Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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000
FXUS65 KABQ 291211
AFDABQ

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM
511 AM MST THU JAN 29 2015

.AVIATION...
12Z TAF CYCLE
CLOUD DECKS THICKENING AND LOWERING THROUGH 23Z AS MOISTURE STREAMS
OVER THE REGION. SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE WILL BUILD INTO EASTERN NM
PUSHING AND EXPECT AN EASTERLY WIND INTO THE RGV STARTING AROUND
15Z...WITH GUSTS TO AROUND 40KT MOSTLY LIKELY AFT 19Z AT KABQ.
GENERALLY VFR ALTHOUGH LCL MVFR CIGS IN -SHRASN POSSIBLY STARTING
TO OSCURE MTS AFT 20Z ESPECIALLY ALONG AND WEST OF THE CONTDVD.
CONDITIONS FURTHER DETERIORATING AFT 23Z.

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...413 AM MST THU JAN 29 2015...
.SYNOPSIS...
COOLER TEMPERATURES ARE IN STORE TODAY FOLLOWED BY MUCH WETTER
CONDITIONS TONIGHT AHEAD OF AN UPPER LEVEL STORM SYSTEM.
WIDESPREAD PRECIPITATION WILL SPREAD OVER THE LAND OF ENCHANTMENT
AND PERSIST THROUGH SATURDAY. SIGNIFICANT SNOWS ARE POSSIBLE
ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS...WHILE A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW IS LIKELY AT
LOWER ELEVATIONS. THE GREATEST IMPACTS WILL BE FELT ABOVE 7500
FEET. PRECIPITATION WILL DIMINISH LATE SATURDAY...THEN A QUIETER
STRETCH OF WEATHER IS IN STORE THROUGH THE NEXT WORK WEEK.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
MUCH UNCERTAINTY REMAINS REGARDING THE UPCOMING STORM...SPECIFICALLY
P-TYPE. ONE CERTAINTY...IT WILL BE WET.

BACK DOOR COLD FRONT HAS OOZED INTO THE EASTERN PLAINS EARLY THIS
MORNING AND THE EAST WIND IN THE RGV SHOULD KICK IN WITHIN THE NEXT
FEW HOURS. MODELS SEEM TO WANT TO LOWER DEWPOINTS BEHIND THE FRONT
LATER THIS AFTERNOON...THOUGH AT FIRST GLANCE...LOOKING
UPSTREAM...DEWPOINTS ARE NOT MUCH LOWER THAN THEY CURRENTLY ARE...AT
LEAST UNTIL YOU GET TO NORTH DAKOTA. THAT SAID...LOOKING OVER A 6
HOUR PERIOD OR SO...THERE DOES SEEM TO BE A DRYING TREND UPSTREAM
BEHIND THE FRONT. THIS IS IMPORTANT AS TEMPERATURES ARE GOING TO BE
VERY TRICKY NEAR THE SURFACE. IF DRIER AIR WORKS ITS WAY IN TO THE
EAST...AND THRU THE GAPS OF THE CENTRAL MTN CHAIN...THE POTENTIAL
INCREASES FOR MORE SNOW AS WET-BULB TEMPERATURE AT THE SURFACE WOULD
MORE LIKELY BE BELOW FREEZING. SOMEWHAT SKEPTICAL DEWPOINTS WILL
FALL AS LOW AS MODELS SUGGESTS EITHER BY MIXING OR
ADVECTION...ESPECIALLY DUE TO THE ABUNDANT MOISTURE THAT WILL BE
MOVING IN FROM THE SOUTH. TPW PRODUCTS SHOW PWATS GREATER THAN 200
PERCENT OF NORMAL UPSTREAM. NAM FORECAST SOUNDING ARE GENERALLY A
LITTLE COOLER THAN THE GFS...AND PERHAPS THE HIGHER RESOLUTION MODEL
IS ONTO THE DRIER DEWPOINTS. WITHOUT THE DRIER AIR...THE CONCERN
IS SURFACE SATURATION WOULD TAKE PLACE AT A TEMPERATURE ABOVE
FREEZING.

ALOFT...700 MB TEMPS ARE NOT THAT COLD. AROUND 0 OR +1 ACROSS THE
SOUTHWEST ZONES...AND -4 OR -5C ACROSS THE NE THIS AFTN...AND THESE
TEMPS GENERALLY STAY THE SAME OR WARM THROUGH FRIDAY. HOWEVER...THE
SATURATED SOUNDINGS APPEAR AS THOUGH IT WILL STAY BELOW FREEZING
THROUGH THE COLUMN...IT WILL AGAIN...JUST DEPEND ON THE SURFACE
TEMPERATURE. WITH THIS SAID...ANY SNOW THAT FALLS WILL BE A
HEAVY...WET SNOW....WITH LOW SNOW TO LIQUID RATIOS. THIS MAY LIMIT
THE POTENTIAL IMPACTS...ESPECIALLY AT ELEVATIONS BELOW 6000
FEET...UNLESS SNOW RATES BECOME HIGH. ALSO OF CONCERN...ARE THE HIGH
TEMPERATURES THAT OCCURRED YESTERDAY. GROUND TEMPERATURES WILL BE
RATHER WARM...THUS IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME FOR SNOW TO ACCUMULATE ON
ROADS. THOUGH AGAIN...RATES MAY MAKE UP FOR THAT.

