Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 181201 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
501 AM MST Mon Feb 18 2019

Currently a mixed bag of VFR down to IFR across the area, but
conditions will deteriorate tonight as an upper level low approaches
from the west and a backdoor cold front makes southwest progress into
central NM. Areas of snow will expand across the area this evening,
then spread into eastern NM overnight. Snow at area terminals is
likely, with temperatures well below freezing making for poor runway
conditions. KROW will likely remain dry. A moderate easterly
gap/canyon wind is forecast to develop this evening and impact KABQ
with gusts to 35kts or greater, likely prompting an airport weather



.PREV DISCUSSION...245 AM MST Mon Feb 18 2019...
Snow showers will be on the increase today as a cold storm system approaches
from the west. Snow will fill in across much of northern and central
New Mexico tonight and continue into Tuesday. Significant snow
accumulations are likely most mountains as well as in the lower
elevations east of the Continental Divide. Snow is expected to taper
off Tuesday evening. A day in between storm systems is forecast for
Wednesday with snow returning to western New Mexico Thursday
afternoon and evening, spreading eastward Thursday night and Friday.
Widespread snow continues Friday night before tapering off from west
to east Saturday. Temperatures will remain below to well below
average for mid February through the week.


Very cold temperatures allowing light snow accumulation to take
place from the Los Alamos and Santa Fe areas east and northeastward
to Las Vegas and Clayton early this morning. Radar and satellite
imagery indicating that there is a back edge to the snow showers,
however, as the associated weak wave/speed max lifts northeastward.
Deep upper-level low centered near Las Vegas, NV as of this writing,
is sliding ever so slowly east-southeastward. Still expecting that
snow will begin in earnest after sunset this evening and with the
very cold nature of this system, even light accumulations will have
major impacts on travel tonight and Tuesday. Left the winter weather
highlights as is given the expected impact despite lower forecast
snow amounts for the northeast plains. All models now develop in east
wind into the ABQ metro this evening, likely leading to downsloping
effects and the infamous snow hole. The same model, however, weaken
the east winds Tuesday morning, likely allowing some accumulating
snow (1-2") in ABQ proper. Snow turns showery in nature Tuesday
afternoon with the trough axis moving through NM. Scattered snow
showers will likely linger into Tuesday night, especially western and
northern mountains. Bitter cold overnight lows are forecast Tuesday
night/Wednesday morning as clouds and winds decrease.

Wednesday continues to look like a tranquil but cold day in between
snow storms. The next very cold short-wave trough/low in the series
drops due south through the PACNW and CA Wednesday and Wednesday
night. Southwest flow aloft ahead of this trough/low combines with a
strong baroclinic zone (mid-level temperature gradient) to generate
snow across western NM late-day Thursday into Thursday night. Snow
shifts into central NM Friday and eastern areas Friday night and
Saturday. Global models agree that drier and warmer weather returns
early next week as the MJO finally shifts eastward into phases 1/2.



The combination of a backdoor cold front and approaching potent
upper level low will bring much colder conditions with increasing
chances for wetting precipitation through Tuesday. Significant
snowfall accumulation is likely across northern New Mexico through
Tuesday, with one to two feet possible across the peaks and higher
elevations of the northern mountains. Daytime temperatures will
trend down and be 20 to 30 degrees below normal by Tuesday. Vent
rates will be good to excellent today but will trend down some
Tuesday, especially behind the backdoor cold front across central
and eastern New Mexico where rates will range from poor to fair.

Look for a break Wednesday into Thursday before the next storm
system moves over Friday into Saturday. Significant snowfall
accumulation is likely with the Fri/Sat system as well and may
impact more of central and southern portions of the area than the
early week system. Well below normal temperatures will prevail
through the weekend in the wake of the departing trough.


Winter Weather Advisory from 11 AM this morning to 5 PM MST Tuesday
for the following zones... NMZ507-508-519-524-533-534-537-539.

Winter Storm Warning until 5 PM MST Tuesday for the following
zones... NMZ501>506-510>517-527>532.

Winter Storm Warning from 11 AM this morning to 5 PM MST Tuesday
for the following zones... NMZ518-521>523.



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