Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 181817 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1217 PM MDT Sat Aug 18 2018

Scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms will develop this
afternoon and evening as an upper level trough finishes crossing the
central and southern Rockies. Most of the activity will move toward
the southeast at speeds around 15 to 25 kt.  Clusters and lines of
storms are forecast, especially along and east of the central
mountain chain where some storms may turn severe with large hail and
damaging winds. Wet microbursts are expected, even west of the
central mountain chain, and these could potentially produce erratic
wind gusts to 50 kt. As the base of the upper level trough crosses
this afternoon, it will usher gusty dry air into the state from the
northwest with a marked line of clearing first across the northwest,
then also over central areas toward sunset. A back door cold front
will produce a gusty wind shift over parts of the eastern plains late
tonight and Sunday morning. Behind the front, some patches of low
clouds with MVFR and IFR conditions will be possible, but
probabilities were too low to mention in eastern TAFs.



.PREV DISCUSSION...256 AM MDT Sat Aug 18 2018...
An atypical upper level trough is expected to drag across
northeastern New Mexico this afternoon and into the evening,
providing lift and unstable conditions for scattered to numerous
thunderstorms, some of which will turn strong to severe. Showers and
thunderstorms will also form along the higher terrain of central and
western New Mexico early this afternoon, but will be shunted eastward
as the afternoon wears on. On Sunday, storms will be few in number
during the daytime due to drier air that will have worked in behind
the previously mentioned disturbance aloft, but a cold front will
spill into the eastern plains of New Mexico late Sunday and Sunday
night with a few storms possible. Gusty winds will accompany the
front, including parts of the Rio Grande valley as the front surges
westward Sunday night. Thunderstorm chances will be fairly low early
next week as moisture struggles to slowly return to the area.


Upper low over northern ID will drop an unseasonably strong short
wave trough into eastern CO and northeastern NM late today. Southerly
surface flow over the plains of NM will be topped with increasing
north-westerlies aloft, a veering wind profile that will give plenty
of directional and speed shear for strong to severe storms today
and this evening. Abundant instability will also be present with NWP
advertising scattered areas of 2,000+ J/kg of CAPE and lifted indices
of -3 to -6 C over much of northeastern NM as well as some east
central parts of the state. Have included likely POPs for some of
these areas with mention of large hail and damaging winds. The other
notable feature with the trough will be the pronounced dry slot
working in immediately behind the trough axis. This sharp moisture
gradient will likely act as a trigger for storms, but the impending
drier air will also lead to a quick suppression of storms once the
wave aloft passes through. Quick storm motions to the southeast
should limit the flash flooding threat, but PWATs ahead of the trough
axis will be quite healthy.

On Sunday, a cold front will be spilling southward down the plains
as the remnant lobe of energy from ID finally drops into KS. Western
NM will be void of storms as the drier air will limit convective
initiation on Sunday, but a few isolated cells will be possible along
and just east of the Sangres. While storms appear to hold off for
much of the day Sunday, a line of convection is depicted by the NAM,
dropping along the leading edge of the front in the plains into the
evening and overnight. While the NAM is the most aggressive model
with this frontally-induced line of convection, it seems reasonable
given the fast propagation speed and the favorable thermal/moisture/wind
profiles ahead of the front. A gusty east canyon wind will spill
into central zones Sunday night and early Monday morning.

On Monday, in the wake of the front temperatures will cool a couple
degrees below average in central to eastern NM. Storms will be hard
to come by as the PWATs will be fairly low with the best moisture
shunted to the southern tier of NM. Through this time the upper high
will take residence near the NM-AZ border with dewpoints remaining
healthy in eastern NM, but the deeper moisture and juicier PWATs
will likely not arrive Tuesday either as the high builds more
directly over NM. Temperatures will rebound several degrees into
Tuesday with daytime highs exceeding normal by a couple of degrees in
many locales.

Forecast models diverge into the middle and latter parts of next week
with regards to the placement and strength of the high and
consequentially the steering of deeper moisture into or around NM.
Am tending to lean toward the European solution that ever-so-slowly
takes the high slightly east of NM and gradually introduces more
moisture into the far western and northern tiers of the state.



Another round of afternoon tstms is expected, forming over the high
terrain before moving off to the E/SE this evening. Storms east of
the central mtn chain could become severe, producing strong erratic
downburst winds and large hail. Changes begin to arrive across the
far northwest where drier air behind a trough to our N will cutoff
tstm/shower activity early today. NW winds are also expected to pick
up to 20-25 kts near the Four Corners just before sunset.

The punch of much drier air reaches the RGV during the day Sunday,
as a backdoor front protects sfc moisture east of the central mtns.
Another round of breezy NW winds can be expected Sunday afternoon
over the NW Plateau, with Haines6 and MinRHs dipping to ~10%. A few
hours of elevated to critical fire weather is possible as the NW
winds pick up over the NW Plateau late Sun afternoon. A significant
downtrend in tstm coverage is also expected Sun, although a few
isold tstms can`t be ruled out over the east-central plains.

The backdoor front wins out Sun night, surging through the gaps of
the central mtn chain reaching the continental divide Mon morning.
Moisture trends up behind backdoor front across the west through Tue
as the upper high builds back over NM allowing a better tap into
monsoon moisture over AZ. Some of the moisture works its way into
far western NM. Thunderstorm coverage also trends up through the
middle to latter half of next week.





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