Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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181
FXUS65 KABQ 220959
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
259 AM MST Fri Feb 22 2019

.SYNOPSIS...
Deep low pressure will move eastward across Arizona today, and snow
coverage will increase across western and north central New Mexico.
The snow will be heavy across the mountains and light to moderate
across the rest of the area. Light rain showers will develop late
this afternoon and this evening across central and eastern portions
of the state. A Pacific cold front will move across western New
Mexico early this afternoon and then race eastward across the state.
Rain will change to snow across the Rio Grande Valley this evening
and across eastern New Mexico late this evening. Very strong winds
will develop late tonight across south central and southeast New
Mexico, while snow will continue east of the central mountains and
across the higher terrain to the west. Snow will exit the northeast
plains by early Saturday afternoon with below normal daytime
temperatures and clearing skies. Dry weather and a gradual warming
trend are expected Sunday through early next week.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
The deep upper low over far southeast California this morning will
move slowly eastward today. Moisture-rich south to south-southwest
mid and upper level flow ahead of the upper low will move across
western and north central New Mexico today. Favorable H3 jet
dynamics and embedded H5 vorticity maxima in this flow aloft will
provide general ascent across these areas, and widespread light to
moderate snowfall will occur across much of western and north
central portions of the state. Orographic lift will enhance snowfall
rates across the higher terrain and mountains in these areas, where
heavy snow will predominate. The west-facing slopes and the high
peaks of the Southwest, Jemez, Sangre de Cristo and Tusas Mountains,
as well as the highest terrain near the Continental Divide, will
receive between 8 and 14 inches of new snow today. Before the snow
ends across these areas early Saturday morning, 18 to 24 inches of
snow will have accumulated in the higher peaks. The rest of New
Mexico, including the Middle and Lower Rio Grande Valley, the
highlands east of the central mountains and the eastern plains, will
see isolated to scattered rain showers develop late this afternoon
and evening, as weaker upper level dynamics and increasing deep layer
moisture move across the area. A Pacific cold front will move into
western New Mexico early this afternoon, as the upper low to the west
pushes into eastern Arizona. The cold front will race eastward
across New Mexico this afternoon and evening, crossing eastern New
Mexico after midnight. High resolution models are in good agreement
in showing a band of moderate to locally heavy precipitation along
and behind the Pacific cold front. Rain showers will change to snow
showers quickly after the frontal passage. The rapid progression of
the front to the east will limit the time period for accumulating
snow across central and eastern New Mexico, where a quick inch or two
is likely. Synoptic and smaller scale models are depicting a
weakening of the upper level forcing above the front as it crosses
the Middle Rio Grande Valley. This could limit snowfall across the
Albuquerque metro area with around one half an inch in the valley and
one to one and a half inches in the foothills, where upslope flow
will enhance snowfall.

The upper low is forecast to deepen and take on a negative tilt
after midnight tonight, as it moves rapidly eastward over east
central New Mexico. A band of very strong winds aloft at H7, ranging
from 55 to 70 knots, will be shunted to the lower levels of the
atmosphere in the subsident region to the south and west of the
upper low and in the area of cold advection behind the cold front.
The area south of I-40 and east of the central mountains can expect
very strong west to northwest winds with gusts to 60 mph, especially
across the higher terrain of south central New Mexico. Despite
afternoon clearing on Saturday and the Pacific origin of air behind
the cold front, robust cold advection behind the front and the moist
low layers of the atmosphere will contribute to much colder than
normal daytime temperatures. Highs Saturday will be 12 to 22
degrees below normal across central and western New Mexico and 4 to
14 degrees below normal across the eastern New Mexico.

Near zonal flow aloft Sunday through Tuesday will support dry
weather and a gradual warming trend. High temperatures Tuesday will
be above normal east of the central mountains and slight below
normal to the west. A weak backdoor cold front will bring cooler
air, but still near normal temperatures, to the eastern plains on
Wednesday, while the remainder of the state will be within a few
degrees of normal. The backdoor front will produce some light
precipitation to the east across west Texas, but appears to dry out
as it moves into eastern New Mexico.

28

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
Accumulating snow will spread from areas along and west of the
Contdvd early this morning into the RGV and to the central mountain
chain by mid to late this afternoon. Gusty south to southwest winds
to around 45 mph are possible this afternoon over the Northeast
Highlands but humidities won`t be low enough to trigger critical
fire weather conditions. Isolated short lived thunderstorms are also
possible this afternoon but the instability forecast by the NAM12 is
more focused over some of the higher terrain versus the current SPC
Day 1 outlook which highlights areas mainly along and south of
Interstate 40 and the eastern plains.

Snow may linger into tonight over the west, as it continues over the
central and works into the eastern plains before exiting Saturday.
The greatest storm total snow accumulations are still expected over
the western and northern high terrain.

