Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 220528 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1128 PM MDT THU JUL 21 2016

Scattered -shra w/ a few -tsra are dwindling over northern and
western NM late this evening. Remnant sprinkles and thick mid
level clouds will clear near sunrise. Coverage of -shra/tsra on
Friday expected to be less than Thursday and storm motions will
be very slow and erratic. Any site that takes a direct hit could
see MVFR vsbys from lcl heavy rain w/ gusty outflow winds.



Temperatures will persist above normal through the weekend and
into next week, especially across the eastern plains where highs
will reach the century mark at a number of locales such as Roswell,
Tucumcari and Santa Rosa. Rain chances through Friday will favor
the mountains and adjacent highlands, but will expand some by the
weekend to include the northeast and east central plains thanks to
a weak backdoor front. Rain chances will ramp up across much of
the area and temperatures will trend closer to seasonal averages
from early to mid next week as high pressure aloft backs off a bit
and allows moisture to creep northwest into New Mexico.


Some drying associated with the upper high moving/expanding
westward toward New Mexico noted in the latest 24hr surface
dewpoint change values and in the 12z KABQ PWAT of 0.91", down
from 1.03" 48hrs prior. Today`s crop of storms is looking less
impressive so far, from a wetting rain perspective, than
yesterday`s although some slower moving storms near Ruidoso are
likely putting down locally heavy downpours with amounts between
1.0-1.5". Otherwise the heat continues, especially across the
eastern plains where a number of locales are already above 100
degrees, including Roswell, Tucumcari and Clayton

The upper high is forecast to move directly overhead Friday with
pressure heights increasing up to near 598dam at 500mb. With the
upper high overhead, storms will be slow to move and likely
toward low level inflow or along convective outflow. By late
Saturday the upper high will be positioned over northeast Arizona,
which will allow the gradual process of moisture creep in the
lower boundary layer over the weekend from southeast to
northwest into central portions of New Mexico. The backdoor front
previous advertised for late Saturday into Sunday is looking even
weaker in the 12z model solutions and is likely to not be much of
a player except to enhance rain chances between the Sangres and
OK/TX panhandles.

The 12z ECMWF and GFS are at odds with the placement of the upper
high center early week, but both agree on a consolidated and
dominant upper high over the Great Basin by mid week. The GFS is
showing a gradual increase in PWATS to near 1.15" at KABQ by 12z
Tuesday, then continuing near that value through Thursday which
is above the 90th percentile for those calendar days. An uptick in
daytime heating triggered storms looks on track for early to mid
week and is reflected in both the GFS and ECMWF MOS PoPs for those
periods. Temperatures will trend down closer to normal during the
early to mid week period, but may end up below seasonal averages
thanks to clouds and potential rain cooling.



High pressure had been centered east of NM, but the trend is now
leaning toward a more direct presence of high pressure over the
state. This has already started to shift the optimal plume of
moisture farther west, and while the central to western high terrain
zones of NM will remain favored for thunderstorms, the overall
coverage is expected to decline today and Friday.

After a warm overnight period with good to excellent RH recovery
tonight, the temperatures on Friday will rise a few to several
degrees above normal. The largest departures from normal will be in
the far eastern plains where triple digit heat will persist. The
surface pattern will not alter much from days past with gentle lee
side troughing leading to southerly surface breezes in the plains
and more of a southwest to westerly flow elsewhere. Otherwise the
central to western high terrain will be where storms initiate before
drifting north northeastward. Certainly there will be some wetting
rainfall potential, but several brief-lived storms will also have
the potential to initiate some new lightning wildfire starts.

Forecast models appear to have backed off on the arrival of a
front on Saturday into the northeastern zones, but if any area
were to observe an increase in storms, this would likely be the
area. Convection farther northeast can often assist the
progression of these fronts this time of year, so an invasion
farther south and west would not be all that surprising. For now,
have built a subtle wind shift into Union and Colfax counties
Saturday with slightly higher chances for storms there.

Into Sunday the upper level high will be hovering over northern NM
with any surface wind shift in northeastern NM gradually giving way
to a moist southeasterly flow that will spread into a large majority
of NM. This could increase the precipitation chances over the high
plains some.

Toward the middle of next week high pressure is shown to shift
farther west near the Nevada vicinity, and forecast models actually
trend wetter in this regime.





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