Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 171148 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
548 AM MDT Thu May 17 2018

VFR conditions will continue across the area through at least 12Z Friday.
The only possible exceptions would be portions of far eastern NM where
shallow low-level moisture may yield patchy MFVR or IFR cigs at KTCC
and possibly KROW early this morning and again near daybreak Friday.
Additionally, isolated TSRA can be expected during the late afternoon
or early evening along a dryline near the NM/TX line mainly east of
a KTCC-KCVN-KHOB line. Otherwise, a strengthening SW flow aloft to
develop over the area during the forecast period. Surface winds
gusting up to around 30kts are anticipated after 20Z at terminal
sites. KJ


.PREV DISCUSSION...228 AM MDT Thu May 17 2018...
Dry and very warm temperatures are in-store today with record highs
on the line for Roswell. Cooler temperatures arrive across western
and central New Mexico Friday as a Pacific front moves through.
Cooler temperatures reach far northeast New Mexico Saturday, then all
of New Mexico by Sunday behind a strong backdoor cold front. Chances
for precipitation begin to trend up along the Sangre de Cristo
Mountains Saturday, then along and east of the central mountain
chain Sunday and into early next week. There is a chance for some
thunderstorm activity to reach western New Mexico depending on how
far the backdoor front reaches. Any storms across the west Sunday or
Monday will likely be dry in nature.


The dry-line has pushed back west into eastern NM this morning, but
is not expected to reach the central mtn chain as it did yesterday
morning. The ridge which brought beautiful sunny weather yesterday
will break down and be replaced with strengthening SW flow combined
with well above normal temperatures. This pattern will set up
critical fire weather for much of southern and eastern NM this
afternoon. Highs will be several to 15F above normal, with record
highs on the line at Roswell. ABQ and Santa Fe will also reach near
record highs, but are expected to fall just short. Any afternoon
convection is expected to stay east of the NM/TX border, but hi-res
short-term models have been depicting some convection east of the
Pecos River Valley over Chaves, Roosevelt, and Curry Counties. Have
left mention of isold t-storms there.

An upper low over the NV Great Basin will continue to slide east and
weaken over the central Rockies Friday with SW flow and critical fire
weather concerns shifting to eastern NM. A Pacific cold front will
slide through western and central NM dropping highs closer to normal.
Highs will remain well above normal ahead of the front for eastern
NM. Breezy to windy SW winds will also remain over much eastern NM
with a lee side trough developing near Raton.

The low will weaken to a trough as it crosses CO Saturday, kicking
down a backdoor front into far northeast NM. Highs for much of the
state will be back near normal Saturday, with above normal temps
holding on over the SE plains. A few afternoon t-storms will be
possible atop the peaks of the Sangre`s Saturday. The backdoor front
will surge south and west Saturday night through Sunday to the
continental divide. The ECMWF continues to be the most bullish
pushing it all the way to the AZ border. PoPs across the west on
Sunday will greatly depend on how far the front goes, with afternoon
storms likely focusing along and east of the central mtn chain. Any
storms across the west will likely be dry.

Another Pacific low looks to dive to the southern CA coast by early
next week, keeping daily rounds of afternoon t-storms going from
recycled moisture. The best chances will remain along and east of the
central mtn chain Mon/Tue/Wed.




A very dry, hot and unstable air mass will combine with
strengthening 20-foot winds to create widespread critical if not
locally extreme fire weather condtions this afternoon and early
evening. Of particular concern will be west-central and central
areas into the high plains of eastern New Mexico where breezy to
moderately windy conditions will coincide with a plume of Super
Haines values from 3-8pm. Single digit RH can be expected for at
least 10 hours for all but the far east to include extreme min RH
values of 2-4 percent along the Rio Grande Valley.

Meanwhile, a retreating dryline has once again ushered in high dew
point air to the far eastern plains early this morning.  This
moisture will quickly mix eastward but will make a return visit once
again late tonight into Friday morning. Otherwise, humidity recovery
tonight will be poor for much of the remainder of the area. The
focus for critical fire weather conditions will shift farther east on
Friday, primarily east of the central mountain chain, as a weakening
upper level trough nears the Four Corners region. Very dry
conditions will persist areawide.

As previously advertised, today will be the warmest/hottest day for
virtually all areas with near-record heat for places like
Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Gallup.  Max temperatures will trend
downward on Friday, especially west of the Rio Grande, but it will
remain very dry.

Looking ahead... growing confidence in a sustained period of
moistening especially eastern areas as a moderately strong cold
front surges into the eastern plains late Saturday bringing
increased moisture and cooler air westward on Sunday. The GFS has
backed off a bit on the strength of the moist easterly push while
the ECMWF is similar to its previous run and the most aggressive.
Pattern recognition argues for the moist boundary to reach the
Continental Divide Sunday before gradually modifying/washing out
with westward extent beginning Monday.

At the same time, a developing closed low in the vicinity of
southern CA Monday/Tuesday will be slow to eject eastward next week.
This low latitude system will be well-placed to maintain/enhance a
typical southeasterly return flow pattern for areas east of the
central mountain chain that would support daily rounds of showers
and thunderstorms for the first half of next week. However, main
concerns will be drier thunderstorm activity along the east slopes
of the Sangres and possibly NW high terrain on Saturday, with the
potential for high-based, dry or drier thunderstorm activity east of
the Divide to east slopes of the central mountain chain on Sunday.
Still much uncertainty on the extent of shower and thunderstorm
coverage west of the Rio Grande, if any, for Monday and beyond. But
generally high confidence that wetting rainfall will impact a
majority of eastern NM early next week.



Red Flag Warning from 1 PM this afternoon to 9 PM MDT this evening
for the following zones... NMZ103>109.

Fire Weather Watch from Friday afternoon through Friday evening for
the following zones... NMZ103-104-108.


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