Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 191801 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1101 AM MST Sun Feb 19 2017
18Z TAF CYCLE
Pacific trough will continue to cross over the state through rest of
today into this evening before exiting to the east. Various cigs will
be found across western/central NM but generally MVFR cigs associated
with passing SH. Mtn top obscd will affect the western and especially
NC mtns. Skies will clear some later tonight. The clearing skies
should lead to IFR/LIFR cigs/vis dvlp. FMN/GUP look to be the likely
candidates to receive those conditions which would last well into the
morning hours. SAF/AEG/ABQ are lesser candidates so hinted at some
possible low cigs in the latest terminal forecasts.
.PREV DISCUSSION...151 AM MST Sun Feb 19 2017...
Closed low in AZ will lift northeast to the four corners region and
weaken during the day today. Some moderate rain and higher terrain
snow today into tonight. We will be adding some zones to the winter
weather advisories already in place. Monday through Wednesday will
be dry and noticeably warmer. The next short wave trough will swing
through NM Thursday with little precipitation, but with strong winds
from the central mountains to the TX border. Thursday will be cooler
as will Friday. Friday will be dry with less wind. The following
weekend will start dry and milder, then another storm system will
impact NM Sunday.
The higher resolution models are picking up the initial band of
precipitation streaming north from Catron and Socorro Counties. This
band should hold together through the morning as it heads toward the
northern mountains. The upper trough then moves into NM this
afternoon with an increasingly unstable atmosphere. Scattered to
numerous rain and snow showers will develop, and even isolated
thunderstorms over the western half of our CWA. Snow levels will be
around 7000 feet, with accumulations above 7500 feet. We will add the
Chuska, Jemez and western slopes and high peaks of the Sangre de
Cristo Mountains for today through tonight. Temperatures will be
cooler today by 5 to 10 degrees. Snow levels will drop some more
tonight while drier air begins to move in from the west. This will
hold down snow accumulations, although decent snow amounts will be
noted over the northern mountains.
A ridge of high pressure will build over NM Monday, then shift east
Tuesday with increasing southwest flow aloft. The winds aloft will
continue to strengthen Wednesday and Thursday with the winds shifting
out of the west Thursday. A short wave trough will cross on Thursday
with wind being the main weather story. Strong to high winds may
batter the central mountain chain to the TX border. Some rain and
high elevation snow showers will be mostly confined to the western
and northern mountains Wednesday into Thursday. Temperatures
Wednesday will remain well above normal, then drop 5 to 15 degrees
Thursday, still above normal except across the west and north central
The zonal flow aloft will relax some on Friday with less wind, but
still gusty across the east. Highs will lower noticeably in the east
with all areas below normal Friday.
Next weekend will start dry and milder on Saturday. A fast moving
short wave trough will sweep across the state Sunday into Sunday
night with a quick round of precipitation mainly across the west and
First round of precipitation is underway across southwestern portions
of the area early this morning. This batch of precipitation will
continue to move north-northeast through the morning hours. Valley
rains and high elevation snows are expected. Snow levels will be
around 7000 feet, though much of the accumulation will be above
8000ft. The second round of precipitation will arrive this afternoon
and may be more showery in nature. However, there may not be much, if
any, break in the action across northwest and north central NM. Snow
levels may rise slightly this afternoon, but more valley rains and
mountain snows are expected. Total snow amounts across the mountains
will generally be in the 2 to 6 inch range with locally higher
amounts. Precipitation will slowly diminish late this evening.
Otherwise, below normal temperatures are in store for much of western
NM, while above normal temps persist in the east.
Upper level shortwave ridging will quickly build over NM on Monday.
Temperatures will quickly rebound, with all areas at or above
normal. Winds will increase out of the northwest behind the
departing system around the central highlands (vicinity of Clines
Corners). Gusts near 40 or 45 mph are likely in this and surrounding
areas. Meanwhile, humidities will lower, and will be below 15
percent across much of the plains as a weak northerly wind shift
ushers in much drier air into the area.
The upper level ridge will flatten on Tuesday. Tuesday is still
expected to be one of the nicest days of the week with not much wind
and temperatures 10 to 20 degrees above normal. Daytime RH`s will
again drop near or below 15 percent across the plains.
Westerly flow aloft begins to increase on Wednesday, and that is
reflected somewhat at the surface with breezy conditions expected.
Also, moisture from the Pacific should stream into northern NM which
should at least enhanced the cloud cover and may result in a
sprinkle or two. By Thursday, an upper level trough will slide over
the central Rockies and the associated jet will cross NM. Strong
mixing, exceptional strong winds aloft and a deep surface low over
southeast Colorado will result in strong to potentially damaging
winds across NM. The strongest winds are still expected to be along
and east of the central mountain chain where gusts between 50 and 60
mph will be possible. Much drier air will be ushered in by a Pacific
front, thus expect humidities to drop below 15 percent across
portions of the eastern plains and Rio Grande Valley. Cooling
temperatures behind the front may offset the critical threat in some
areas, but it still looks likely that critical fire weather
conditions can be expected across the east central plains and the
lower Rio Grande Valley. This area may expand across eastern NM if
compressional warming from the downsloping winds outweighs the
cooling component behind the front.
Breezy northwest flow will be on tap for Friday, with very dry
conditions persisting. However, temperatures will be below normal
across all areas.
Winter Weather Advisory until 5 AM MST Monday for the following