Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 160010 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
510 PM MST Fri Feb 15 2019

Unsettled weather will befall on New Mexico over the next 24 to 36
hours, as a significant jet stream aloft bisects the state and a fast
moving trough aloft clips the southern Rockies. Strong winds will
buffet most of the state Saturday with the strongest gusts (40 to 50
kt) expected in the central highlands and east central to
southeastern plains. Areas of blowing dust will be possible over the
eastern plains with occasional MVFR ceilings/visibilities possible
late Saturday afternoon. Any precipitation (mostly snow) will be
focused over northwestern to north central parts of the state,
beginning around dawn and continuing into the afternoon Saturday with
temporary MVFR to LIFR conditions. Areas of blowing snow and low
clouds will periodically obscure the northern mountain peaks and
ridges Saturday.



.PREV DISCUSSION...317 PM MST Fri Feb 15 2019...
Another round of snow is expected across the northern mountains late
tonight through Saturday. Strong winds will create areas of blowing
snow and reduced visibility. Potentially damaging winds will also
impact much of east central New Mexico as well as the south central
mountains on Saturday. Gusts near 60 mph will be possible. Even the
remainder of eastern New Mexico may see gusts near 50 mph. Another
colder storm system will impact the state Monday and Tuesday. More
snow is expected for at least northern and western New Mexico, while
temperatures drop areawide. Tuesday will be the coldest day, with
many areas struggling to get above freezing. Quieter but continued
cool conditions will persist through the mid week, but another storm
system has its eyes set on New Mexico for the end of the week.


Another quick moving shortwave trough will cross northern NM late
tonight and Saturday. This will bring another round of light to
moderate snow across the northern mountains and strong to damaging
winds elsewhere. Have issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Tusas
and the highest elevations of the Sangres due to the combination of
snow and blowing snow. Mountain top level winds will increase
overnight, ranging between 35 and 40 kts over the northern mtns by
Saturday morning. However, the strongest portion of the mid level jet
will be crossing central and southern portions of the state with
700mb winds between 50 and 60kts. This combined with a 993 mb surface
low over southeast CO and strong mixing, have also issued a High Wind
Watch for much of east central NM as well as the south central
mountains. The potential for surface wind gusts near 60 mph exists.
Temperatures will also be cooling tomorrow -- generally high
temperatures will be around 8 to 15 degrees cooler than today. Wind
chills in the single digits and teens will be possible in the
northern mountains and 20s across much of the west.

Another lull in precipitation is expected on Saturday night, though a
few showers will be possible across the west. Winds will also
diminish Saturday night, though some breeziness is expected to return
Sunday afternoon. A few showers may also develop across NW NM Sunday
afternoon and evening in advance of the next storm system.

The next storm system will be diving down the Great Basin on Sunday
and then will slowly cross NM on Monday and Tuesday. This system will
be much colder, dropping snow levels down nearly to the valley floor.
As aforementioned earlier, some snow showers will begin as early as
Sunday afternoon and evening, though the bulk of the snow will begin
early Monday across the west as the Pacific cold front pushes into
the area. However, a back door cold front will also be nudging into
the northeast on Monday, and as lift from the upper level trough
overspreads the low level upslope flow, widespread snow is expected
to develop along and east of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. This
area of snow will shift southward on Tuesday as the trough axis
crosses the area and the back door front sags southward. The snow may
mix with rain as it shifts southward of Highway 60. Nonetheless, more
snow will be on the way for much of northern and western NM Monday
and Tuesday. Fortunately, winds will not be as strong as the Saturday

Temperatures will likely bottom out on Tuesday, with many areas
struggling to get above freezing. Wednesday will remain quite cold,
generally 10 to 20 degrees below normal. Only slight improvement is
expected on Thursday while the next storm system is dropping
southward across California. Timing differs slightly between the GFS
and the ECMWF regarding when the system will cross NM. The GFS is a
bit faster, with the associated precipitation impacting the area on
Friday and Friday night, while the ECMWF is slower, and has the bulk
of the precipitation affecting the area Friday night and early
Saturday. This system looks to bring another round of strong winds as



A fast and moist westerly flow aloft is forecast to bring additional
wetting precipitation to the higher terrain of the northwest and
north central late tonight and Saturday, mostly in the form of snow,
while strong winds redevelop over the east and south. Temperatures
will cool down about 5 to 15 degrees Saturday and moreso Sunday,
resulting in a significantly cooler departure from normal. The
localized critical fire weather conditions anticipated for Saturday
afternoon over parts of the East Central Plains continues to shrink
in areal coverage, minimizing any concern. However, strong winds
gusting to around 55 or 60 mph are forecast to return to some of the
higher terrain late tonight and become more widespread across the
Central Highlands and East Central Plains Saturday morning. Forecast
humidities are above the threshold for critical conditions, despite
the strong winds.

Precipitation starts to increase again Sunday night over northwest
New Mexico. At the same time, a frontal boundary invades the
northeast. Forecast models continue to be consistent with a colder,
snowy and windy storm system impacting much of northern and central
NM Monday and Tuesday. Another system could bring additional snow to
the central and west, along with more wind, late next week.
Temperatures will remain below seasonal normals through next Friday.

Good to excellent vent rates are forecast Saturday, along and south
of Interstate 40 Sunday and over portions of western and southern
New Mexico Monday. Rates diminish overall Tuesday.


High Wind Watch from Saturday morning through Saturday afternoon
for the following zones... NMZ523-526-529-532>537-539.

Winter Weather Advisory from 2 AM to 5 PM MST Saturday for the
following zones... NMZ510.

Winter Weather Advisory from 7 AM to 5 PM MST Saturday for the
following zones... NMZ513-514.


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