Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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000
FXUS65 KABQ 232325 AAA
AFDABQ

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM
525 PM MDT MON MAR 23 2015

.AVIATION...
00Z TAF CYCLE
VFR CONDITIONS EXPECTED THRU TAF PERIOD. HIGH CLOUDS OVER SE NM
WILL EXIT THIS EVENING...WITH MORE HIGH CLOUDS MOVING IN FROM THE
W TUESDAY. WINDS WILL WEAKEN OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF HOURS AND
GENERALLY REMAIN LIGHT OVERNIGHT...THOUGH MTN TOP WINDS WILL
CONTINUE TO GUST UP TO 40 KTS. ONE AREA OF CONCERN TONIGHT IS THE
PEAKS AND ADJACENT EASTERN HIGHLANDS OF THE SANGRES DE CRISTO MTS
AFTER 03Z THRU 12Z. MTN WAVES MAY DEVELOP TO THE LEE OF THE
SANGRES...DROPPING STRONG BUT BRIEF GUSTS TO THE SURFACE AND
IMPACT SITES LIKE KLVS...KRTN...AND KCQC. AFTERNOON WINDS TUESDAY
WILL BE BREEZY BUT MUCH WEAKER THAN TODAY.

24

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...322 PM MDT MON MAR 23 2015...
.SYNOPSIS...
STRONGER WEST WINDS ALOFT ARE MIXING DOWN TO THE SURFACE ACROSS
MUCH OF NEW MEXICO THIS AFTERNOON...AND THE ABOVE NORMAL
TEMPERATURE REGIME IS PERSISTING. IN ADDITION...DRY CONDITIONS ARE
IN PLACE...AND SOME CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER HAS BEEN OBSERVED THIS
AFTERNOON ACROSS PORTIONS OF EASTERN NEW MEXICO DUE TO THE STRONG
WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY. STRONG WINDS WILL CONTINUE OVER RIDGE TOPS
OVERNIGHT WITH SOME BREEZY TO WINDY CONDITIONS LINGERING OVER
PARTS OF NORTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO ON TUESDAY. TEMPERATURES WILL ALSO
FALL JUST A FEW DEGREES TUESDAY...BUT WILL REMAIN ABOVE AVERAGE. ON
WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY...AN UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE AND ATTENDANT
COLD FRONT WILL SPILL INTO THE STATE...DROPPING TEMPERATURES BACK
BELOW AVERAGE IN THE CENTRAL TO EASTERN PARTS OF THE STATE WHILE
ALSO SPREADING SOME RAIN AND HIGH ELEVATION SNOW SHOWERS OVER THE
AREA.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
A BAND OF HIGH CIRRUS CLOUDS THAT WAS TAPPED FROM THE SUBTROPICS
IS SLOWLY SHIFTING EASTWARD AND ALSO FADING WITH A DRY SLOT MOVING
IN BEHIND IT. WINDS ALOFT WERE LIKELY NOT AS STRONG AS MODELS WERE
SUGGESTING 24-48 HOURS AGO...AND TO SOME DEGREE THE CIRRUS CLOUDS
MAY ALSO HAVE STUNTED DEEP VERTICAL MIXING. CONSEQUENTLY THE
SURFACE WIND SPEEDS HAVE NOT BEEN QUITE AS HIGH...BUT STILL IN THE
BREEZY TO LOW-END WINDY CATEGORY. DEWPOINTS DID REBOUND SOME
OVERNIGHT...BUT ARE FALLING BACK THIS AFTERNOON...ESPECIALLY IN
THE NORTHEAST HIGHLANDS. INTO TONIGHT...THE RIDGE TOPS AND PEAKS
OF THE SANGRES WILL LIKELY BE INTERMITTENTLY GUSTY...AS WILL THE
I-25 CORRIDOR JUST DOWNWIND. A SHORT WAVE TROUGH WILL BE
TRAVERSING COLORADO...TIGHTENING THE UPPER LEVEL GRADIENT AND
WESTERLY FLOW...LIKELY INDUCING SOME MOUNTAIN WAVE ACTIVITY
THROUGH EARLY TUESDAY MORNING.

