Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 141142 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
542 AM MDT Wed Apr 14 2021

Aviation hazards will initially be focused on gap/canyon winds at
KABQ and KSAF with low stratus clouds also being a widespread
concern in eastern New Mexico. An Airport Weather Warning will
be extended through 13/1500UTC at KABQ for gusts occasionally
hitting 35 kt while lesser peak gusts of 20 to 25 kt are expected at
KSAF. MVFR to IFR ceilings have entered eastern New Mexico and will
continue to advance farther north and west toward the central
mountain chain through the late morning. Ceilings may raise or break
up into the afternoon hours, but northeastern to east central New
Mexico locales may retain MVFR ceilings well into the late afternoon.
Spotty light showers or dry thunderstorms cannot be ruled out over
the northern mountains this afternoon with drizzle and or sprinkles
possible in parts of the eastern plains and this could extend or
redevelop tonight. Lastly, in the far western areas of the state,
southwest winds will turn strong with afternoon gusts of 35 to 45 kt.



.PREV DISCUSSION...313 AM MDT Wed Apr 14 2021...
Breezy to windy conditions will prevail across western and central
portions of New Mexico for the remainder of the week as temperatures
across the east remain below normal through early next week. A
strong cold front is expected Friday bringing moisture and cooler
temperatures areawide in its wake. This will increase shower,
mountain snow, and thunderstorm chances over the weekend. Conditions
will dry out by Tuesday and temperatures will slowly begin to
rebound to near and above normal.


High pressure at the surface strengthened a bit more last night over
the central plains, nudging pressure rises farther south and even
into NM. This has kept, if not strengthened, the stiff surface
gradient in place of central to eastern parts of NM that has been
driving the gap winds this morning. Similar to yesterday, these
canyon winds are expected to slacken a bit into the late morning
with directions veering more southerly into the afternoon. As
previously advertised, the east southeasterly flow is expected to
advect increased low layer moisture into NM going through the late
morning and afternoon. Evidence of this can already be seen on
satellite imagery in the form of low stratus clouds expanding from
west TX into the southeastern plains of NM.

These low clouds are expected to make a run toward the east slopes
of the central mountain chain through the late morning, and a fairly
widespread blanket of stratus is expected to be across much of the
eastern half of NM before noon. The stratus will likely wreak havoc
on todays high temperatures in eastern zones, as the deck is
expected to erode away in some central to southeastern zones, but
much of northeastern NM may retain cloudy, drizzly conditions well
into the late afternoon.

As the upper low meanders into northern NV today it will spread
strong west southwest flow into AZ and the Four Corners region along
with a prominent mid level dry slot. This will spread stronger
surface winds in western NM with dewpoints also plummeting in
western zones. Deep boundary layer mixing could bring some gusts to
45 or 50 mph to areas around the Chuskas and Gallup, so a Wind
Advisory will be issued for these areas this afternoon. Closer to
the boundary of the drier air in the west and the cooler, moist air
in the east, some meager instability will be found, potentially
yielding some virga or brief showers/thunderstorms over the northern
mountains and surrounding highlands. Temperatures in western zones
will be slightly above average today.

The upper low gets set into eastward motion on Thursday, dragging
stronger winds and drier air into NM. This will shove the north-
south oriented dryline farther to the east, but it should remain
over the eastern plains of NM into the afternoon. Early morning
stratus will have likely redeveloped or expanded over the east, but
should retreat eastward along with the dryline, leading to slightly
warmer temperatures in the plains. Once again, a few storms may fire
along the dryline (in northern zones) where marginal instability
will exist. As for the winds, at this time most areas appear to
remain below advisory criteria for Thursday.

Highly amplified 300 mb winds aloft continue to carve their way into
the Desert Southwest Thursday night as the upper level low pushes
into the Rockies. While the jet strengthens overhead to a stout 140
kts, a deep sfc low takes hold across central New Mexico. Breezy to
windy conditions that were felt across the forecast area during the
day will be slow to decouple into the night but should finally
subside just after midnight. As the low pushes east, it kicks off a
strong backdoor front down northeast New Mexico early Friday morning.
This blast of cold air will work to back fill into western New
Mexico, sending a surge of east canyon winds across the Middle Rio
Grande Valley late Friday night into Saturday morning. Meanwhile, a
trailing shortwave will dig into western New Mexico as additional
moisture is entrained. Given the enhanced lift, available moisture,
and ample sfc convergence, should see widespread showers and
thunderstorms throughout the weekend. Models have come into better
agreement with the evolution of the system from there, closing the
trailing shortwave off into a H5 low over the Arizona/New Mexico
border Sunday morning. Some discrepancy still exists regarding QPF
with the GFS being the most ambitious, but conditions for widespread
showers, mountain snow, and isolated thunderstorms look favorable for
much of the forecast area Saturday night into Sunday morning.
Temperatures fall to well below normal starting Friday and remain
cooler until Tuesday when they finally start to rebound.




A Red Flag Warning remains in effect for western NM zones today due
to escalating concerns for more widespread critical conditions.
Stronger winds aloft will cross AZ and nose their way into these
western NM, bringing much drier air to areas near and west of the
Continental Divide and a few to several areas of critical conditions
are still expected. The north-south oriented dryline that will
sharpen up over the state today will mark the edge of the much
cooler, moist and stable airmass that will blanket the eastern half
of the state, and no critical conditions are expected in these
eastern zones.

A widespread Fire Weather Watch remains in place for western and
central NM for Thursday. Once the upper low gets set into eastward
motion, stronger winds and dry air will expand farther east. These
critical elements will be juxtaposed with high Haines indices and
escalating Energy Release Components, garnering more confidence for
a fire weather growing pattern Thursday afternoon.

Critical conditions are still expected to come to an end Friday into
the weekend as a significant cold front invades NM with rising
humidity and increased chances for wetting precipitation.



Red Flag Warning from noon today to 8 PM MDT this evening for the
following zones... NMZ101-105-109.

Fire Weather Watch from Thursday afternoon through Thursday evening
for the following zones... NMZ101-102-105>107-109.

Wind Advisory from 1 PM this afternoon to 8 PM MDT this evening for
the following zones... NMZ202-205.


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