Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 120552 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1052 PM MST Wed Jan 11 2017
06Z TAF CYCLE
The tail end of a mid level jet streak is currently moving over
the area. The approach of the next system will occur during the
next 24 hrs. This means another increase in mid to high level
clouds...especially during the latter half of the forecast period.
Wind speeds wont be nearly as strong on Thur compared to today.
.PREV DISCUSSION...341 PM MST Wed Jan 11 2017...
All eyes on the storm for the end of the week through the weekend.
Models in pretty good agreement now on the track, timing and
strength of this system. Most of the precipitation will be from
Saturday through Sunday, but it will linger into Monday. The form
of precipitation across northeast NM will be the toughest to
figure out. Snow, sleet and freezing rain could fall in the
northeast friday night into Saturday morning, before changing to
rain in the afternoon. Models have been trending warmer, which
could mean the good snow amounts will be confined to the
mountains, and primarily the northern mountains, and maybe
portions of the northeast, depending on how much wrap around
moisture there will be.
Wind highlights will expire at 4 pm MDT. Winds will subside
overnight allowing temperatures to drop a little more than recent
nights, especially in the east.
Thursday will be pretty nice in most areas with some sunshine and
above normal temperatures, although the northeast should be
cooler. Winds will be much less than recent days.
Our storm system will be strengthening along the Pacific Northwest
Thursday, then move south right along the CA coast Friday, and
continue to Baja, CA and the Gulf of CA Saturday. It will then
turn east then northeast and arrive in southern N Sunday before
accelerating northeast early next week. Meanwhile a not exactly
back door cold front will arrive in the east Thursday night, stall
Friday then push west Friday night. We say not exactly a back door
cold front, but more of a wind shift to an easterly direction
thanks to the storm pulling winds west toward it.
Plenty of moisture will be drawn north ahead of, and with, the
storm. Just what form the precipitation takes will be the greatest
challenge. We are confident the storm will have a significant
impact on the state, but rain vs. snow vs. ice will be tough to
decipher. Mostly snow should fall above 8000 or 8500 feet through
the entire time of the storm, although snow levels could rise on
Saturday to 9000 feet or more. Northwest and central valleys will
see mostly rain until Sunday night when colder air gets wrapped
around the storm. Eastern NM will be the toughest with a period of
sleet and/or freezing rain cold fall over the northeast Friday
night into Saturday morning, before changing to rain Saturday
afternoon into Sunday. Precipitation will change to all snow
Sunday night into Monday. Wrap around moisture from the main storm
will combine with additional energy dropping south behind it early
next week to keep some light precipitation for central and
north areas Monday night, while lingering over the northern
Dry and milder for the middle of the week but the next storm could
arrive late next week. CHJ
A speed maximum in the polar jet that brought strong winds to
northern NM is progged to exit east of the state late tonight.
Strong winds are expected to persist through the evening mainly over
mountain peaks. In the wake of a weak Pacific cold front that
crossed today, temperatures will trend downward Thursday and Friday.
Surface winds and ventilation will follow suit, reaching poor both
days in many places.
Wetting precipitation is expected this weekend as an upper level low
pressure system crosses New Mexico from the Baja Peninsula. The
system will draw a moist return flow over the state from the
southeast with precipitation becoming widespread starting Friday
night. As expected with a system coming from a warmer direction,
snow levels will start pretty high: 7500 feet or higher Friday
night, then lifting above 9000 feet or so Saturday. There are some
differences in the models, but the center of the upper low is
forecast to track from around El Paso to over Roswell before
ejecting northeastward through the TX and OK panhandles. This
should result in some of the heaviest precipitation over western
areas Saturday and Saturday night, and over eastern areas Saturday
night and Sunday. The snow level should remain above 8500 feet
Saturday night before falling with a Pacific cold front and back
door cold front on Sunday. Snow levels should reach most valley
bottoms Sunday night, but much of the moisture should exit northeast
of the area by then. Thus, most of the moisture with this system
should fall as rain, except for several inches of snow possible in
the northern mountains, and a few inches across lower elevations of
the northeast late in the event. Some wrap around rain and snow
showers will probably persist through Monday and Monday night as an
upper level trough lingers over the state in the wake of the exiting
upper low. Liquid equivalent precipitation amounts should reach a
quarter to three quarters of an inch across central and western
areas, except for over 1 inch possible in the west central and
southwest mountains, and around 1 to 2 inches across much of the
plains. The main wind concern with the storm will be a moderately
gusty east canyon wind in the middle and lower Rio Grande Valley
Friday night through Sunday morning.
Broad areas of poor ventilation are expected to persist Saturday
through Monday before improving in some places Tuesday as the upper
level trough begins to shift eastward and drier air moves in from