THE SHORT WAVE SHOULD TREK EAST INTO THE PLAINS OF THE NATION BY
MID DAY TUESDAY...AND WINDS ALOFT WILL GRADUALLY SUBSIDE IN ITS
WAKE. STILL...SOME BREEZY TO LOW-END WINDY CONDITIONS WILL BE
OBSERVED ALONG AND EAST OF THE NORTHERN AND CENTRAL
MOUNTAINS/HIGHLANDS INTO TUESDAY AFTERNOON. A WEAK FRONT WILL ALSO
ENTER THE NORTHERN ZONES OF NM...BUT WILL BE BRIEF LIVED WITH
WINDS QUICKLY BACKING SOUTHWESTERLY BY LATE AFTERNOON. TEMPERATURE
DROPS WILL BE SUBTLE ON TUESDAY...WITH ALL LOCATIONS STILL
EXCEEDING LATE MARCH AVERAGES.

A MORE DYNAMIC SHIFT TO THE WEATHER PATTERN WILL THEN UNFOLD INTO
WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY WITH A TROUGH DIVING SOUTHEASTWARD INTO NM.
SOME ENERGY AND PRESSURE FALLS COULD STILL SEPARATE AND CLOSE OFF
INTO A LOW OF ITS OWN OVER THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA DURING THIS TIME
FRAME...BUT FORECAST MODELS ARE STILL STRUGGLING TO RESOLVE WHEN
AND HOW FAR WEST THIS FEATURE WILL COME TOGETHER. LOOK FOR A
COLDER AIR MASS TO ALSO SPILL INTO NORTHEASTERN NM BY LATE
WEDNESDAY...EVENTUALLY SEEPING INTO THE CENTRAL PORTIONS OF THE
STATE BY WEDNESDAY NIGHT. THE LEADING EDGE OF THIS FRONT WILL BE
MARKED BY GUSTY WINDS...SOME OF WHICH WILL ACCELERATE THROUGH THE
GAPS/CANYONS WITHIN THE CENTRAL MOUNTAIN CHAIN. THIS COLD AIR
INVASION WILL LIKELY BE THE MORE IMPACTFUL ELEMENT OF THE WEATHER
CHANGE WITH ONLY LIGHT RAIN AND HIGH ELEVATION SNOW EXPECTED AT
DURING THE WEDNESDAY THROUGH EARLY THURSDAY TIME FRAME. SNOW
ACCUMULATIONS WOULD GENERALLY FAVOR ELEVATIONS ABOVE 8500 FEET
WHERE 1 TO 3 INCHES WOULD SEEM REASONABLE.

PRECIPITATION WILL EXIT NM BY LATE THURSDAY AFTERNOON ONCE THE
INITIAL UPPER TROUGH DEPARTS. BY FRIDAY THE TEMPERATURES WILL
BEGIN TO REBOUND...CLIMBING BACK WITHIN A FEW DEGREES OF AVERAGE.
THE DETAILS OF THE EXTENDED FORECAST WILL THEN HANG IN THE FATE OF
THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA CUT-OFF LOW AND A HIGH AMPLITUDE RIDGE OF
HIGH PRESSURE SWELLING NORTH OF IT. ALL IN ALL...IT APPEARS MOSTLY
DRY THROUGH THE WEEKEND WITH TEMPERATURES RISING ABOVE NORMAL.

52

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
...AT LEAST SPOTTY CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL EXIST
THIS AFTERNOON AND POTENTIALLY TUESDAY...

