Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 231801

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1201 PM MDT FRI SEP 23 2016

Earlier -RA over KFMN and KGUP is slowly diminishing toward the
early aftn period with lingering MVFR cigs at KGUP that will
later lift as drier air filters in from the west. The Pacific
front will continue pushing toward the central mountain chain
developing short lived storms with brief MVFR cigs and mtn top
obscuration. Look for southwest wind gusts around 40-45kts along
the east slopes of the Sangre De Cristos this aftn, with breey to
gusty west/southwest winds elsewhere. Another band of shwrs could
also develop across the far east late tonight.



Sending out a quick update to reduce POPs some for the remainder
of the morning and into the afternoon. Low-topped cloud signatures
and minimal echoes are showing up on satellite and radar,
signifying lower spatial coverage of measurable precipitation.
While the northwest to north central zones will be favored through
the early afternoon, felt less mention of likely category POPs was
warranted and have reduced things to just isolated to scattered
coverage after noon. No changes or revisions to the wind advisory,
as MOS guidance still supports the previously issued statement.



Strong upper low and associated cold front to impact NM. Initial
band of clouds stretching from near KELP to KRTN may contain
showers/isold short lived tstms. Farther west a cloud band
associated with upper low/cdfnt was near the Four Corners/AZ
border and will track eastward over NM before 24/00Z with Lcl
MVFR cigs/vsbys in showers/tstms and mt obscurations expected.
S-sw sfc wnd gusts to 40-45kt possible especially ovr portions of
north central and ne NM as well as east central NM before 24/00Z.
Yet another narrow band of tstms possible ovr the ern plains aft
24/00Z to track eastward.


The Pacific trough and corresponding surface cold front will sweep
across western and central portions of the forecast area today and
finish with the eastern plains this evening. Scattered to numerous
showers and thunderstorms will break out and favor western and
central areas...especially the north central mountains. A drier
and cooler Saturday is on tap. A secondary low pressure system is
expected to develop to the west of the state while a cold front
pushes in from the north Saturday night into Sunday. Abundant
moisture will eventually be drawn into the state although some
uncertainty exists as to how much. Southern portions of the forecast
area look to be favored at this time with some strengthening
easterly winds into the Rio Grande Valley. A cooler and unsettled
forecast is expected the earlier half of next week.


Lots going on during the next several days. All eyes in the near
term will be associated with the incoming vigorous Pacific trough.
Current radar imagery shows a broken band of precipitation
associated with the main front across northern/central AZ.
The precipitation band looks to be paltry at this time but should
expand in coverage as it enters NM and the atmosphere destabilizes
some. Also...hefty subtropical moisture remains over central and
eastern areas so a nexus should develop in terms of lift along
this moisture gradient. Increased PoPs/QPF across the western
half of the area this morning.

Forcing or synoptic lift should lessen this afternoon as the
system weakens and shears out over the Great Basin and central
rockies. The NAM remains more bullish in terms of precipitation
potential vs GFS and hedged PoPs/QPF more towards the NAM
solution. Also bought off on a secondary line of storms developing
across the far NE/EC plains later today/evening. This is where
strong to potentially isolated severe storms will be possible
although the main threat appears to be east of our area. Synoptic
or large scale induced winds will impact the forecast area late
morning into the afternoon. Sufficient atmospheric mixing and
strengthening winds aloft plus a deepening lee side surface trough
spells advisory conditions for portions of the northeast half. A
wind advisory will be issued to account for this impact. The cross
wind component to the strong flow will impact west to east
highways the most.

Went with a modified temperature guidance forecast for the San
Juan river basin which includes 32 degrees at the Farmington
airport Saturday morning. This means some portions of the zone
could drop to 29/30 degrees. This would be a 2 to 3 weeks ahead of
of the mean freeze date. Cloud cover is a bit of a question
although a drier/cooler airmass combined with lighter wind does
beg the chance of some freezing. Will go ahead and issue a freeze
watch for the San Juan basin. The next shift can focus in on
areal/temporal threat/impact and determine cloud cover potential.

Models remain steadfast with depicting Saturday as a drier/cooler
period. A calm before the storm if you will. It appears that the
models are totally buying off on the upcoming cut off low
solution. ECMWF/NAM and Canadian had jumped on this solution the
longest so gave credence to what they were depicting in terms of
the surface cold front/moisture conveyor belt and closed low
position. Decided to increase PoP/QPF across SE areas Saturday
night with peak values on Sunday across the southern tier. Since
the models have been adjusting the low position run to run...not
totally buying off on a significant event but a long
duration/widespread precipitation event for SE portions of the
forecast area is looking more and more likely. Besides increased
rainfall potential...gusty easterly winds would be more likely
across the Rio Grande Valley. Advisory level gap wind speeds will
be possible in the central valley including impacts to ABQ Sunday
morning. If the low were to change position then the
temporal/areal impact would change so will be watching closely.

The cut off low position and eventual absorption into the mean jet
flow will be the main weather driver during the earlier half of
next week if not the majority of next week. Many different
solutions out there so a low confidence period. Figure on at least
some sort of unsettled weather in the form of cloud cover and
precipitation chances through the earlier half of next week. This
also means cooler than average temperatures.



An impressive upper low and associated cold front will affect New
Mexico today into Saturday with showers and storms, mainly along and
near the prefrontal trough and cold front, and gusty southwest
winds, the strongest of which are expected from the central
highlands through the interstate 25 corridor to Raton and east into
Union and Harding counties, where gusts to around 50 mph are
possible this afternoon.

A broken band of showers and isolated storms continues early this
morning from the Santa Fe area northeast over the Sangre de Cristo
mts and towards Raton. Some of this activity appears as if its
aligned along an area of low level convergence/higher dew points and
where a narrow band of clouds extends from near El Paso through
Raton. The actual cold front is farther west, and may be nearing
the Four Corners region at this time, along with the upper jet.

Temperatures today will fall significantly over the western third to
half, to 5 to 10 degrees below average while the east will remain 5
to 10 degrees above average. Min Rh will generally remain above 15
percent although very spotty critical conditions could develop over
portions of the east central this afternoon. Best chances for
wetting rain will be focused along and west of the central mt chain.

Convective activity to diminish rapidly after sunset, and the drier
and cooler airmass will lead to some significantly colder overnight
lows. The northwest plateau may see some freezing temperatures by
early Saturday morning, the first of the fall season. Saturday
should be dry most locales with near to below average highs. Vent
rates diminish greatly Saturday compared to today`s widespread
excellent values.

Forecast models still indicate a portion of the departing upper low
will lag back over NM, developing another closed low over sw NM
Sunday, while another cold front plunges into the eastern plains,
then westward toward the Contdvd. This will allow for improving vent
rates central and south, a reinforcement of cooler air, as well as a
gusty east wind into the RGV. Low level moisture may also slowly
return, with best chances for wetting rainfall Sunday into Monday
south of Interstate 40. Vent rates improve Sunday but crater Monday
over the north.

Models still sorting out the details, but the upper low may
retrograde into old Mexico early next week. The latest GFS and ECMWF
suggest the low will eventually be picked up by the westerlies and
track through the Great Basin and central Rockies next week. Current
trends are for temperatures to warm back towards normal or above but
RH may increase a bit, as at least spotty convection remains in the
forecast for the west and central.


Wind Advisory until 7 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...

Freeze Watch from late tonight through Saturday morning for the
following zones... NMZ501.


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