east as skies clear.
.PREV DISCUSSION...929 AM MST Wed Jan 18 2017...
Sending out a quick update to this morning`s forecast as showers
were a bit more prevalent than expected and this afternoon`s
shower/thunderstorm prospects also seem a bit higher. Some wrap-
around forcing on the back side of the upper low and some weak
orographics on west faces of the central mountain chain could lead
to some showers/storms this afternoon with a better focus over the
southeastern quadrant of the forecast area where better
instability will reside. A wide variance of low clouds and fog are
also currently in place across the forecast area, and these should
gradually burn away into the early afternoon.
.PREV DISCUSSION...330 AM MST Wed Jan 18 2017...
Pesky upper low to exit today but not before some patchy morning fog
and a few mainly mountain showers. Warmer overall today and moreso
in the east Thursday while temperatures remain steady or cool down a
bit west. Look for unsettled weather Thursday night through early
next week with increasing chances for mountain snow and valley rain
and snow. Temperatures will gradually cool to below average. Higher
terrain winds will be gusty at times.
Overall weather pattern will be less busy today as the loopy upper
low exits, but not before some patchy morning fog and a few mainly
mountain showers and lingering morning low clouds. Made some high
temperature adjustments due to snow cover but areas without look to
warm several degrees today once the low cloud cover clears.
Downslope winds help boost highs in the east Thursday, but the first
of several incoming systems will initiate a cooling trend for the
west. The GFS indicates maybe a slight breaks between systems while
the NAM12 has nary a break between the first and second.
Areas most likely to pick up measurable precipitation Thursday night
through Saturday night look to be west slopes, therefore most of the
west and central. The east will experience downslope effects
especially Saturday/Saturday night as the surface low bombs in the
wake of the second system. Gusty ridgetop winds will be prevalent
during this period as well. Preliminary snow totals by Sunday are
around one foot or more above about 8000 feet in the northwest and
Chuska mts with some decent amounts along and west of the Contdvd,
although recent guidance has been overcooked last couple of storms.
A third and much colder system arrives by next Monday, so only a
short recovery period on Sunday. This looks to bring plenty of wind
to the east as well, and more snow to the west and central. While
high temperatures fall below average Saturday and moderate slightly
Sunday into Monday, they take a more significant dive below
average Tuesday into Wednesday.
Pesky upper level low will continue to influence the area through
today. Look for a few light showers as well as variable cloud cover.
Due to the proximity of the upper low...mixing heights will be on
the higher side and combine with strengthening transport wind. This
will lead to improved ventilation today. High temps will warm and
generally be near normal. Humidity will remain above normal. Surface
wind will also increase...especially along and to the lee of the
A transitory upper level ridge will move over the area on Thursday.
Embedded within the ridge will be a fairly strong mid level dry
intrusion. Models have been showing this dry intrusion for the past
few days so continue to undercut dewpoint guidance by a few degrees
central/eastern areas. Downslope winds will also provide some
warming with gustier breezes over the high terrain and central
areas. Model guidance came in a bit stronger to the lee of the
central mtns. Based on the mixing height forecast...increased Rio
Grande Valley winds above guidance numbers. Looking at the
combination of strong wind and marginally low humidity across
portions of the Plains Thu afternoon. Recent moisture should
mitigate significant threats however. Ventilation
All eyes remain on an unsettled period from Thur night through the
earlier half of next week. Three Pacific waves embedded in a strong
Polar jet stream move impact the area. Timing of the waves still
looks to be on track and hasnt changed a whole lot the past few
days. Bigger precipitation periods look to be Thu night through
Saturday and Monday/Tuesday. Each system looks to be progressively
cooler with the crescendo early next week in terms of cool temps and
widespread snow. Due to the system passage paths...downsloping will
limit wetting precipitation potential across the eastern third or
so. Westerly mountain aspects stand to gain quite a bit of
precipitation during this period. Needless to say...humidity will be
on the higher side with Sunday most likely being the lowest RH day.
Ventilation also looks to be pretty decent with stronger transport
wind associated with the jet. Due to the jet position...mixing
heights also look to be pretty good most periods. Modeling has been
pretty consistent leading up to this period so confidence is very
high for precipitation and cooler temperatures.
A cooler pattern appears to be in the cards for the latter half of
next week with varying ventilation rates. A drier forecast is in the
cards although it depends on quickly the third system ejects to the