A BROAD BAND OF HIGH CLOUDS ASSOCIATED WITH THE UPPER JET HAS BEEN
SLOW TO CLEAR...AT LEAST OVER PORTIONS OF THE CENTRAL AND EAST.
WINDS SO FAR HAVE BEEN SOMEWHAT ERRATIC BUT GUSTY...POSSIBLY DUE TO
AREAS OF THICKER CIRRUS WHICH APPEARS TO HAVE LIMITED...SO FAR...
AFTERNOON HIGHS FROM WARMING TO THEIR POTENTIAL OVER THE WARNED
AREA...AND PREVENTING LOW LEVEL MOISTURE FROM MIXING OUT. THAT
SAID...SOME SPOTTY LOCALES ARE CLOSE TO...OR HITTING CRITERIA...AND
AREAL COVERAGE WILL LIKELY INCREASE LATE IN THE AFTERNOON.

OVERNIGHT RECOVERIES WILL ONLY BE FAIR OVER MUCH OF THE LOWER
ELEVATIONS OF THE CENTRAL AND EAST TONIGHT. RIDGE TOP WINDS
ESPECIALLY ACROSS THE SANGRE DE CRISTO MTS AND ADJACENT HIGHLANDS
WILL INCREASE LATER TONIGHT AND EARLY TUESDAY...AS A SHORT WAVE
PASSES THROUGH COLORADO. THESE WINDS SHOULD DIMINISH AS THE DAY
PROGRESSES TUESDAY. THIS PUTS TIMING OF STRONGEST WINDS AND MIN
HUMIDITIES AT ODDS WITH EACH OTHER ON TUESDAY. MOST OF EASTERN NM
WILL SEE MIN RH NEAR 10 PERCENT...ALTHOUGH IF GFS IS RIGHT AS THE
DRIEST MODEL...MIN RH VALUES COULD BE WIDESPREAD SINGLE DIGITS.
THEREFORE WILL HOLD OFF ON UPGRADING THE FIRE WEATHER WATCH.
VENTILATION TUESDAY WILL BE GOOD TO EXCELLENT FORECAST AREA WIDE.

AREAS OF ONLY FAIR OVERNIGHT RECOVERIES RETURN TO THE CENTRAL AND
EAST TUESDAY NIGHT. A STRONGER SHORT WAVE AND COLD FRONT PLUNGE INTO
NEW MEXICO WEDNESDAY AND WEDNESDAY NIGHT. VENT RATES WEDNESDAY WILL
BE GOOD TO EXCELLENT.  CHANCES FOR SHOWERS AND ISOLATED
THUNDERSTORMS WILL SPREAD OVER THE NORTH CENTRAL AND NORTHEAST
WEDNESDAY...WITH ISOLATED TO SCATTERED RAIN AND SNOW SHOWERS MAINLY
FROM THE CENTRAL MT CHAIN EASTWARD WEDNESDAY NIGHT. STRONG AND GUSTY
NORTH WINDS WILL ACCOMPANY THE FRONT DOWN THE PLAINS WEDNESDAY
NIGHT...AND MAY BREAK INTO THE RGV. CONSEQUENTLY...RH RECOVERIES
WILL IMPROVE WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

HIGHS THURSDAY WILL BE COOLER...AND AROUND 5 TO 15 DEGREES BELOW
AVERAGE. A FEW SHOWERS MAY LINGER ALONG THE CENTRAL MT CHAIN. VENT
RATES WILL BE MOSTLY GOOD...BUT SPOTTY FAIR RATES WILL EXIST CENTRAL
AND WEST. NORTHWEST FLOW ALOFT COULD CONTINUE TO BRING A DISTURBANCE
AND ASSOCIATED WIND SHIFT TO THE EAST TO CLOSE OUT THE WORK
WEEK...ALTHOUGH IT LOOKS MOSTLY DRY. SATURDAY LOOKS DRY AND WARMER
BUT THEREAFTER MODELS CONTINUE TO HAVE ISSUES WITH THE STRENGTH AND
TIMING OF SYSTEMS ATTEMPTING TO BREAK THROUGH THE UPPER RIDGE.

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
RED FLAG WARNING UNTIL 8 PM MDT THIS EVENING FOR THE FOLLOWING
ZONES...NMZ104-108.

FIRE WEATHER WATCH FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH TUESDAY EVENING
FOR THE FOLLOWING ZONES...NMZ103-104-107-108.

&&

$$






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