Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 011138 AAA
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
438 AM MST Fri Mar 1 2024

...New AVIATION...

.SYNOPSIS...
Issued at 228 AM MST Fri Mar 1 2024

Increasing dry, warm, and windy conditions bring a
return of critical fire weather this weekend. Wind strengths peak
Sunday with high wind potential likely over the northern mountains
and adjacent northeastern highlands and northeastern plains Sunday
afternoon. Dangerous conditions including hazardous crosswinds on
area highways and the potential for rapid fire spread will be
present both Saturday and certainly Sunday. Light snow will also be
possible at the peaks of the northwestern mountains including Tusas
Mountains near Chama Sunday. Calmer conditions return Monday but
winds do not entirely subside.

&&

.SHORT TERM...
(Today through Saturday)
Issued at 228 AM MST Fri Mar 1 2024

Satellite RGB imagery and surface obs across the region show patchy
fog in a few valley locales south of the I-40 corridor early this
morning. Elsewhere, west winds have kept the boundary layer mixed
with warmer temps compared to this time last night. Any lingering
fog over the region by sunrise will clear quickly as surface winds
increase thru mid morning in all areas. Today will be a transition
day back to spring-like weather with warm, very dry, and breezy
conditions. Max temps will trend significantly warmer today across
eastern NM with readings 10 to 15F above normal. Winds aloft will
strengthen further tonight as an upper level trough approaches from
the northwest. Wind gusts in the high terrain will approach 45 mph
by sunrise Sunday. Winds will remain elevated across the plains as
well with min temps trending another 5F warmer than tonight.

Saturday will be very dry and windy as the upper level trough inches
eastward closer to NM. 700-500mb layer winds increase to between 50
and 60kt along the central and western high terrain by mid to late
day. Meanwhile, a large dry intrusion noted on water vapor off the
Baja coastline will slide east/northeast into NM with 700mb dewpoint
depressions between 40 and 50C across southeast NM. Deep mixing with
inverted-V profiles will lead to widespread windy conditions with
low surface humidity and above normal temps across the region. Winds
are likely to gust up to 45 mph over the high terrain and parts of
eastern NM. Patchy blowing dust is expected in this pattern along
with hazardous travel for large and high-profile vehicles. Dangerous
fire weather conditions will also take shape from the central mt
chain eastward across the plains. Even stronger winds will arrive
Saturday night into Sunday which is discussed in more detail in the
long-term section. A High Wind Watch and Red Flag Warnings have been
posted.

&&

.LONG TERM...
(Saturday night through Thursday)
Issued at 228 AM MST Fri Mar 1 2024

The long term period begins with the forecast`s peak
high wind potential Saturday night through Sunday. The leading edge
of a polar jetmax will be streaming over the NM/CO border early
Sunday morning, highlighted by 85-90kt H5 wind speeds. Areas of
concern will be the high terrain of northern NM including the Chuska
Mountains and Sangre de Cristo Mountains where ridge top winds could
be as high as 50 to 70 mph. Analysis of vertical cross-sections
perpendicular to the Sangre de Cristo`s show high likelihood for
mountain wave activity bringing these high winds to the surface lee
of the mountain range to the I-25 corridor from Las Vegas to Raton
Pass. The main jetcore lifts northward into CO and over KS/NE by
Sunday afternoon, lowering potential for mountain wave activity
through the day. Despite this, vertical mixing through the day will
expand the threat of high winds to lower elevations mainly east of
the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Less potential for high winds will
lay further south away from the jet core, including Roswell where
lower elevations within the Pecos Valley should be more protected
and harder to mix down to. Stronger winds will still be capable of
reaching the more exposed Sacramento Mountains including Ruidoso.
Windy conditions will also be present for areas along and west of
the Rio Grande Valley, but not as strong as the east-central and
northeastern plains of NM. Blowing dust will be possible Sunday
afternoon, especially for areas north of I-40 where the strongest
winds will be. Isolated spots of low visibility from blowing dust
will be possible near source locations.

