Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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000
FXUS65 KABQ 290404 AAB
AFDABQ

AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION...UPDATED
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM
904 PM MST WED JAN 28 2015

.UPDATE...
UPDATED FORECAST TO TWEAK QPF AND SNOW AMOUNTS FOR THE UPCOMING
PRECIPITATION EVENT BASED ON LATEST WPC GUIDANCE AND ANOMALOUSLY
HIGH MODEL PWAT FORECAST. THE END RESULT WAS MORE QPF AND GREATER
SNOWFALL AMOUNTS...MAINLY ACROSS THE PEAKS AND HIGHLANDS. LATEST
MODEL FORECAST SOUNDINGS SHOW SNOW AS THE PREDOMINANT PRECIP TYPE
HERE AT KABQ LATE THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH SATURDAY...BUT SNOW LEVEL
WILL BE CLOSE TO THE THE MEAN ELEVATION OF THE ALBUQUERQUE METRO
AND MELTING IS LIKELY. AT THIS TIME...THE HEAVY SNOW THREAT IN THE
MIDDLE RIO GRANDE VALLEY APPEARS LIMITED TO HIGH UP ON THE WEST
MESA AND ALONG THE FOOTHILLS. OTHERWISE...FORECAST ON TRACK.

11

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...547 PM MST WED JAN 28 2015...
.AVIATION...
00Z TAF CYCLE
VFR CONDITIONS TO CONTINUE THROUGH AT LEAST 19Z THU...THOUGH SOME
CLOUD DECK WILL THICKEN AND LOWER TO A SIGNIFICANT DEGREE...ESPEC
SW THREE QUARTERS OF FCST AREA. AFTER ROUGHLY 19Z OR SO CIGS MAY
LOWER TO MVFR CATEGORY IN SPOTS AT LEAST...PARTICULARLY SOUTH OF A
LINE FROM GUP TO ROW. SOME HIGHER MT OBSCURATIONS MAY DEVELOP AS
WELL NEAR AND SOUTH OF THIS LINE LATE IN THE DAY THU. IN ADDITION
A BACKDOOR COLD FRONT WILL SURGE SOUTH AND WEST ACROSS THE PLAINS
BEGINNING AFTER ABOUT 04Z THIS EVENING AND PUSH THROUGH THE GAPS
OF THE CENTRAL MTS BETWEEN 12Z AND 17Z THU. SOME OF THE STRONGER
GAP WINDS MAY OCCUR NEAR ABQ WITH GUSTS TO AT LEAST 30-35KTS
MIDDAY THROUGH END OF FCST PERIOD 00Z FRI.

43

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...246 PM MST WED JAN 28 2015...
.SYNOPSIS...
MUCH COOLER TEMPERATURES DUE IN FOR EASTERN NEW MEXICO DURING THE
DAY ON THURSDAY...WITH EASTERLY WINDS BLASTING THROUGH GAPS INTO
THE RIO GRANDE VALLEY DURING THE AFTERNOON. EASTERLY BREEZES WILL
REMAIN IN PLAY THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT...AS A MAJOR WEST COAST
STORM SYSTEM DRIFTS INTO THE SOUTHWESTERN U.S. FROM THURSDAY NIGHT
ONWARD INTO MUCH OF THE FOLLOWING WEEKEND. WIDESPREAD DAYTIME RAIN
AND HIGH COUNTRY SNOW WILL CHANGE OVER TO AREAS OF SNOW AND
FREEZING RAIN THROUGH THE OVERNIGHTS THROUGH THE WEEKEND...WITH
SIGNIFICANT NEW MEXICO IMPACT OVER SEVERAL DAYS. WITH ANOTHER COLD
FRONT BLASTING INTO NEW MEXICO SATURDAY NIGHT INTO SUNDAY...RAIN
AND SNOW COVERAGE WILL BE FORCED SOUTHWARD...ALLOWING NORTHERN AND
CENTRAL PORTIONS OF THE STATE TO CLEAR OUT AS THE WEEKEND WRAPS UP.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
CURRENTLY...BREEZY ZONAL FLOW ALOFT ACROSS NEW MEXICO THIS
AFTERNOON...AS QUICK HITTER DISTURBANCE SLIPS RAPIDLY ACROSS THE
EASTERN THIRD OF THE STATE AND PRODUCES SOME GUSTY WINDS ON THE
WAY THROUGH. SURFACE PRESSURE GENERALLY PROVIDING A WEAK
CONFIGURATION BETWEEN SURFACE DOME NEAR THE FOUR CORNERS
REGION...AND THE SURFACE LOW AND ASSOCIATED TROUGH EXTENDING FROM
EASTERN NEBRASKA SOUTH AND WEST ACROSS THE TEXAS PANHANDLE AND
INTO THE WEST TEXAS BIG BEND COUNTRY.

