Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 050550
Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1050 PM MST Sun Dec 4 2016
06Z TAF CYCLE
Mostly clear skies and VFR conditions to continue through the
fcst period across the fcst area. Light to locally moderate winds
will be the rule most locations through most of the rest of
tonight, though winds will increase across the northern high
terrain mainly toward dawn Mon. Winds to increase areawide through
the day Mon with gusts reaching 30 to 45 kts at times from the
vicinity of Guadalupe and Torrance Counties north across the
northern NM high country. A few patches of MVFR or even IFR CIGS
may redevelop between 08Z and 16Z Mon in SE New Mexico, but
confidence remains too low to include such in any TAF sites.
.PREV DISCUSSION...330 PM MST Sun Dec 4 2016...
The recent warming trend will continue most places on Monday, and
breezy to windy conditions will develop over the mountains and
plains as an upper level trough passes north of New Mexico. In the
wake of the trough cooling temperatures are expected Tuesday
through Thursday. Many places will experience more wind Tuesday
through Wednesday as another upper level trough brings a chance
of snow mainly to the northern mountains. Cold temperatures will
be the main concern with the system with widespread lows in the
single digits and teens Wednesday night, and highs struggling to
reach freezing across northern and eastern areas on Thursday.
Temperatures will rebound Friday through the end of the week.
The cold outbreak in the wake of Monday`s trough will bring the
coldest temperatures northern and eastern parts of the forecast
area have seen this season. A 1050 mb surface high along the east
slopes of the Canadian Rockies will extend a surface ridge of high
pressure southeastward along the front range of the US Rockies.
The first wave of colder air will arrive with a back door cold
front Monday night limiting highs to the 30s across northeast
areas on Tuesday. The next upper level trough crossing CO and N NM
Wednesday will be accompanied by the main blast of cold air
causing temperatures to fall through the day, or at least the
afternoon, on Wednesday. Low temperatures Wednesday night will
vary around 10 to 20 degrees below normal across northern and
eastern areas with much of the northern mountains experiencing
readings a few to several degrees below zero. Most of the
northeast plains probably will not reach freezing on Thursday.
Most of the moisture with Wednesday`s upper level trough will pass
north of NM, but the northern mountains near the CO border could
accumulate a few inches of snow.
A weak ridge of high pressure will pass north of NM on Friday
causing temperatures to rebound, then zonal flow will develop
over our state Saturday. Look for gusty conditions to redevelop
along the central mountain chain and across the east central
plains due to a lee trough Friday, then breezier conditions across
the same area Saturday as the lee trough persists and winds aloft
The forecast for northern and central NM over the next several days
remains characterized by some intrusions of colder air and bouts of
Precipitation has not been an issue today, as the upper low has
moved just too far south, carrying any rain or snow out of the
forecast area. Temperatures have nudged upward a couple to several
degrees this afternoon, especially in the eastern plains with mostly
clear skies and light to moderate breezes. As night falls, some high
clouds will roll into the northwest and winds aloft will strengthen.
Overnight temperatures will be seasonal with good to excellent RH
By Monday the upper low will have shifted out of Old Mexico and into
central TX with stiff west northwest flow in NM. Breezy to windy
conditions will impact much of the forecast area at the surface/20ft
level with highest speeds found along and just east of the Sangre de
Cristos and central highlands where some gusts may reach 45 to 50
mph. Temperatures will have warmed close to seasonal averages in
most western to central zones, but look to exceed normal by 5 to 10
degrees in the northeast to east central plains. This will drop
afternoon RH to the 15 to 20 percent range, just slightly above
critical thresholds. Haines indices will be within the 4 to 5 range
here, so while the elements are not quite technically critical, it
certainly warrants attention. The stronger winds will assist
ventilation rates in some areas, but the more sheltered spots will
still suffer from poor dispersion.
It still looks as though a cold front will arrive Monday night into
the plains of NM, only briefly kicking up some gusty conditions and
setting temperatures back a few to several degrees. On Tuesday,
winds aloft stay strong out of the west northwest as the jet stream
bows closer to NM, and surface winds will turn more south southwest
during the daytime. Breezy to windy conditions are expected Tuesday
afternoon, mostly over the western high terrain of the forecast
area. The bowing upper level flow will lead to some cloud
development, and in the wake of Monday night`s front, temperatures
will be cooler with higher RH through Tuesday afternoon. Some meager
precipitation would be possible in the northern mountain zones, and
ventilation rates should be fair to good.
As the flow aloft continues to buckle into Wednesday, a disturbance
aloft will consequently cross the Rockies, bringing strong winds and
another cold front into the area. Precipitation still appears to be
fairly minimal in the northern zones Tuesday night and Wednesday
with the European model remaining a bit more enthusiastic than other
models. Colder temperatures will take center stage with several
northern mountain areas falling below zero Wednesday night into
Thursday morning. Daytime high temperatures will run 10 to 20
degrees below average both Wednesday and Thursday.
Thereafter the pattern will remain dry and dominated by a brisk west
northwest flow aloft.