Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 211150
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
550 AM MDT Sun Apr 21 2019

.AVIATION...
12Z TAF CYCLE
West and southwest winds will be gusty today as an upper level
trough crosses the Four Corners and central Rockies. It may trigger a
few virga showers and mainly dry thunderstorms in the Sandia and
northern mountains, and adjacent highlands, this afternoon and
evening. Dry microbursts will be capable of dry microbursts gusting
up to 50 mph. The system will send a gusty back door cold front
southwestward through the eastern plains late tonight and Monday.
There will probably be areas of low clouds with MVFR and locally IFR
conditions along and behind the front across northeast and east
central areas late tonight into Monday morning.

44

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...332 AM MDT Sun Apr 21 2019...
.SYNOPSIS...
An upper level disturbance moved over the Four Corners region
yesterday, and another system will dive southward into Nevada by this
afternoon. This will keep breezy to windy conditions in the forecast
for much of northern and central New Mexico today. Temperatures will
cool by a couple to a few degrees, but will still be near average for
late April, even above normal in eastern New Mexico. Into Monday, the
previously mentioned weather system will move into AZ, slowly inching
toward New Mexico. During this time, a cold front will slide into
northeastern New Mexico. Precipitation will begin spreading into some
western parts of the state with more steady rain, thunderstorms, and
very high elevation snow found near the cold front in the northeast.
The cold front will advance westward, spilling into the Rio Grande
valley, moving toward the Continental Divide early Tuesday. Scattered
to numerous showers and thunderstorms will spread over more of New
Mexico Tuesday with cooler than average temperatures expected. The
low pressure system responsible for this unsettled weather will
gradually exit eastward into Texas on Wednesday with precipitation
slowly waning late in the day.

52

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Pressure falls are ensuing over NV, and the flow aloft is projected
to take on more of a westerly component over NM today. The lee side
surface cyclone will regenerate itself near the OK panhandle this
afternoon, already developing a kink in response to the cold front
sliding into eastern CO. Under this scenario, breezy to windy
conditions will develop with deep boundary layer mixing. Mid
tropospheric pressure heights will lower slightly so that a couple to
a few degrees of cooling is expected, but afternoon highs should meet
seasonal averages, and even exceed them by 5 to 10 degrees in
the eastern plains. Forecast soundings for select north central NM
points reveal high LCLs and inverted-V soundings that would suggest a
few more virga showers capable of localized and brief gusty
downbursts (much like the 60 mph gusts that hit the Taos airport
yesterday evening). Have included some mention of sprinkles in these
areas for the afternoon and early evening. Otherwise dry and mostly
clear skies are expected.

The backdoor cold front in CO will slide into northeastern NM tonight
into Monday. Low layer moisture will increase with the frontal
passage and frontogenetical forcing will lead to precipitation
development. Through the day Monday, the post frontal winds will gain
more of an easterly component, feeding upslope forcing for additional
precipitation along and just east of the Sangre de Cristos and to a
lesser extent the central mountains and highlands through the
afternoon. In addition, afternoon CAPE and instability appear
sufficient for a few strong to perhaps severe storms in the plains
(likely more in the east central plains) with increased directional
wind shear courtesy of the front. The front will accelerate through
the gaps and canyons within the central mountain chain Monday night
as it surges toward the Divide. This will create gusty gap/canyon
winds, including parts of the Albuquerque metro area where a wind
advisory may be warranted Monday night into Tuesday morning.

By Tuesday, the upper low will have finally moved into NM, but just
barely over the southwestern part of the state as it sluggishly
creeps eastward. Precipitation would expand considerably into Tuesday
with the focus for thunderstorms shifting to the western half of the
state as the east stabilizes. While not all zones are guaranteed
measurable precipitation with this system, the Tuesday daytime
period will be the period of most widespread precipitation and
highest probabilities. Through Tuesday night the low will continue
its snail`s pace eastward, and while the low is not necessarily
projected to fill in, it may undergo some weakening or
disorganization during this time.

By midday Wednesday, the low will have crossed the eastern border of
NM with an overall downtrend in large scale ascent and precipitation.
Cooler temperatures aloft from the low will re-introduce weak
instability, and a few convective showers or anemic thunderstorms
will be possible Wedenesday afternoon.

Into Thursday and Friday a ridge builds in behind the departing low
with a quick surge up in pressure heights and consequently
temperatures as well. Disparities among forecast models grow
considerably thereafter as the placement and evolution of large
scale features quickly becomes muddled.

52

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
...RED FLAG WARNING THIS AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING EAST OF THE
SANGRE DE CRISTO MOUNTAINS DUE TO STRONG WIND, LOW HUMIDITY AND AN
UNSTABLE ATMOSPHERE...

An upper level trough tracking northeastward across the Four Corners
and central Rockies, and a lee trough south of a 995 mb surface low
in SE CO, will induce breezy conditions across much of the forecast
area today.  The strongest winds will be found east of the Sangre de
Cristo Mountains, where gusts from 30 to 40 mph are expected (except
up to 50 mph near virga showers). Humidities will also drop below 16
percent in most places below 8,000 feet in elevation, while high
temperatures climb a few to 13 degrees above normal. Additionally,
Haines Indices from 5 to 6 are forecast across central and northern
areas, with 4`s elsewhere. This all adds up to critical fire weather
conditions east of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, including the
eastern half of the northeast highlands and northeast plains.
Locally critical fire weather conditions will impact the area around
and east of Clines Corners along and north of the I-40 corridor.
Locally critical fire weather conditions are also expected around
Gallup this afternoon. The upper trough will probably trigger some
virga showers across the Sandia Mountains, northern mountains and
adjacent lowlands, with a few drier variety thunderstorms possible
near the CO border. This will only exacerbate fire weather concerns
east of the Sangres.

The upper trough will send a gusty back door cold front
southwestward through the plains late tonight and Monday. Meanwhile,
an upper level low pressure system developing over the Great Basin
will drop southeastward over AZ, drawing the front through gaps in
the central mountain chain with east wind gusts below canyons
opening into the Rio Grande Valley potentially reaching 50 mph in
Albuquerque Monday night, and up to 40 mph elsewhere from Santa Fe
southward. The upper low is forecast to track eastward over the
southern NM border Tuesday through Wednesday with showers,
thunderstorms and high terrain snow showers becoming widespread as
early as Monday afternoon. Wetting precipitation will favor the
mountains and eastern plains, with amounts generally under 0.10 of
an inch at lower elevations farther west.

After falling temperatures Monday and Tuesday, readings will rebound
Wednesday through the end of the work week as a ridge of high
pressure crosses the southern Rockies from the west.  There may be
some showers and thunderstorms over New Mexico`s northern mountains
during the latter half of the week as weaker disturbances cross the
central Rockies.

44

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Red Flag Warning from noon today to 8 PM MDT this evening for the
following zones... NMZ103-104.

&&

$$


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