Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 150017 CCA
Area Forecast Discussion...CORRECTED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
517 PM MST Sat Jan 14 2017
00Z TAF CYCLE
Waves of precipitation are expected overnight into Sunday which
will considerably impact aviation for the next 24 hrs. Primary
precip type across the high terrain will be SN with mt
obscurations likely. Widespread IFR/MVFR cigs/vsbys across eastern
NM will persist through Sunday. Cigs/vsbys will lower west of the
central mt chain as the precip moves in. Rain should be the
primary p-type at lower elevations west of the central mt chain.
Temps are loitering just above the freezing mark across eastern NM
as of this writing, but there is concern that temps will drop at
or below freezing overnight across the northeast which may result
in areas of FZRA. That said, given the strength of the warm nose
less than 2kft AGL, the precip may actually drag some of the
warmer temps downward, keeping sfc temps just above freezing for
the most part. Certainly a tricky forecast for the northeast
plains. In addition to the mix of precip types, thunder is not out
of the question for much of western and central NM, mainly along
and south of I-40.
.PREV DISCUSSION...336 PM MST Sat Jan 14 2017...
A moisture laden upper level low pressure system will track
northeastward across southern and eastern New Mexico from the Baja
Peninsula tonight through Sunday, before lifting farther northeastward
through the Texas and Oklahoma panhandles Sunday night. A shallow
layer cold low level air over northeast New Mexico will result in
ice accumulation due to freezing rain tonight into Sunday morning.
Otherwise, 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
exits northeastward. Sunday night into Monday, wrap around
moisture from the exiting upper low and instability associated
with a lingering upper level trough should conjoin with the colder
low level air invading from the north to produce a few inches of
snow accumulation at lower elevations of the north, and across the
continental divide region of the west. The mountains will be the
big winners with several inches of snow, except for well over a
foot of snow above 9000 feet tonight through Monday. Elsewhere
across lower elevations, widespread wetting rain is expected to
continue tonight and Sunday, before precipitation decreases in
coverage and intensity Sunday night into Monday. Dry weather will
return by Tuesday with warming temperatures through Wednesday as a
ridge of high pressure crosses.
Ice accumulation could approach a tenth of an inch across the
northeast plains tonight into Sunday morning. Lighter amounts are
expected as far west as Las Vegas and Clines Corners. A brief
period of warm air advection on Sunday afternoon should strong
enough to bring the freezing precipitation to an end across the
northeast, but there is a risk that the freezing rain may linger
into the afternoon. The cold front Sunday night will bring a
thicker layer of cold air with snow being the main mode of
precipitation across the northeast into Monday.
Considered issuing a Winter Weather Advisory for snow in the Taos
zone tonight, which should be high enough for rain to change over
to snow by late evening. However, temperatures there aren`t
expected to get too cold until Sunday night. There may be an inch
or two of snow accumulation in Taos tonight into Sunday morning,
but the impact on roads is not expected to be very high. Later
shifts will consider the need for snow highlights across the Taos
zone, northeast highlands and northeast plains Sunday night.
Otherwise, the current set of Winter Storm Warnings for the
mountain zones look on track, though we may lower amounts a bit in
the Chuska Mountains as most of the precip should pass south and
east of there.
Unsettled weather will return during the end of the coming work
week. A colder upper level trough will cross from the west with
rain and snow across central and western areas late Thursday
through Friday. Another cold system may then bring more widespread
precipitation during the coming weekend.
Low clouds, fog, drizzle, and a few thunderstorms continue over
eastern NM this afternoon. Coverage will increase over western
and central NM this evening and become widespread, locally heavy
overnight. Meanwhile, heavy snow will impact areas above 9,000`
through Sunday morning. Colder air arriving with the main low
center will drop snow levels toward 6,500` through Sunday night.
By Monday, most areas will see the transition to snow along and
north of I-40. Widespread precip amounts of 1-2" are expected
by Monday afternoon, with between 1 and 2 ft of snow in the high
terrain. Ventilation as expected will remain poor all areas.
Tuesday will feature a transition day as a secondary upper wave
exits southeast into TX. Light winds and cool temperatures will
still favor very high humidities and widespread poor ventilation.
A warm up will develop Wednesday as stronger downslope flow impacts
all of eastern NM. Temps will warm near to slightly above normal.
Despite stronger winds and drier air, very moist soils will favor
higher minimum humidity.
A series of storms is still expected to cross NM late week through
the weekend with much colder air, wind, and widespread snow for at
least central and western areas. No change in the active weather
pattern appears on the horizon through the following week.
Winter Storm Warning until 4 PM MST Monday for the following
Freezing Rain Advisory until 11 AM MST Sunday for the following