MODELS...IN GOOD AGREEMENT THROUGH THE WEEKEND AND ALL THE WAY OUT
TO FRIDAY OF THE FOLLOWING WORK WEEK. TROUGH EXTENDING ALONG THE
EASTERN PACIFIC COASTAL WATERS FROM NORTHERN CALIFORNIA TO WELL
OFFSHORE THE MEXICAN BAJA CALIFORNIA COASTLINE WILL DRIFT TO A
LINE FROM THE IDAHO PANHANDLE TO SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COASTAL
WATERS AND NEAR NORTHERN BAJA CALIFORNIA BY THURSDAY EVENING.
PATTERN WILL PUT SUBSTANTIAL SOUTHWEST FLOW OVER NEW MEXICO...WITH
SIZABLE MOISTURE AND DYNAMIC TAP MOVING INTO THE STATE. TROUGH
WILL EXPAND RAPIDLY OVER THE SOUTHWESTERN U.S. THROUGH SATURDAY
MORNING...WITH CLOSED LOW DEEPENING TO THE BOTTOM OVER THE YUMA
AREA OF WESTERN ARIZONA...AND NEW MEXICO REMAINING IN A BROAD
SOUTHWEST FLOW WHICH KEEPS MOVING MOISTURE AND STORM DYNAMICS INTO
THE STATE. AS STORM CORE WEAKENS MODESTLY...STORM CENTER WILL
DRIFT SOUTH WITH TROUGH FLOPPING POSITIVE FROM CENTER OVER THE
CENTRAL GULF OF CALIFORNIA...AND TROUGH AXIS POINTING NORTHEAST
ACROSS NEW MEXICO BY EARLY SUNDAY MORNING. THROUGH THE DAY ON
SUNDAY...TROUGH AXIS WILL SIMPLY TRANSLATE SOUTHWARD...AS RIDGE
FROM CORE OVER THE TROPICAL EAST PACIFIC EXTENDS EASTWARD ACROSS
NEW MEXICO TO WIND UP THE WEEKEND. WITH TROUGH CLOSED LOW DRIFTING
SLOWLY ACROSS NORTH CENTRAL NEW MEXICO BY EARLY TUESDAY...A MORE
STANDARDIZED NORTHWEST FLOW ALOFT WILL WORK INTO NEW MEXICO NORTH
OF THE STORM LYING TO THE SOUTH. STORM WILL SHEAR ACROSS THE TEXAS
LOWER RIO GRANDE VALLEY AND WESTERN GULF OF MEXICO BY
MIDWEEK...ALLOWING CONTINUED NORTHWEST FLOW ACROSS NEW MEXICO.
TROUGH ALOFT WILL BUCKLE OVER THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS BY EARLY
THURSDAY AND DROP COLD PUSH INTO EASTERN NEW MEXICO BY THE LAST
HALF OF THE WORK WEEK...AS UPSTREAM RIDGE FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
TO NORTHWEST CANADA WILL MAKE VERY SLOW EASTWARD PROGRESS WHILE
REMAINING OVER THE WESTERN BORDER OF THE U.S. HEADING INTO THE
WEEKEND.

