Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 011747 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1147 AM MDT FRI JUL 1 2016

Plume of moisture stretching over western and central nm to shift
to the east and south during the next 24 hrs. Mts will be
occasionally obscured in clouds and precipitation in sct to nmrs
showers and thunderstorms. Local mvfr to brief ifr cigs/vsbys
expected in the heavier showers and storms. Storm motion will be
generally to the northeast. KROW least likely to see a shower or
storm before 02/00Z. Local mvfr cigs/vsbys possible in br along
and near the contdvd 02/06Z-14Z before drier air starts to push in
from the west.


A disturbance lifting northward out of the Gulf of California will
escort a plume of monsoon moisture northward across western New
Mexico and Arizona today, then eastward across southern Colorado
and northern New Mexico Saturday, with increased thunderstorm
chances. Some thunderstorms will produce locally heavy rain over
western areas today, then also over central areas tonight as the
monsoon moisture plume spreads eastward. Increased cloud cover and
precipitation will result in cooler temperatures today and
Saturday with highs a few to several degrees below normal across
central and western areas. Drier air will move in from the west
with spottier thunderstorms and a warming trend Sunday through
Tuesday. During the middle of the coming work week, models now
depict an upper level low pressure system crossing the northern
Rockies while drawing modest subtropical moisture northward into
New Mexico.


PWATs, already as much as 200% of normal this morning, should
peak today and tonight around 1 to 1.4 inches, lending confidence
to some locally heavy rainfall. Storms will be moving around 15-25
mph today, and as much as 30 mph across the plains tonight, so
heavy rainfall shouldn`t be too widespread. PWATs should vary
around 0.75 to a little over 1.0 inch on Saturday as drier air
begins to move in from the west. Models don`t depict the base of
the upper trough crossing until late Saturday, so there should
still be pretty good storm coverage even though the threat of
heavy rain will decrease.

Early in the coming week the drying trend will be aided by a
westward extension of the subtropical ridge from a centroid over
the SE US. This will tend to shunt subtropical moisture westward
across northern Mexico, rather than northward into NM. Even the
upper low crossing the N Rockies around the middle of the coming
work week will probably have difficulty drawing moisture northward
due to this ridge axis. However, the ECMWF especially is drawing
some moisture northward under the ridge axis.




A well-defined monsoon moisture plume to gradually shift east and
northeast over the area through tonight, as high pressure aloft
repositions east of New Mexico and a weakening upper level wave
approaches from Arizona. Atmospheric moisture content will remain
well above average, particularly central/western New Mexico where
precipitable water will be nearly double normal values.

Storm motion will generally be toward the northeast at 20-25 mph
today, which should keep the threat for heavy rain/flash flooding
localized outside of recent burn scars. Looks to be an especially
active/wet period for western New Mexico between 10am and 10pm.
Extensive cloud cover this morning will limit daytime heating in
areas and thus reduce the overall number of heavy-rain producing
thunderstorms. But given the very moist/unstable character of the
air mass, and favorable lift ahead of the incoming disturbance, the
next 24-36 hours look to be the among the most active of the past

Storms will tend to move more due east and slightly faster late
tonight into Saturday with the focus shifting to northeast areas
from the Sangre de Cristos to the northeast corner Saturday
afternoon/evening where a surface boundary will sag southward. Drier
and more stable conditions will develop areawide Sunday. Once again,
a few strong/briefly severe storms will be possible across northeast
areas of the state beneath a modest northwest flow but otherwise
shower and storm coverage will be significantly less than Saturday.

Looking ahead, the drying and warming trend should extend into the
Fourth of July.  Thereafter,  while available medium range guidance
suggests New Mexico will be on the western periphery of the sub-
tropical high, with signs that a weak monsoon plume will briefly
reestablish by Tue/Wed, a seasonably strong west to east extension
of the ridge axis looks to reside over southern areas of New Mexico
during the extended periods. That would tend to limit the northward
transport of deeper moisture. If anything, we may be back to more of
a high based/drier storm regime. The upper high looks to strengthen
and shift westward late next week.  Not favorable for the west, but
potentially favorable for central/eastern areas.





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