Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 231128 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
528 AM MDT Mon Apr 23 2018

VFR cigs are expected through the TAF period, with the exception of
MVFR/IFR at KRTN which is expected to burn off soon after sunrise.
This low cloud deck will expand south along the east slopes of the
Sangre de Cristo`s producing mtn obscurations, but is not expected to
reach down to KLVS. Elsewhere west winds take hold across western
and central TAF sites this afternoon, with southerly flow holding on
across the east. A few afternoon spot tstorms could fire up over the
far NE plains from KRTN to KCAO producing gusty erratic winds. The
leading edge of a strong backdoor front is expected to enter far
northeastern NM by the end of the TAF period 10Z-12Z Tuesday.



.PREV DISCUSSION...307 AM MDT Mon Apr 23 2018...
Temperatures will run near to slightly above normal today. Modest mid
level moisture could bring a few cloud build-ups this afternoon, and
perhaps a few sprinkles or brief thunderstorms, namely to the far
northeastern highlands of the state. Prevailing winds will be light
to moderate, but any showers could quickly produce some gusty winds.
A cold front will spill into eastern New Mexico on Tuesday,
eventually advancing into central and western parts of the state
Tuesday night. Gusty winds will accompany the front along with cooler
temperatures through Wednesday. Some showers and thunderstorms could
also form along and behind the front Tuesday and Tuesday night. A
ridge of high pressure will start to build over the Land of
Enchantment on Thursday, but another cold front will enter the
eastern plains of the state. This front could eventually lead to some
increased moisture being steered into the state.


A subtle upper level disturbance is moving toward NM from the
southwest, but is becoming increasingly difficult to pinpoint.
Otherwise a relatively light westerly flow aloft is over the state,
and the eastern plains are the beneficiaries of some increased low
layer moisture due to the recent easterly flow last evening. Surface
wind directions will veer a bit today, but higher 30`s dewpoints
should hold their ground in the east through the afternoon. Despite
the drier dewpoints in central and western zones, there appears to
be sufficient mid level moisture for some very high-based cumulus
development this afternoon and likely some virga. Better prospects of
precipitation reaching the ground will exist near and to the lee of
the Raton Pass where a potential area of surface convergence could
also set up.

Tonight a trough will exit the northern Rockies, diving east
southeast into the Great Plains. This will steer a potent cold front
into northeastern and east central NM through the day Tuesday.
Temperatures will drop significantly in the northeastern plains, and
the forecast highs in the east central plains will prove to be tricky
as there are some timing differences among models. Areas of
precipitation will be possible along the leading edge of the front,
mostly where an upslope orientation to the winds develops along the
east faces of the Sangres. The front will induce gusty winds in the
plains Tuesday, with a surge expected through the gaps/canyons within
the central mountain chain Tuesday evening before the front advances
all the way toward the NM-AZ border. Some lingering, perhaps
stratiform, precipitation is expected in central to eastern zones
Tuesday night.

Wednesday`s high temperatures will run 5 to 15 degrees below normal
in the central to eastern zones, and precipitation chances will
dwindle for the most part. Relatively light northwest flow aloft will
prevail as a ridge swells upstream of NM during this time, and a
focal point for us will be the low layer moisture over the Rio
Grande valley of TX and the Big Bend area, as higher dewpoints could
be pooling in this area and possibly staging for a migration

Surface winds would try to veer more southerly in the southern tier
of zones on Thursday, but another cold front will arrive into the
northern zones, setting temperatures back a few degrees. The ridge
axis will be aligning over the Rockies Thursday, and more-so into
Friday with surface winds veering more southerly by Friday. This
could be the catalyst for a moisture intrusion into NM, as alluded to
above. Model guidance is increasing POPs, but am remaining cautious,
as it seems the GFS is often too aggressive with bringing Gulf
moisture into the state this time of year.

The ridge is progged to shift east Saturday as a vast trough or low
(depending on the model) takes shape over the western states. This
could potentially open the door to a continued influx of moisture
from the south. This would keep chances for precipitation in the
extended forecast, especially in central to western zones. Then, as
the low or trough moved farther inland, stronger southwesterlies
ahead of it would likely scour out the moisture and increase the
winds. There is quite a large spread among models with regards to
placement and speed of this Pacific trough/low, so confidence is
fairly low in the details of the extended forecast.



There will be no widespread critical fire weather conditions through
the next week.

West winds mix down across western and central NM this afternoon,
with southerly return flow across the east. A sfc lee trough will
develop over the NE plains where enough sfc converging flow will
allow for a few spot tstorms this afternoon. Any tstorm activity
will likely produce gusty erratic outflow winds, with some dry
lightning also possible. Elsewhere across NM, conditions will be warm
and dry, especially for western and central NM where MinRHs will dip
into the upper single digits to low teens. Winds will be light to
breezy however.

A strong backdoor front is still expected to enter into NE New
Mexico early Tue morning, surging through the central mtn chain by
mid-day bringing strong gap winds to Santa Fe and ABQ. Daytime highs
and MinRH Tue from Santa Fe to Roswell will greatly depend on the
timing of the front. MixHgts fall behind the front, with VentRates
also falling to fair. Gusty winds 20-30 mph can be expected behind
the front across the east, with gap winds potentially as high as 30-
40mph through the central mtn chain. Upslope flow along the east
slopes of the Sangre`s will allow for a few afternoon tstorms to
fire off Tue, with sporadic light shower activity across the east
lingering into Wed morning.

The front will surge to the AZ border late Tue night and Wed
morning, with rather good overnight RH recoveries Wed morning, even
for western NM. High pressure builds over AZ Wed and Thu, with temps
warming and MinRHs falling to critical levels again Thu. Winds again
will be the limiting factor for any critical fire weather. MixHgts
improve Wed and into Thu ahead of the next strong backdoor front,
expected to enter eastern NM Thu. Models are coming into better
agreement with sending southerly Gulf moisture into NM Fri with a
large upper low entering over northern CA. This would lend to a good
chance for a healthy crop of wetting tstorms Fri and Sat. There is
still discrepancy b/w models and run-to-run consistency will need to
improve before we invest a larger bet for this wet pattern by late





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