OVERNIGHT...COOLER CONDITIONS IN GENERAL WITH 20S AND 30S IN FOR
LOWS. TEMPERATURES OVER THE EASTERN THIRD OF THE STATE WILL RUN IN
THE MID 30S...ABOVE FREEZING...WITH DIPS BELOW FREEZING MOST
EVERYPLACE ELSE. GENERALLY NORTHWEST WINDS WILL SHIFT EAST AND
NORTH ACROSS THE EASTERN HALF OF THE STATE...AND BEGIN SOME
EASTERLY BREEZES THROUGH CENTRAL MOUNTAIN CHAIN GAPS BY EARLY
THURSDAY MORNING.

FOR THURSDAY...FLOW ALOFT GRADUALLY BACKING TO SOUTHWEST THROUGH
THE DAY IN ADVANCE OF APPROACHING TROPICAL PACIFIC STORM
SYSTEM...BUT SURFACE HIGH PRESSURE OVER WESTERN KANSAS WILL ANCHOR
BROAD INTRUSION OF MUCH COLDER TEMPERATURES ACROSS MUCH OF NEW
MEXICO. FRONT WILL EXTEND FROM ROUGHLY GALLUP TO THE TEXAS BIG
BEND COUNTRY...AND LEAVE MUCH OF EASTERN NEW MEXICO 2 TO 8 DEGREES
BELOW LATE JANUARY NORMAL TEMPERATURES THURSDAY AFTERNOON...WITH
SOMEWHAT WARMER CONDITIONS REMAINING IN THE WEST. FIRST PUSH OF
TROPICAL STORM FLOW WILL ARRIVE OVER THE SOUTHWEST QUADRANT OF NEW
MEXICO BY THURSDAY AFTERNOON...WITH RAPID EXPANSION ACROSS THE
CENTRAL AND SOUTH CENTRAL MOUNTAIN SPOTS BY EARLY THURSDAY
EVENING. EVENING STARTS WILL EXPAND RAPIDLY THROUGH THURSDAY
NIGHT...WITH RAIN CHANGING OVER TO SNOW OVER THE SOUTH AND
WEST...AND SNOWFALL PROGRESS MOVING RAPIDLY NORTH AND EAST THROUGH
THURSDAY NIGHT WITH OVERNIGHT ACCUMULATIONS. EASTERLY BREEZES WILL
REMAIN IN PLAY FROM THE CENTRAL MOUNTAIN CHAIN WESTWARD TO THE
ARIZONA LINE AS SNOWFALL CONTINUES THROUGH THURSDAY NIGHT.

FOR FRIDAY...STORM CORE MOVING TO THE IMPERIAL COUNTY DESERTS OF
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA..AND ADJACENT NORTHERN PORTIONS OF BAJA
CALIFORNIA AND THE ADJACENT GULF OF CALIFORNIA. DIFFLUENT
SOUTHWEST FLOW WITH SIGNIFICANT MOISTURE AND DYNAMICS WILL REMAIN
SOLIDLY OVER NEW MEXICO...AS EASTBOUND COLD FRONT WILL LIE FROM
SOUTHERN ARIZONA ACROSS SOUTHERN NEW MEXICO TO THE TEXAS BIG BEND
COUNTRY...AND SURFACE LOW PARKS OVER SOUTHWEST ARIZONA.
TEMPERATURES 10 TO 20 DEGREES BELOW LATE JANUARY NORMALS OVER THE
EAST...AND RUNNING CLOSER TO THE SINGLE DIGITS BELOW NORMAL OVER
THE WEST. TOTAL WINTER WEATHER EVENT UNDERWAY FOR ALL BUT THE
EXTREME EAST AND NORTHEAST...AND SHOWERS WILL RUN WITH SOMEWHAT
REDUCED COVERAGE IN THOSE AREAS AS EVERYPLACE ALL GETS A
SIGNIFICANT DOUSING OF RAIN AND SNOW. WIDESPREAD SNOW FRIDAY WILL
CONTINUE AND EXPAND IN AREA THROUGH FRIDAY NIGHT...WITH GRADUAL
REDUCTION IN SURFACE WIND SPEEDS EASING THE BLOWING SNOW THREAT
THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING.

