Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 201719 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1119 AM MDT Tue Mar 20 2018

VFR conditions prevail and are forecast to persist with mostly light



.PREV DISCUSSION...232 AM MDT Tue Mar 20 2018...
The warming trend begins today. Upper level ridging will develop and
build over the Desert Southwest through mid week before cresting over
New Mexico on Thursday. After quiet conditions much of the week,
Friday will bring strong winds, precipitation, the potential for
record highs and critical fire weather conditions to the Land of
Enchantment. Strong winds will be felt area wide, though critical
fire weather conditions and record highs will favor eastern New
Mexico. Showers and perhaps a few thunderstorms will return to the
northwest, though snow will be possible only at the highest
elevations. Breezy to windy conditions will linger into the weekend.


The back door front will continue to lose it`s identity today as a
weak lee side surface low develops across northeast NM. However, as
the low shifts southeast, yet another weak boundary will shift into
northeast NM later today. These are just minor details in what will
otherwise be a beautiful day with temperatures warming to within 5
degrees of normal.

Ridging will build over the Desert Southwest Wednesday with the ridge
axis cresting over NM on Thursday. Temperatures will continue to
warm. All areas will be 5 to 10 degrees above normal on Wednesday,
and 10 to 20 degrees above normal on Thursday. A few record high
temperatures will be possible on Thursday. Though a few breezes will
be possible in the afternoons, these days will be great days to
enjoy the outdoors. Only occasional cirrus will get in the way of the

By Friday, we will be reminded that it is March in New Mexico. The
upper ridge will shift eastward and a Pacific short wave trough will
move over northwest NM. Southwest flow aloft will increase while a
997mb surface low deepens over southeast Colorado. Strong mixing will
allow the mid level momentum (~35-40kts at 7H) to mix down to the
surface. This combined with a strong surface pressure gradient will
lead to a windy day area wide, though especially so across the
plains. High temperatures will soar across the plains where several
temperature records will be in jeopardy. While critical fire weather
conditions seem likely across the east, the trough will actually
bring moisture to northwest NM. Showers and perhaps a few
thunderstorms will return. 700 mb temps remain quite warm, dropping
only to about 0C, so snow will be relegated to the highest peaks of
the north central and northwest mountains.

The precip will quickly exit late Friday night, and a quieter
weekend will be in store, though breezy to windy conditions will
still exist.



A warming trend starts today with additional warming Wednesday and
Thursday when temperatures will range from around 10 to 20 degrees
above average. Westerly winds will be breezy this afternoon and on
Wednesday, with localized critical fire weather conditions this
afternoon from the Clines Corners to the Newkirk area. Humidities
trend lower today and tonight, with sub 15 percent minimum
humidities for most of the forecast area this afternoon. Humidities
then increase slightly Wednesday and Thursday. Some poor overnight
humidity recoveries are possible tonight through the Rio Grande
Valley, Central Highlands and East Central Plains. Vent rates today
and Wednesday will be mostly good to excellent with some pockets of
poor in the Middle RGV and Northwest Highlands.

Models continue to suggest westerly flow will bring potential for
some precipitation Thursday night through Friday evening to the
northwest third of the forecast area, along with strengthening winds
areawide. Minimum humidities will fall to below 15 percent over the
eastern plains both Thursday and Friday. Winds on Thursday aren`t
quite strong enough to reach the criteria for critical fire weather
conditions, but widespread critical conditions remain forecast on
Friday across the eastern plains. Excellent vent rates dominate the
region on Thursday and Friday.

Saturday appears to be breezy to windy, drier and a few degrees
cooler, although temperatures remain near to above average. Moderate
to high Haines is forecast for the much of the east on Saturday with
critical conditions possible over the East Central Plains and
portions of the Northeast Highlands.  Dry and breezy to windy
conditions continue next Sunday before a cold front possibly impacts
the eastern plains Sunday night, but forecast models not in
agreement with this.





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