WITH SOME HESITATION...WILL ADD MUCH OF THE EASTERN PLAINS INTO THE
WINTER STORM WATCH. MOST CONCERNED ABOUT THE CAPROCK...THOUGH A BAND
COULD SET UP JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE. PLUS...THERE WILL BE LONG DURATION
LOW LEVEL UPSLOPE FLOW BELOW UPPER LEVEL DIVERGENCE. IN OTHER
WORDS...LOTS OF LIFT TO WORK WITH. SURFACE TEMPERATURE IS THE MAIN
CONCERN...AND SOME AREAS MAY RECEIVE QUITE A BIT OF SNOW AND OTHER
MAY RECEIVE LITTLE TO NONE. LATER SHIFTS CAN TWEAK IT AND SOME AREAS
MAY ONLY BE UPGRADED TO AN ADVISORY.

THIS SYSTEM MAY NOT BE WELL BEHAVED AT ALL...AS MODELS ARE ALREADY
SHOWING SIGNS THAT THE UPPER LOW...ONCE NEAR THE CA/AZ BORDER...WILL
QUICKLY DROP SOUTH...RATHER THAN CONTINUE TO SHIFT EAST AS MODELS
WERE SUGGESTING EARLIER. THIS LOOKS TO BE IN RESPONSE TO THE
NORTHERN STREAM TROUGH QUICKLY DIVING DOWN AS WELL AS A RIDGE
BUILDING NORTH OF THE LOW. THEREFORE...WATCH FOR CHANGES OVER THE
NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.

AS HAS BEEN ADVERTISED...PRECIP WILL LINGER THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT
BEFORE DISSIPATING AS THE ENERGY DIVES SOUTH AND/OR EAST OF THE
AREA. A DRY FORECAST WITH A SLOW WARMING TREND REMAINS FOR THE NEXT
WORK WEEK UNDER NORTHWESTERLY FLOW ALOFT.

34

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
HIGH TEMPERATURES ON TRACK TO FALL BELOW AVERAGE TODAY AND FRIDAY
THEN REMAIN THAT WAY THROUGH NEXT MONDAY...WHILE OVERNIGHT LOWS
CONTINUE TO BE ABOVE NORMAL.

A WIDESPREAD PRECIPITATION EVENT STILL APPEARS LIKELY TONIGHT
THROUGH SATURDAY...ALTHOUGH THERE IS A LACK OF CONFIDENCE IN THE
DETAILS REGARDING PRECIPITATION TYPES AND AMOUNTS.

MODELS REMAIN INSISTENT ON PUSHING SOME DRIER LOW LEVEL AIR INTO NE
NM BEHIND THE FRONTAL BOUNDARY. THIS APPEARS TO BE LOCATED OFF THE
SURFACE...AS UPSTREAM OBS DON/T SEEM TO BE AS DRY AS WHAT THE MODELS
FORECAST FOR DEW POINTS ESPECIALLY LATER TODAY AND TONIGHT. SUPPOSE SOME
OF THIS DRIER AIR COULD MIX DOWN BUT AT THE SAME TIME...MOISTURE
WILL BE STREAMING OVER THE REGION..SO DID NOT GO AS DRY FOR THE
EASTERN PLAINS IN GENERAL TODAY AND INTO FRIDAY.

THE UPPER LOW MAY ALSO NOT GET AS CLOSE TO NEW MEXICO...INSTEAD
DROPPING FARTHER SOUTH SOONER. ONE RESULT IS THE LENGTHY PERIOD OF
DEEP EASTERLY WINDS OVER THE FORECAST AREA IS NOT AS SUSTAINED.
HOWEVER...AN EASTERLY WIND INTO THE RGV REMAINS SCHEDULED TO ARRIVE
LATER THIS MORNING AND MAY PEAK LATER THIS AFTERNOON THROUGH TONIGHT
BEFORE TAPERING OFF FRIDAY.

MUCH COLDER AIR SINKS INTO THE EAST AND CENTRAL SATURDAY
NIGHT/SUNDAY...BUT BY THEN THE UPPER LOW WILL BE SUPPRESSED WELL TO
OUR SOUTH BY THE BUILDING RIDGE. PRECIPITATION SHOULD TAPER OFF
SUNDAY FROM NORTHWEST TO SOUTHEAST. GENERALLY DRY WEATHER WITH
NORTHWEST FLOW ALOFT FORECAST FOR EARLY NEXT WEEK WITH A WARMING TREND.

VENT RATES IMPROVE TODAY...FROM THE NORTHWEST OVER MUCH OF THE
CENTRAL AND EAST CENTRAL. POOR RATES WILL BE WIDESPREAD FRIDAY
THROUGH SUNDAY...WITH SOME IMPROVEMENT...MAINLY EAST...NEXT MONDAY
AND TUESDAY.

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
WINTER STORM WATCH FROM FRIDAY MORNING THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON
FOR THE FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ507-510>519-522>525-527>537-539-540.

WINTER STORM WATCH FROM LATE TONIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY AFTERNOON FOR
THE FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ502-504-506-508-521-526.

&&

$$







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