FOR SATURDAY...STORM CORE SHIFTING TO THE NORTHERN GULF OF
CALIFORNIA...AS SURFACE LOW SHIFTS TO THE PHOENIX AREA IN CENTRAL
ARIZONA. WIDESPREAD RAIN AND SNOW ALL DAY SATURDAY...BEFORE
CONDITIONS START TO REDUCE VERY GRADUALLY IN INTENSITY HEADING
INTO SATURDAY NIGHT. LITTLE CHANGE TO TEMPERATURES...WITH DOUBLE
DIGITS BELOW NORMAL OVER THE EAST...AND MOSTLY SINGLE DIGITS ON
THE COLD SIDE OVER THE WEST. WIND SPEEDS GENERALLY LIGHT THROUGH
THE DAY...AS STALLED COLD FRONT BECOMES WEAK.

OUTLOOK...SUNDAY THROUGH TUESDAY...STORM CORE SHIFTING TO SOUTHERN
SONORA AND SOUTHERN PORTIONS OF THE GULF OF CALIFORNIA IN
NORTHWEST MEXICO ON SUNDAY...AS NEXT COLD BLAST OUT OF THE CENTRAL
PLAINS STATES DOMINATES EASTERN NEW MEXICO. BREEZES CONTINUING
MONDAY...AS SURFACE LOW DEEPENS RAPIDLY OVER EASTERN COLORADO AND
KEEPS TIGHT SURFACE PRESSURE GRADIENT OVER NEW MEXICO. SYSTEM
ALOFT WILL PUSH RIDGE FORM THE EAST PACIFIC OCEAN ACROSS ALL OF
NEW MEXICO ON MONDAY...WITH FLOW ALOFT SHIFTING TO THE NORTHWEST
ON TUESDAY...AND SURFACE WINDS PICKING UP NORTHWEST DIRECTIONS A
SURFACE TROUGH FROM SOUTHERN WYOMING TO SOUTHERN TEXAS PANHANDLE
DOMINATES THE SURFACE PRESSURE CHARTS. VERY MODEST WARNING TREND
WILL BRING MOST SPOTS TO WITHIN A FEW DEGREES EITHER WAY OF EARLY
FEBRUARY NORMALS OVER NEW MEXICO BY TUESDAY.

SHY

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
TURBULENT FLOW ALONG AND EAST OF THE SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS
TODAY HAS ALLOWED FOR BRIEF AND LOCALIZED DROPS IN
DEW POINTS...NOTABLY AT THE TUCUMCARI AIRPORT WHERE THE 20Z OB HIT 3
DEGREES. THESE CONDITIONS SHOULD EASE THIS EVENING AS A DISTURBANCE
OVER CENTRAL COLORADO AND THE LEE SIDE TROUGH MOVE FARTHER EAST. A
BACKDOOR COLD FRONT WILL SLIDE DOWN THE EAST PLAINS
TONIGHT...PROVIDING COOLER AIR AND A WIND SHIFT. THE FRONT WILL
REACH AND PUSH THROUGH THE GAPS OF THE CENTRAL MOUNTAINS EARLY
THURSDAY...WITH WIND GUSTS UP TO 40 MPH POSSIBLE BELOW CANYONS.
TEMPERATURES WILL TREND DOWN THURSDAY DUE TO THE FRONT AND INCREASED
CLOUD COVER...BECOMING SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL WEST AND BELOW NORMAL
EAST. THURSDAY WILL BE THE LAST DAY FOR FAIR TO GOOD VENTILATION
RATES FOR MOST OF THE AREA...AS POOR CONDITIONS WILL RETURN FRIDAY
THROUGH THE WEEKEND.

