Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 140548 AAC

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1048 PM MST Fri Jan 13 2017

Abundant LIFR/IFR conditions will develop across the eastern half
of the area as the overnight progresses. These conditions will
fluctuate between categories during the afternoon but solidly
return back to LIFR/IFR during the evening hours on Sat. DZ/RA
will be associated with the categorical restrictions. Central
sites will also experience increasing RA chances but carrying VCSH
at this time. Look for more MVFR conditions with that activity as
Sat progresses. FMN/GUP will also experience -RA for several hrs
but it mainly concentrated during the am hrs per latest model
guidance. Using VCSH beyond the am hrs. Mainly MVFR cigs there as
well. Widespread mtn top obscd expected all ranges due to this
moist weather pattern. Stronger E wind will develop at ABQ during
Sat night. Doubt AWW speeds at this time but with a deep low to
the west...cant rule it out.



.PREV DISCUSSION...1025 PM MST Fri Jan 13 2017...
Added patchy to areas of fog to portions of the eastern plains and
south central mountains for tonight. Not much confidence in
visibilities getting low enough over a sufficiently large area to
consider a dense fog advisory. Updated ZFP has been transmitted
and grids sent.


.PREV DISCUSSION...348 PM MST Fri Jan 13 2017...
A moisture laden upper level low pressure system will track
northeastward across southern and eastern New Mexico from the Baja
Peninsula this weekend. Snow levels will be high enough to
relegate snow accumulation mainly to the mountains until Sunday
night, when a cold front will drop southward through the state as
the system ejects north northeastward through the Texas and
Oklahoma panhandles. Wrap around moisture from the upper low and
instability associated with a lingering upper level trough should
conjoin with colder low level air with the cold front to produce
accumulating snow Sunday night into Monday mainly from the
northern and central mountains northeastward across the northeast
highlands and northeast plains. Precipitation amounts with the
storm should be impressive areawide with the potential for over
three quarters of an inch of liquid or liquid equivalent moisture.
Parts of the plains could accumulate around 2 inches of rain. Snow
amounts over a foot could be common in the mountains mainly above
7500 feet, with amounts around 2 feet possible high in the Sangre
de Cristos. Improving conditions are expected by Tuesday.


The track of the upper low will place the forecast area in the
sweet spot for precipitation. Models depict a pronounced TROWAL
from northeast to west central areas Sunday night into Monday
when the cold air arrives. This could result in some hefty snow
accumulations as mentioned above, so we will be issuing a Winter
Storm Watch with this forecast package.

An additional concern will be some light ice accumulation across
the far northeast plains tonight into Saturday morning. A shallow
back door cold front wavering near the eastern border looks like
it will keep temperatures cool enough on the far northeast plains
for some light freezing rain as dynamics aloft gradually improve
due to the approaching upper low. Accumulations look too light for
an advisory at this time, but the evening shift may decide to
issue a Special Weather Statement if the front keeps temperatures
cool enough across the northeast.


A widespread heavy precipitation event will take shape tonight thru
Monday as a potent upper low drifts eastward across NM. Snow levels
will be high for mid-January so the bulk of the very heavy amounts
are expected above 8,500 feet. There will even be a period Saturday
afternoon when snow levels rise above 9,500 feet. Colder air will
arrive late Sunday and Monday then force snow levels down into all
areas. Accumulations over the highest terrain may very well average
1 to 2 feet. Periods of heavy rain and isolated thunderstorms will
occur elsewhere. As expected with this pattern widespread poor vent
rates are expected.

Tuesday will be a transition day with gradual clearing and cooler
temperatures. Saturated grounds and snow melt will contribute to
areas of fog and high minimum humidity values. Vent rates will not
improve much with overall light winds aloft. Faster flow aloft is
expected to arrive Wednesday with much warmer temperatures in a
downslope flow regime across the east. Soils will still likely be
quite moist despite the arrival of a new airmass.

Not much of a break is expected as another series of upper waves
pass quickly across the southwest U.S. beginning late Thursday
through next weekend. These systems look colder and windier with
widespread snowfall.


Winter Storm Watch from Saturday afternoon through Monday afternoon
for the following zones... NMZ502-506-508-510>515-527.


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