Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 271759 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1159 AM MDT Tue Jun 27 2017

Winds will shift out of the west and southwest today and become
breezy in response to strengthening flow aloft and a lee-side
surface trough. Humidities will trend downward with mainly isolated
showers and thunderstorms expected. Most of these should form over
the central mountain chain and southwest mountains, then move to the
east southeast over adjacent lowlands at speeds around 15 to 30 kt. A
few cells could form over the Jemez and southern San Juan Mountains,
too. Most of the activity should dissipate with sunset, except for a
few lingering cells over the northeast and east central plains.



.PREV DISCUSSION...301 AM MDT Tue Jun 27 2017...
Thunderstorm coverage will trend down today as dry air works in from
the west. Best chances for isolated storms will be across the eastern
plains where low level moisture hangs on the longest. Dry and very
warm to hot conditions are forecast for Wednesday and Thursday. A
backdoor front will bring slight cooling and chances for
thunderstorms to the northeast quarter Friday. Late-day storm
chances will continue across eastern New Mexico through the weekend
while western and central areas remain hot and dry.


Remarkably dry airmass over southern CA and far western AZ very
evident on GOES-16 low level water vapor imagery early this morning.
In fact, 500mb RH progs from the 00Z NAM12 at 18Z Thursday showing
values below one quarter of one percent. It physically cannot get
much drier, even at 18k feet above MSL. At any rate, the leading edge
of this bone dry airmass will win out across western and central
areas with isolated thunderstorms possible from the central mountain
chain ewd this afternoon and early evening. Temperatures will inch up
each day through Thursday but remain below last week`s heat wave.
Dry conditions prevail all areas Wednesday and Thursday with breezy
to locally windy west winds developing each afternoon.

Models continue to bring a backdoor front into ern NM Thursday night
and west into the RGV Friday morning. Gulf moisture increases behind
this feature for at least isolated storms east. GFS back to being
totally dry while the ECMWF continues with isolated to perhaps
scattered storms across the plains each afternoon and early evening
Friday through the weekend. Trended the forecast toward the more
consistent ECMWF given the fact that both models are picking up on weak
upper troughs sliding east-southeast through northeast NM each
afternoon and the general rule of thumb to not "go below (guidance)
in northwest flow".

GFS and ECWMF have essentially flip-flopped for next week with the
GFS looking more "monsoonish" than the ECMWF as the Four Corners
high center gets forced east over the Central Plains and a relatively
deep moisture plume extending northward across the state. ECMWF on
the other hand keeps the high center over NM with a piddly plume at



Good to excellent RH recovery is underway for central to eastern New
Mexico while the far western border of the state remains drier with
humidity struggling to rebound early this morning. High pressure
will finally retrieve the proverbial anchor today, allowing this
upper level feature to settle farther south while stiffening
westerly flow aloft works into NM. Drier air will accompany the
westerly breezes as they mix down to the surface over much of the
western zones of NM, and warmer temperatures will also be observed.
Conditions will also turn more unstable over much of the western
half of NM with Haines indices escalating to 6. Southwesterly
breezes will be gusty this afternoon over the western zones,
particularly over the higher terrain of west central NM. In the
plains the winds will retain more of a south southwesterly direction
with speeds also increasing and turning a bit gusty into the late
afternoon. Moisture will struggle to hang on over the southwestern
mountains, perhaps enough for a stray storm or two, but the best
prospects for isolated to scattered storms will reside along and
just east of the central mountain chain this afternoon and evening
where the moisture will be better rooted.

The forecast for a drier, warm to hot, and unstable scenario is
still on target for Wednesday and Thursday as high pressure stays to
the southwest of NM and dry westerly flow prevails into the forecast
area. Breezy to windy conditions will develop each day with
seasonal, but warm to hot, temperatures taking shape in western to
central zones while eastern zones creep above normal by 5 to 10
degrees. Amidst the westerly flow that will overtake NM, dewpoints
will drop substantially with RH trending below 10 percent in most of
the forecast area each afternoon. This low humidity will be
juxtaposed over some spotty areas that exceed critical wind
thresholds, generally along and just east (downwind) of higher
terrain areas. While this only spells spotty critical fire weather
by established criteria/definitions, the pattern for Wednesday and
Thursday could still be a potentially dire one as widespread high
Haines values of 6 plague essentially the entire forecast area.
Humidity recoveries will also be very poor over most zones Wednesday
night into Thursday morning with little reprieve for western to
central zones Thursday night.

After nudging toward the northeast corner of NM late Thursday
afternoon, a back door cold front is still slated to fully enter the
eastern plains Thursday night and Friday morning. This will briefly
recharge moisture in the eastern plains while ushering in gusty
winds and knocking temperatures down a few degrees. A few storms
could also exploit this added moisture, most likely along and east
of the Sangre de Cristos Friday afternoon/evening.

The front will then wash out with winds quickly veering more
southerly over the plains of NM by Saturday. As moisture waffles
over the eastern plains, a few storms would still be possible
Saturday. Through this time high pressure aloft will be attempting
to re-establish itself over NM, but in a weaker and rather
disorganized state. Depending exactly where it sets up and
consequently how it orients the flow, some modest and modified
subtropical moisture could sneak into NM from the south. For now
some isolated storms have been forecast in the southwest mountains
for Sunday and Monday with the central mountain chain also retaining
these low chances with the potential remnant low moisture.




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