Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 031153 AAA
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
453 AM MST Wed Mar 3 2021

.AVIATION...
12Z TAF CYCLE
Southwest winds increase somewhat this afternoon ahead of a closed
upper-level low approaching NM from the west. Some virga-induced
outflow wind gusts could reach western terminals including KGUP and
KFMN after 04/00Z prior to precipitation reaching the ground after
approximately 04/03Z. Shower chances with snow above 6500 feet or so
continue into Thursday morning across western and northern NM.
Additionally, strong to very strong west and northwest are forecast
to develop after sunrise Thursday.

33

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...257 AM MST Wed Mar 3 2021...
.SYNOPSIS...
Temperatures will warm up several more degrees today with southwest
winds increasing through the afternoon. Thicker clouds will spread
northeast into the area by late day as a storm system moves in from
the west. Gusty virga showers are expected this evening over western
NM before spreading into the high terrain as light snow tonight. A
few inches of snow are expected in the high terrain east of Chama by
Thursday morning. A cold front will race southeast through the area
Thursday afternoon with strong west to northwest winds over central
and eastern NM. Meanwhile, light snow will focus over the Sangre de
Cristo Mountains and the Raton Ridge Thursday and Thursday night. A
back door cold front will enter eastern NM with strong north winds
through Friday morning. A warming trend will return Saturday through
Monday with breezy west to southwest winds.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
SHORT TERM...(TODAY THROUGH THURSDAY)...
As a closed upper-level low slowly approaches from the west today,
high temperatures are forecast to warm several degrees above
yesterday`s readings, especially east. Winds along with mid and high
clouds will start increasing today, with clouds lowering enough after
sunset for a few sprinkles or flurries in the southwest and west-
central mountains. Models agree that the vast majority of
precipitation will likely wait until after midnight or so, in large
part due to bone dry low levels. Advisory snow amounts appear likely
for the higher elevations of the Tusas Mountains late tonight into
Thursday and went ahead with a winter weather advisory as a result.
Several inches of accumulation are a good bet for the Sangre de
Cristo Mountains above 8500 feet or so but with less impact given
that the accumulating snow will be higher up. Slightly negative
Lifted Indices (LI`s) continue to show up in the models tonight and
again Thursday afternoon, mostly over the northern mountains, which
is a good indicator for isolated thunderstorms. West winds will
likely howl Thursday, primarily south of I-40 with wind advisory
speeds a good bet for the south-central mountains including Ruidoso
and the Sierra Blanca Airport. Most models agree that wrap-around
orographic snow will continue for the west slopes of the northern
mountains Thursday afternoon, shifting to the Bartlett and Johnson
mesas including Raton Pass Thursday evening.

LONG TERM...(THURSDAY NIGHT THROUGH TUESDAY)...
The upper level storm system is expected to eject quickly eastward
into the southern plains Thursday night. Wrap around precip will be
focused over northeast NM where additional Winter Wx advisories may
be needed. The strong west to northwest winds on Thursday afternoon
will taper off over central and western NM while the focus shifts
into eastern NM behind a back door cold front. Wind Advisories may
also be needed along the TX border into Friday morning as deep layer
northerly flow and a strong surface pressure gradient focuses over
the area.

A high amplitude, weak upper level ridge will approach from the west
Friday afternoon and bring a warming trend to central and western NM
with lighter winds. A weak shortwave trough will pass over the state
Saturday followed by increasing southwest flow on Sunday and Monday.
Temps will trend even warmer with breezier winds each day. The first
70F of the season is possible at KABQ on Sunday 3/07, which would be
only two-days earlier than average.

Extended forecast models are still advertising a slow pattern change
toward broad upper level troughing and potentially more active wx
across the western U.S. beyond Monday.

33/Guyer

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
With a Pacific storm system approaching from the west today, surface
winds will increase somewhat but remain below critical thresholds.
Winds increase much more Thursday but with ERC`s remaining near the
60th percentile and fine fuels simply not dense enough to carry fire
at a decent clip, will hold off on any fire weather highlights.
Strong high pressure begins building in from the west Friday,
continuing into the weekend. The next weather maker is forecast to
bring increasing winds and chances for rain and snow early next week.

33

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Winter Weather Advisory from 11 PM this evening to 5 PM MST
Thursday for the following zones... NMZ210.

&&

$$


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