Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 210557 AAC
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1057 PM MST Fri Jan 20 2017

.AVIATION...
Western and central areas will experience rain and snow in the
valleys and snow in the mountains with extensive mountain
obscurations and IFR to LIFR conditions through the rest of the
night. Conditions gradually improving Saturday with mostly VFR
conditions after 19z with precipitation becoming more intermittent.
Meanwhile, strong to high winds are expected to develop Saturday
at most TAF sites, and continue trough much of Saturday night.
Strongest winds from KCQC to KSRR to Dunken with gusts of 55 to 65
knots.

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...849 PM MST Fri Jan 20 2017...
.UPDATE...
ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW IN THE SOUTH CENTRAL
HIGHLANDS. MODELS ARE SHOWING ENHANCED QPF OVER SOUTH CENTRAL
AREAS LATE TONIGHT INTO SATURDAY MORNING. THE SNOW LEVEL THERE
SHOULD DROP TO NEAR 6000 FEET...AND MUCH OF THIS ZONE IS ABOVE
THIS ELEVATION.

44

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...501 PM MST Fri Jan 20 2017...
.AVIATION...
00Z TAF CYCLE
Western and central areas will experience rain and snow in the
valleys and snow in the mountains with extensive mountain
obscurations and IFR to LIFR conditions through the day Saturday.
Meanwhile, strong and gusty downsloping winds across the east will
diminish through the evening. However, strong to high winds are
expected Saturday at most TAF sites, along with rain and snow.
CIGS and VSBYS mostly MVFR to IFR west and central, VFR in the
east although blowing dust will be a concern.

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...338 PM MST Fri Jan 20 2017...
.SYNOPSIS...
One upper level disturbance has crossed New Mexico and begun to
exit the state with a second one currently working into Arizona
and inching closer to the Land of Enchantment. Some light snow
accumulations were observed in some central to western portions of
New Mexico last night and early this morning with a second round
of more significant precipitation now beginning to take shape.
Accumulating mountain snow will increase this evening with a mix
of rain and snow in the central and western valleys gradually
changing over to mostly snow overnight. Strong winds will also
accompany this second upper level disturbance with the higher
terrain and eastern plains observing the strongest gusts Saturday
and Saturday night.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Precipitation has been increasing again over portions of central
and western NM this afternoon as the next Pacific trough moves
inland over the western states. As snow turns more steady over
the higher terrain of western and central NM with higher snowfall
rates, accumulations will begin to tally through the evening.
Earlier this afternoon, the winter weather advisory was expanded
into some central and north central zones, and this looks on
track.

The heftiest snow totals still appear to eclipse a foot or
more on the higher peaks of southern Catron and southern Lincoln
counties tonight through Saturday, but many other peaks of
central to western NM will also likely observe several inches as
well. Confidence is actually lower with regard to the Sangre de
Cristos, especially the northern peaks, but a few inches are still
expected there with dire impacts from blowing snow here and all
other remaining high terrain zones. The zones where winter
weather advisories and storm warnings fall off or are not in
effect for Saturday will need to be re-evaluated for wind
advisories or high wind warnings as wind gusts of 50 to 60 mph
are projected for many zones along and south of I-40. Little
precipitation is anticipated for the eastern plains of NM due to
downsloping effects.

Into Saturday night the upper trough will have shifted east of
NM and deepened into a vigorous low with a stout belt of mid
level winds lingering in its wake. This will keep many zones windy
overnight Saturday night with the potential for wind advisories or
high wind warnings lasting overnight. Otherwise, precipitation
will steadily diminish Saturday night as the dynamics aloft exit
and orographics slowly fade.

Forecast models remain in fair agreement with the arrival of the
next trough aloft in the progressive and disturbed flow. This will
keep any respite in precipitation very short-lived with new
batches of rain and high elevation snow redeveloping late Sunday
afternoon in northwestern NM. Additional batches of precipitation
will slowly increase in coverage Sunday night into Monday, but
precipitation will likely reach its prime over NM Monday night
when the trough axis crosses just north of the state. A few to several
inches of new snow accumulation would be possible while
temperatures struggle to climb back toward seasonal averages.

The pattern does turn drier into the latter part of next week with
the upper flow likely exhibiting a northwesterly or possibly even
a more meridional component.

52

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Western and central areas will continue to see light to moderate
snow showers the rest of the evening into the overnight period.
Snowfall accumulations will be significant across higher terrain
areas. Meanwhile, strong winds will persist along and east of the
central mtn chain before tapering down a bit overnight before
increasing again Sat. Overnight lows will be above normal
accompanied by thicker cloud cover central and west with good to
excellent vent rates/Rh recoveries through Sat.

Wetting precipitation will continue favoring western and central
areas Sat followed by below normal temperatures as abundant Pacific
moisture surges in from the west. Look for snow showers to favor mid
to higher elevations central and west. Minimum RH values will be
high areawide except in the east where gusty winds and near normal
temperatures progress because of tenacious downsloping winds. Look
for strong winds across central and southern portions of the state
Sat through Sun morning as mixing heights increase 7500 to 9500
ft...higher than Fri.

Models still show a brief break in precipitation on Sun as another
transitory ridge builds over the state...ushering another mid level
dry intrusion. The brief dry period will lower Min Rh values into
the low 20s across the eastern plains...with little impacts to
values elsewhere. With substantial lowering of mixing heights, winds
will be less...factors leading to deteriorating vent rates.

The short term ridge will break down late Sunday/Mon as the 3rd and
final wave comes in. Once again, wetting precipitation will develop
across central and western areas late Sunday/Mon as temperatures
remain below normal along and west of the central mtn chain. Winds
will ramp up again Mon/Tues followed by improving vent rates.

&&

.AVIATION...
18Z TAF CYCLE

32

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Weather Advisory until 11 AM MST Saturday for the following
zones... NMZ507-509-517-518-521>524.

Winter Storm Warning until 8 PM MST Saturday for the following
zones... NMZ502-506-508-510>514-516-526.

Winter Weather Advisory until 8 PM MST Saturday for the following
zones... NMZ501-503>505.

&&

$$


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