Concerning precipitation, some light snow potential is likely for
the west slopes of the northern mountains along the CO border
Sunday, notable the Tusas Mountains near Chama. This potential
lessens heading into Sunday night and Monday morning as the
shortwave trough quickly exits eastward.

Wind potential goes down Monday but does not dissapear entirely.
Windy westerlies will remain most areas Monday afternoon as a
result. Thereafter, considerable differences appear in the
deterministic runs and their associated ensemble means of the GFS
and ECMWF. The more progressive ECMWF solution kicks out the last
shortwave within a larger troughing pattern over the western CONUS
earlier Monday. The GFS is 24hrs behind with this feature Tuesday
morning. This subsequently results in an entire days difference in
timing regarding a backdoor front sliding southward into eastern NM
either Monday or Tuesday impacting forecast high temperatures there
each day. Light showers along the east slopes of the Sangre de
Cristo Mountains could coincide with the frontal passage as well.
Thus, many aspects of Monday and Tuesday`s forecast for northeastern
NM has low forecast confidence at this time, stay tuned. Forecast
confidence lowers further thereafter for Wednesday and Thursday,
Days 6 and 7.

&&

.AVIATION...
(12Z TAFS)
Issued at 414 AM MST Fri Mar 1 2024

A small patch of IFR fog along the Pecos River near KROW will
dissipate quickly after sunrise. Dry and breezy southwest winds
will increase by 1pm today with gusts of 20 to 30 kt at most
terminals thru sunset. Winds aloft will strengthen tonight with
LLWS developing around KGUP and KLVS after 8 pm.

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Issued at 228 AM MST Fri Mar 1 2024

...RED FLAG WARNING IN EFFECT FOR THE SANDIA/MANZANO MTS AND
NORTHEAST AND EAST CENTRAL NM SATURDAY DUE TO STRONG WINDS, LOW
HUMIDITY, AN UNSTABLE AIRMASS, AND ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES...

...FIRE WEATHER WATCH IN EFFECT FOR NORTHEAST AND EAST CENTRAL NM
SUNDAY DUE TO STRONG WINDS, LOW HUMIDITY, AN UNSTABLE AIRMASS, AND
ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES...

A fire growing pattern will commence today and continue through the
weekend. Marginal critical fire weather conditions are likely today
along the I-40 corridor of eastern NM but this is only a preview of
the more dangerous conditions expected over the weekend.

An upper level trough approaching slowly from the northwest will
allow winds to trend stronger by Saturday and Sunday. Meanwhile, a
large dry intrusion off the Baja coastline will move east/northeast
into NM Saturday with deep mixing, unstable conditions, single digit
humidity, and above normal temps. RFTI values remain extreme across
a large portion of east central and northeast NM so confidence is
high enough for a Red Flag Warning. This warning was expanded west
to include the Sandia/Manzano Mts given the extensive dry airmass
and likelihood of stronger winds in the higher terrain after at
least 3 weeks with no precipitation. Poor recoveries are expected
for a large portion of eastern NM Saturday night as we head into the
next period of critical fire weather Sunday. A Fire Weather Watch is
already in effect for Sunday.

The upper level trough is likely to pass north of NM by Monday with
cooler temps and slightly higher humidity. This may limit the threat
for critical conditions however widespread marginally critical
fire weather still exists. A backdoor cold front is still shown
moving southwest into eastern NM Monday night and Tuesday which
will bring relief to the critical conditions for Tuesday.