Late tonight into Saturday very strong to potentially damaging west
to northwest winds will rake portions of the central mountain chain
and eastern New Mexico with gusts to around 55-65 mph. Winds over
the Northeast Plains will be more from the northwest and north. The
wind is expected to diminish late Saturday afternoon. Good to
excellent ventilation over the eastern two thirds today with poor
rates far northwest. Good to excellent rates Saturday east and south
central with fair to poor rates along and west of the Contdvd.

Lighter westerly winds Sunday and Monday with a warming trend.
However, temperatures remain below normal through Sunday before
warming to above average over the east on Monday and Tuesday. Winds
increase Tuesday with a strong front impacting the eastern plains
late Tuesday night/Wednesday followed by another front late next
week. Most of next week appears dry although a few snow showers
can`t be ruled out over the northwestern high terrain Tuesday
through Wednesday.

&&

.AVIATION...
06Z TAF CYCLE
A potent storm system approaching from the west will spread snow into
western NM overnight. Ongoing IFR impacts at KGUP will continue thru
sunrise Friday with periods of MVFR around KFMN. Snow will march east
across the Cont Dvd Friday and into the Rio Grande Valley aft 22Z as
a potent cold front moves into the area. Strong southerly winds will
precede the cold front on Friday with gusts in the 25 to 35 kt range
at most terminals. Any rain showers ahead of the front will change to
snow by 00Z. Snow will continue Friday evening over much of central
and western NM as the core of the upper level low slides overhead.

Guyer

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
Farmington......................  38  17  34  11 /  70  50   0   0
Dulce...........................  37   8  33  -2 /  90  60   0   0
Cuba............................  35  15  31   8 / 100  70   5   0
Gallup..........................  33  11  33   7 /  80  40   0   0
El Morro........................  33   9  31   1 /  90  50   0   0
Grants..........................  36  14  35   8 /  90  40   0   0
Quemado.........................  34  14  31  10 /  90  50   0   0
Glenwood........................  37  19  40  18 /  90  40   0   0
Chama...........................  33   7  29   0 /  90  70   5   0
Los Alamos......................  38  22  36  14 /  80  80   0   0
Pecos...........................  38  19  34  15 /  70  80   5   0
Cerro/Questa....................  34  17  30   6 /  70  80  20   0
Red River.......................  28  13  24  -2 /  80  80  20   0
Angel Fire......................  32   7  28 -11 /  70  90  20   0
Taos............................  38  15  33   0 /  70  80  10   0
Mora............................  37  20  35  13 /  70  80   5   0
Espanola........................  43  23  39  15 /  70  70   0   0
Santa Fe........................  38  21  34  16 /  70  80   5   0
Santa Fe Airport................  42  20  37  14 /  70  70   0   0
Albuquerque Foothills...........  46  25  39  21 /  70  70   0   0
Albuquerque Heights.............  47  26  42  22 /  70  60   0   0
Albuquerque Valley..............  49  21  44  17 /  70  60   0   0
Albuquerque West Mesa...........  47  22  42  18 /  70  60   0   0
Los Lunas.......................  49  15  45  10 /  70  60   0   0
Rio Rancho......................  47  24  41  19 /  70  60   0   0
Socorro.........................  47  25  47  20 /  80  60   0   0
Sandia Park/Cedar Crest.........  40  21  33  17 /  80  70   0   0
Tijeras.........................  43  20  36  15 /  70  70   0   0
Moriarty/Estancia...............  45  16  39  11 /  50  70   0   0
Clines Corners..................  42  18  34  16 /  50  80   0   0
Gran Quivira....................  45  20  38  16 /  60  80   0   0
Carrizozo.......................  50  23  41  21 /  40  80   0   0
Ruidoso.........................  46  19  40  21 /  30  80   0   0
Capulin.........................  45  18  37  10 /   5  90  60   0
Raton...........................  47  20  41   9 /  40  70  40   0
Springer........................  49  25  44  12 /  40  70  20   0
Las Vegas.......................  42  21  40  13 /  50  80   0   0
Clayton.........................  53  25  42  18 /   0  80  60   0
Roy.............................  49  26  45  16 /  10  70  20   0
Conchas.........................  58  32  54  23 /   0  60  10   0
Santa Rosa......................  56  27  48  22 /  10  60   0   0
Tucumcari.......................  63  31  55  20 /   0  60  20   0
Clovis..........................  61  28  52  21 /   0  40   5   0
Portales........................  63  29  54  21 /   0  40   0   0
Fort Sumner.....................  59  30  51  22 /   0  50   0   0
Roswell.........................  66  31  58  23 /   0  40   0   0
Picacho.........................  56  28  48  24 /   5  40   0   0
Elk.............................  51  23  47  22 /  10  50   0   0

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
High Wind Watch from late tonight through Saturday afternoon for
the following zones... NMZ523-526-533>540.

Winter Storm Warning until 5 AM MST Saturday for the following
zones... NMZ501>514-516.

Wind Advisory from noon today to 5 PM MST this afternoon for the
following zones... NMZ528-529.

&&

$$



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