Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 230550 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1150 PM MDT Thu Mar 22 2018

Southwest to westerly flow aloft, strengthening considerably aft
23/12Z as upper trough passes just to the north of NM. Southeast
flow may bring patchy low clouds to far se NM aft 23/08Z. Potential
for MVFR/IFR cigs/vsbys not reflected in the KROW TAF at this time as
other models not so aggressive. Otherwise, mts over nw and north
central NM to become occasionally obscured aft 23/10Z with scattered
-shrasn. Winds increase at the same time and shift to w-nwly as a
cold front races from west to east over NM. Gusts to around 45kt
likely over ern NM aft 23/18Z with lcl reduced vsbys in bldu. Winds
subside after sunset.


.PREV DISCUSSION...252 PM MDT Thu Mar 22 2018...
The warming continues today, with well above normal temperatures and
a number of eastern plains locales challenging daily records. Clouds
will spread across the state tonight and help to moderate
temperatures Friday, except across the eastern plains where strong
downslope winds will send temperatures soaring to near daily records
once again at locales such as Roswell, Portales and Clovis. Strong
winds will spread over the area Friday and result in very windy
conditions across much of central and eastern New Mexico Friday
afternoon and early evening. A stronger Pacific system will approach
Sunday and create strong winds across much of the area once again.
This system will move slowly east across the region into mid week and
combine with a backdoor cold front to produce good chances for
precipitation, peaking Wednesday and Wednesday night. Below normal
temperatures will follow behind the backdoor cold front Tuesday
through Wednesday.


The warming trend continues with temperatures soaring well above
normal this afternoon, especially across the eastern plains where
downslope winds are helping highs rise to near daily record values.
Clouds moving in from the Pacific will blanket the area tonight, with
well above normal lows forecast and generally 5 to 10 degrees warmer
than last night.

A shortwave trough, currently moving across central/southern
California, will race east overnight and across New Mexico tomorrow
bringing a mix of clouds, showers and strong winds. Showers will
focus across the northwest high terrain and will likely provide
several inches of snowfall to the peaks and west-facing slopes of the
Tusas Mountains. Strong winds will develop quickly Friday morning
across much of central and eastern New Mexico and a Wind Advisory has
been issued for much of that area. Clouds will help to moderate
temperatures Friday, but stronger downslope winds will send highs
soaring once again across the east central and southeast plains
Friday afternoon where daily record values will be challenged.
Although less than Friday, breezy to windy conditions are forecast
Saturday in response to a stronger Pacific system approaching from
the west coast.

The forecast from Sunday through the middle of next week will be
focused on the approach and progression of a deep upper low and the
passage of a backdoor cold front. As the upper low approaches from
over the Great Basin on Sunday, strong winds will spread over the
state and a lee side trough will deepen to near 995mb over southeast
Colorado. Chances for blowing dust to be an impact on Sunday are on
the uptrend, with warm and unstable conditions expected. Temperatures
will trend down from early to mid week, especially after the backdoor
cold front pushes through on Tuesday and precipitation ramps-up. The
12Z operational runs of the ECMWF and GFS compare favorably through
12Z Tuesday, then begin to depart with the handling/progression of
the upper low. The GFS has been consistently wetter and has support
from both the GFS ensemble mean and the Canadian. Our forecast is
titled toward the wetter GFS for Tuesday through Wednesday night for
now given the run-to-run consistency and aforementioned other model
support. If the 12Z GFS works-out we`ll be looking at significant
snowfall in the mountains, especially along the east slopes of the
central mountain chain thanks to upslope enhancement. In addition,
the timing of the backdoor cold front into the Middle Rio Grande
Valley Tuesday night combined with the position of the upper low
over southeast Arizona would be favorable for one of the stronger
east wind events we`ve seen here in quite some time. The 12Z GFS MOS
for KABQ was alarmingly high with the wind speeds for Tuesday night
and Wednesday, but we`ve seen this issue in the past with the
seasonal change to the warm season MOS equations.



...Critical fire weather conditions across the eastern plains Friday
through Monday. Red Flag Warning is in effect for Friday afternoon
into the evening...

An upper level disturbance will move across northern AZ tonight and
northern NM Friday. This system will bring light rain and high
elevation snow to northwestern and north central NM tonight through
Friday. Wetting precipitation is likely in the Northwest Mountains,
especially in the Tusas Mountains, where 3 to 6 inches of of snow
will fall. A strong Pacific cold front will move into western NM
around dawn and then move rapidly eastward to the NM/TX border by
late afternoon Friday. West to northwest winds behind the front will
gust to around 40 mph along and behind the front west of the central
mountains Friday morning through mid afternoon. To the east of the
central mountains west to southwest winds will range from 30 to 40
mph with gusts up to 55 mph Friday afternoon and early evening.
Critical relative humidity in FWZ104, FWZ107 and FWZ108 combined
with very warm temperatures and strong winds will produce critical
fire weather conditions Friday afternoon through early evening. A
Red Flag Warning for these fire weather zones is in effect.
Ventilation will be excellent across the entire area Friday.

The upper level flow will turn to the southwest Saturday. Stronger
southwest winds aloft Saturday afternoon will mix down to the
surface from the south central plains north northeastward to the
northeast highlands and northeast plains. The Haines index across
these areas has trended upward with the forecast issuance, and
afternoon relative humidity east of the central mountains will range
from 10 to 15 percent. Critical fire weather conditions are likely
from the central plains northeastward across the northeast plains
Saturday afternoon and early evening. Ventilation will once again be
excellent Saturday.

Deepening surface low pressure in eastern CO Sunday and a strong
band of 40 to 50 mph winds aloft Sunday will produce 20 to 30 mph
winds with gusts above 40 mph at times across areas east of the
central mountains. Drier air will also move into northern and
central NM Sunday with afternoon relative humidity falling into the
single digits across much of the area. Critical fire weather
conditions appear likely Sunday afternoon and early evening across
the eastern plains and adjacent highlands. Continued dry surface
conditions and breezy southwest winds Monday across the eastern
plains will continue the threat for critical fire weather
conditions. Excellent ventilation is likely Sunday and
Monday afternoons.

A storm system currently off the southern British Columbia coast is
forecast by the models to gradually move southward and into AZ by
early Tuesday. This storm system will have the potential to bring
wetting precipitation to northern and central NM Monday night
through Thursday.



Red Flag Warning from noon to 8 PM MDT Friday for the following
zones... NMZ104-108.

Wind Advisory from 11 AM to 7 PM MDT Friday for the following
zones... NMZ513>515-523-526>535-539-540.


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