Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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000 FXUS65 KABQ 041142 AAA AFDABQ Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED National Weather Service Albuquerque NM 442 AM MST Thu Mar 4 2021 .AVIATION... 12Z TAF CYCLE A round of showers developing ahead of an approaching upper level low may bring short-lived MVFR conditions to KFMN and KGUP this morning into early afternoon. Areas of mountain obscurations will develop today as well, mainly across the northern mountains, then gradually dissipate overnight. Strong winds will develop today, with the potential for patches of blowing dust to develop across eastern NM and possibly impact KTCC and KROW. Otherwise, VFR conditions prevail and are forecast to persist with windy conditions through at least early evening. 11 && .PREV DISCUSSION...237 AM MST Thu Mar 4 2021... .SYNOPSIS... Windy to very windy and cooler weather is forecast for today as a Pacific storm system slides east along the Colorado border. Scattered snow showers will favor the northern mountains through the day with only slight chances for rain or snow showers elsewhere. Winds decrease on Friday with high pressure building over the region from the west. The warmest temperatures so far this year are forecast by Sunday and Monday with strong winds and cooler temperatures returning Tuesday and Wednesday. && .DISCUSSION... SHORT TERM...(TODAY THROUGH FRIDAY)... A very dry atmosphere over our area preceding a Pacific low, currently progressing east along the AZ/UT border per the latest water vapor satellite imagery, will significantly limit precipitation today except for along the peaks and higher west- facing slopes of the northern mountains due to strong mechanical forcing. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Tusas Mountains where up to 6" of snow is possible across the peaks. Perhaps the bigger impact associated with the Pacific low as it moves rapidly along the NM/CO border later today will be windy to locally very windy conditions along with the potential for blowing dust. Added the Sandia/Manzanos, Estancia Valley, South Central Highlands and Chaves County to the Wind Advisory for today. Otherwise, today will be cooler than yesterday by 5-15 degrees and below normal central and west. The eastern plains will be 5-10 degrees above normal thanks to strong downslope winds and cold air advection delayed there until later this afternoon. Strong winds will persist across the northeast plains on the backside of the ejecting upper low overnight and a Wind Advisory may be required. A very stable atmosphere will prevail Friday as a fairly amplified upper level ridge moves in behind the departing upper low and easterly flow prevails near the surface, bringing below normal temperatures for the eastern plains. LONG TERM...(FRIDAY NIGHT THROUGH WEDNESDAY)... Models agree that a high amplitude ridge axis will move overhead Friday night into early Saturday. Dry weather with light winds and warming temperatures will result. By Saturday night, a dry and very weak upper trough slides eastward through the state. The wind shift near and above mountain-top level will result in a lee side surface low in eastern CO and northeast NM. Breezy winds will likely keep low temperatures rather mild for eastern portions of the state Sunday morning. The progressive pattern continues with another ridge building overhead Sunday. The warmest temperatures so far this year are looking more likely for Sunday and Monday as a result. For what seems like an eternity of the same or a very similar upper level flow pattern in the EPAC and Western U.S. continues through much of next week with relatively deep upper-level troughs/closed lows dropping southeastward through OR and CA. The increasing flow ahead of this low will result in wind increases for Tuesday and Wednesday along with slight chances for a few showers across mainly the northern mountains given sufficient mid-level moisture. Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) is forecast to remain weak and quasi- stuck through the next couple of weeks thanks to a continuing weak La Nina. The resulting near neutral or weak negative Pacific- North American pattern will likely hold for at least another couple of weeks. 11/33 && .FIRE WEATHER... A Pacific low and associated cold front are on approach and will move across the region later today through tonight. Strong winds will develop later today and when combined with downslope warming will bring critical fire weather conditions to the northeast and east central plains, where fuels may be receptive to the spread of fire. The Pacific low will bring chances for wetting precipitation, mostly in the form of snow, to the northern mountains and surrounding high terrain. An upper level ridge will follow Friday into Saturday. The southwesterlies will trend up Sunday through early next week with temperatures rising above to well above normal. Winds will be on the uptrend from Sunday through the middle of next week, but the jetstream will bring Pacific moisture into the region which would limit the potential for critical fire weather conditions. 11 && .ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... Wind Advisory from 9 AM this morning to 6 PM MST this evening for the following zones... NMZ223-229-232>237. Wind Advisory from noon today to 6 PM MST this evening for the following zones... NMZ221-222-224-238. Red Flag Warning from noon today to 6 PM MST this evening for the following zones... NMZ104-108. Wind Advisory until 6 PM MST this evening for the following zones... NMZ226-239-240. Winter Weather Advisory until 5 PM MST this afternoon for the following zones... NMZ210. && $$ is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.