Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM
FXUS65 KABQ 241142 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
442 AM MST Fri Feb 24 2017
12Z TAF CYCLE
Mid level clouds near 070 over northern/western NM will break up
thru 17Z then west/northwest winds will increase all terminals. The
strongest winds will focus over eastern NM from around KLVS to KTCC
where gusts near 35kt are likely btwn 18Z and 00Z. Winds may become
stronger than forecast at KABQ today and an aviation weather warning
for gusts to 35kt is possible. Winds will taper off all areas after
.PREV DISCUSSION...330 AM MST Fri Feb 24 2017...
...BREEZY TO WINDY CONDITIONS AGAIN TODAY WITH CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER
CONDITIONS ACROSS THE EAST CENTRAL PLAINS...
Breezy to windy conditions will return today as an upper level
trough gradually passes north of New Mexico funneling more cool air
into our state. High temperatures will fall 5 to 20 degrees below
Thursday`s readings. After a cool start Saturday, a general warming
trend is expected this weekend with weaker winds but still breezy
conditions. A weak upper level trough will cross New Mexico from the
west during the latter half of the weekend with a chance of rain and
snow showers mainly across the western and northern mountains, but
any accumulation will be spotty and light. Another upper level trough
will cross from the northwest late Monday through Tuesday with a
better chance of precipitation over northern and western areas.
Breezy to windy conditions are expected both days with cooler
temperatures on Tuesday.
The tail end of a jet streak will linger overhead today, and there
will be a fairly tight surface pressure gradient as additional cold
fronts cross from the northwest and north. This will yield another
round of breezy to windy conditions. The strongest northwest winds
are expected from the east central and northeast highlands eastward
across the plains of Guadalupe County, where gusts should reach 50
mph this afternoon and a Wind Advisory will be issued.
The upper trough crossing late this weekend looks fairly weak and is
not expected to bring much cold air with it. There could be some
cooling by monday over southwest and south central areas.
The late Monday/Tuesday system looks a bit stronger and models depict
it bringing some better moisture. Westerly upslope flow with 700 mb
temperatures in the -6 to -10 range should enable the west central
and northern mountains to squeeze out a few to locally several inches
of snow. High temperatures should fall a few to 4 degrees on
Tuesday, then a few to several more degrees across central and
eastern areas Wednesday.
Drier and warmer weather is expected for the latter half of the
coming work week
A progressive pattern through early next week will enhance potential
for critical fire weather conditions on several days. A few notable
features in this pattern will make for challenging decision making.
For today, a back door frontal boundary has made it farther south
and west than indicated yesterday so there are some concerns about
how long it will take for winds to mix and focus surface humidities
into the 10 to 15% range over the east central plains. The greatest
confidence area for critical conditions will be along and south of
I-40 east of Santa Rosa where high temps are expected to be near
normal with moderate haines values. Farther north and west temps are
almost 10F below normal and haines are low. Decided to upgrade to a
red flag for the East Central Plains based on collaborative effort
with surrounding offices.
A similar challenge exists for Saturday as winds are shown to veer
around to the southwest over much of eastern NM toward mid day. The
placement of the surface low center around the TX/OK panhandles is
still a question. Temps will moderate closer to normal and haines
values trend up to moderate for much of northeastern NM during the
afternoon. Confidence is not high enough just yet to hoist a watch
for Saturday since duration may be limited.
Winds will remain elevated into Sunday as an upper wave moves very
quickly east across northern NM. A thick batch of cloud cover will
likely impact mixing and some top-down moistening may mitigate the
duration of critical humidity values across eastern NM. Yet another
upper wave approaches from the west Monday with a deepening surface
low over southeastern CO. Winds trended up much higher for Monday
and minimum surface humidities remain below 20%. This will focus the
next period for potential critical fire conditions over eastern NM.
Models drag a decent batch of rain/snow over the northern/central
high terrain with this wave Monday night. Another blast of colder
air on strong northwest winds is possible for Tuesday.
Beyond Tuesday, guidance diverges considerably on the upper level
pattern over the southern Rockies. Trends had indicated weaker flow
aloft would develop over NM Wednesday through Friday however more
recent guidance is showing a progressive northwest flow pattern
continuing through the end of the week.
Red Flag Warning from noon today to 6 PM MST this evening for the
following zones... NMZ108.
Wind Advisory from noon today to 5 PM MST this afternoon for the
following zones... NMZ523-529-532-533.