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
Farmington......................  61  30  64  38 /   0   0   0  20
Dulce...........................  54  20  57  30 /   0   0   0  30
Cuba............................  57  28  59  32 /   0   0   0   0
Gallup..........................  61  26  60  31 /   0   0   0   5
El Morro........................  56  26  57  31 /   0   0   0   0
Grants..........................  61  23  62  30 /   0   0   0   0
Quemado.........................  60  27  60  32 /   0   0   0   0
Magdalena.......................  61  33  62  36 /   0   0   0   0
Datil...........................  58  28  57  32 /   0   0   0   0
Reserve.........................  63  24  62  32 /   0   0   0   0
Glenwood........................  64  38  66  38 /   0   0   0   0
Chama...........................  47  19  50  24 /   0   0   0  30
Los Alamos......................  55  34  59  36 /   0   0   0   0
Pecos...........................  56  31  59  35 /   0   0   0   0
Cerro/Questa....................  48  32  50  37 /   0   0   0   5
Red River.......................  46  22  48  26 /   0   0   0   5
Angel Fire......................  44  17  46  22 /   0   0   0   0
Taos............................  55  23  57  29 /   0   0   0   5
Mora............................  56  30  58  33 /   0   0   0   0
Espanola........................  62  27  65  37 /   0   0   0   0
Santa Fe........................  56  32  59  35 /   0   0   0   0
Santa Fe Airport................  60  30  62  35 /   0   0   0   0
Albuquerque Foothills...........  63  36  66  41 /   0   0   0   0
Albuquerque Heights.............  65  35  68  40 /   0   0   0   0
Albuquerque Valley..............  68  33  70  39 /   0   0   0   0
Albuquerque West Mesa...........  66  33  69  40 /   0   0   0   0
Belen...........................  68  29  71  37 /   0   0   0   0
Bernalillo......................  66  34  69  40 /   0   0   0   0
Bosque Farms....................  68  30  70  37 /   0   0   0   0
Corrales........................  67  33  69  40 /   0   0   0   0
Los Lunas.......................  68  30  70  38 /   0   0   0   0
Placitas........................  61  35  64  40 /   0   0   0   0
Rio Rancho......................  66  33  69  40 /   0   0   0   0
Socorro.........................  69  35  72  39 /   0   0   0   0
Sandia Park/Cedar Crest.........  56  34  60  38 /   0   0   0   0
Tijeras.........................  60  32  64  38 /   0   0   0   0
Edgewood........................  60  30  64  36 /   0   0   0   0
Moriarty/Estancia...............  61  26  65  33 /   0   0   0   0
Clines Corners..................  57  29  60  32 /   0   0   0   0
Mountainair.....................  60  32  63  35 /   0   0   0   0
Gran Quivira....................  59  29  62  35 /   0   0   0   0
Carrizozo.......................  62  37  65  42 /   0   0   0   0
Ruidoso.........................  57  37  59  40 /   0   0   0   0
Capulin.........................  61  29  61  36 /   0   0   0   0
Raton...........................  63  26  63  35 /   0   0   0   0
Springer........................  63  26  65  37 /   0   0   0   0
Las Vegas.......................  61  31  62  36 /   0   0   0   0
Clayton.........................  70  36  71  43 /   0   0   0   0
Roy.............................  66  32  67  40 /   0   0   0   0
Conchas.........................  73  36  73  45 /   0   0   0   0
Santa Rosa......................  67  35  70  40 /   0   0   0   0
Tucumcari.......................  73  35  74  41 /   0   0   0   0
Clovis..........................  72  37  75  39 /   0   0   0   0
Portales........................  72  34  76  40 /   0   0   0   0
Fort Sumner.....................  71  34  74  37 /   0   0   0   0
Roswell.........................  75  38  80  41 /   0   0   0   0
Picacho.........................  70  40  71  42 /   0   0   0   0
Elk.............................  68  39  69  42 /   0   0   0   0

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Red Flag Warning from 11 AM to 7 PM MST Saturday for NMZ104-
123>126.

High Wind Watch from late Saturday night through Sunday evening
for NMZ228-229-231-232.

Fire Weather Watch from Sunday morning through Sunday evening
for NMZ104-123-125-126.

High Wind Watch from Saturday evening through Sunday evening for
NMZ202-213>215-227.

&&

$$

SHORT TERM...42
LONG TERM....24
AVIATION...42


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