THE WEATHER PATTERN WILL BECOME COLDER AND WETTER LATE THURSDAY
THROUGH THE WEEKEND AS AN UPPER LEVEL LOW APPROACHES THE STATE ALONG
WITH A REINFORCEMENT OF THE BACKDOOR FRONT. THIS SYSTEM WILL DRAG
ABUNDANT SUBTROPICAL MOISTURE OVER THE ENTIRE STATE...WHICH WILL
RESULT IN PRETTY HEFTY PRECIPITATION TOTALS FOR LATE JANUARY.  THE
TRICKY PART WILL BE IDENTIFYING PRECIPITATION TYPE...WITH BATTLING
WARM MOIST AIR ALOFT AND COLD LOW LEVEL AIR FROM THE FRONT.
CURRENTLY FORECASTING SNOW LEVELS STARTING VERY HIGH FRIDAY...THINK
ABOVE 9000 TO 9500 FEET...AND GRADUALLY LOWERING THROUGH THE
WEEKEND...THOUGH PORTIONS OF THE EASTERN PLAINS COULD SEE SNOW
EARLIER. DESPITE THE HIGHER SNOW LEVELS...SIGNIFICANT SNOWFALL
ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED FOR MOST OF THE HIGHER TERRAIN OF CENTRAL
NM. HOWEVER...CONFIDENCE IS LOW ON SIGNIFICANT ACCUMULATIONS FOR
TERRAIN WITHIN ZONE 109 WHERE THE LACK OF COLDER SURFACE AIR MAY
CAUSE MORE PERIODS OF RAIN OR RAIN/SNOW MIXES THAN CURRENTLY
FORECAST. THE OTHER ISSUE WITH THIS SYSTEM COULD BE FLOODING
POTENTIAL FOR AREAS THAT RECEIVE LARGE AMOUNTS OF RAIN ON AN
EXISTENT AND FAIRLY SIGNIFICANT SNOW PACK. NOT THINKING IT WILL BE AN
ISSUE AS CURRENT SNOW PACKS ARE LOW ENOUGH IN AREAS OF ANTICIPATED
RAIN TO PREVENT LARGER CONCERN. PRECIPITATION WILL SLOWLY
TAPER OFF THROUGH THE DAY SUNDAY...AS HIGH TEMPERATURES BECOME BELOW
NORMAL WEST AND WELL BELOW NORMAL EAST.

THE UPPER LEVEL LOW WILL CUT OFF AND DIVE WELL SOUTH OF NM SUNDAY
AND GENERALLY END ITS IMPACT ON NM BY MONDAY. CONFIDENCE IS GROWING
THAT FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL IMPROVE THROUGH EARLY NEXT
WEEK....NOTABLY VENTILATION RATES. MODELS ARE COMING IN LINE TO
DEPICT A TRANSITION TO MORE PROGRESSIVE NORTHWESTERLY FLOW THROUGH
MID WEEK. BY TUESDAY...TEMPERATURES WILL REBOUND...BECOMING NEAR
NORMAL TO SLIGHTLY BELOW NORMAL...AND VENTILATION RATES WILL BECOME
FAIR TO GOOD FOR CENTRAL PORTIONS OF THE STATE. MODELS BEING TO
DIVERGE TOWARDS THE LATE WEEK PERIOD...AND THUS CONFIDENCE IS LOWER
DURING THAT PERIOD. THE ECMWF REMAINS DRY AS IT KEEPS A POTENTIAL
MID WEEK DISTURBANCE FARTHER NORTH BEFORE SLOWLY TRANSITIONING TO A
RIDGE OVER THE AREA BY THE END OF THE WEEK...WHICH WOULD PUT A QUICK
END TO IMPROVED VENT RATES. THE GFS...HOWEVER...HAS THE MID WEEK
DISTURBANCE IMPACTING NORTHEAST NM WITH RAIN AND SNOW BEFORE MORE
NORTHERLY FLOW DEVELOPS ALOFT AT THE END OF THE WEEK...WHICH SHOULD
KEEP VENT RATES AT MANAGEABLE LEVELS.

24

&&

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

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

&&

$$

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