Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 152325 AAA
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
525 PM MDT Sun Apr 15 2018

.AVIATION...
00Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions prevail and are forecast to persist, but with the
development and gradual lowering of VFR cigs. Otherwise, look for
increasing southwest flow, with gusts Monday afternoon to between
25 and 35kts.

11

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...331 PM MDT Sun Apr 15 2018...
.SYNOPSIS...
Fair weather conditions are currently in place across New Mexico as a
ridge of high pressure aloft moves over the American Rocky mountains.
The ridge of high pressure will begin to break down on Monday as a
Pacific trough moves inland, and breezy to windy conditions will take
shape across the Land of Enchantment as temperatures continue to
climb above average. From Monday into Tuesday, the trough will
quickly move from southern Nevada to just north of the Four Corners,
bringing very strong winds aloft into New Mexico. Widespread strong
to severe winds are expected Tuesday with areas along and immediately
east of the central mountain chain observing the highest wind gusts.
Widespread critical fire weather will also be prevalent Tuesday as
very dry conditions hold. A cold front will sweep in from the west
Tuesday and Tuesday night, and by Wednesday daytime high temperatures
will run near to slightly below normal. After a brief break from the
unsettled weather on Wednesday, thunderstorms will be possible in the
far eastern plains of New Mexico Thursday with breezy to windy
conditions re-surfacing.

&&

.DISCUSSION...

...VERY STRONG TO SEVERE WIND EVENT EXPECTED TUESDAY...

A welcome tranquility has overcome NM today as the ridge axis aloft
aligns over the spine of the Rockies. Temperatures are also starting
to exceed normal in some central to western zones. High cirrus clouds
are on the increase over northern NM, and this trend should continue
overnight, keeping minimum temperatures a bit milder than the past
few nights.

The canopy of high clouds will persist on Monday, but nonetheless
vertical mixing is projected to be quite efficient in the boundary
layer Monday afternoon. As the ridge aloft shifts east, strengthening
southwesterlies aloft will be able to utilize the increased vertical
mixing to drive some breezy to windy conditions to the surface by
late afternoon, and the developing lee side surface trough will
provide additional aid with a slowly strengthening surface gradient.
Max temperatures will rise 5 to almost 15 degrees above average
Monday.

A Pacific trough will have made it inland on Monday, and the
southernmost vort max will cross southern CA and the southern tip of
NV Monday night, quickly trekking north of the Four Corners on
Tuesday. An impressive 120kt jet at 300mb will round the base of the
feature, aligned near the NM-CO border by late Tuesday afternoon.
Speeds are advertised to hold nearly 100kt at 500mb near this area,
and the North American Ensemble standardized speed anomalies boast 4
to 5 standard deviations above normal at 700mb with widespread
speeds of 50 to 60 kt across the state. The lee side surface cyclone
will complement this, offering an impressive surface gradient
(roughly 16mb from the bootheel to the northeast corner of the
state). Considered a high wind watch for Tuesday, but will start with
a special weather statement, and subsequent shifts will likely
follow with the watch. The Pacific cold front will overtake western
zones Tuesday, dropping temperatures below normal there while the
eastern zones hold above average by 5 to 10 degrees. This is a tricky
max temperature forecast due to timing and the likelihood that
temperatures will reach their high`s in the west quite early.

The trough will quickly exit Tuesday night into Wednesday, and the
gradient aloft and at the surface will quickly relax. Much calmer
conditions are therefore expected Wednesday with a quick-lived ridge
building over NM. High temperatures on Wednesday will remain near to
slightly below normal in the wake of Tuesday`s front.

The flow will quickly buckle again going into Thursday and Friday as
a Pacific low still appears to dive on a similar trajectory to the
earlier week system, although somewhat farther south. This system
will shove strong winds into the southern tier of the state, but
given the feature is a closed low and digging a bit farther south on
a somewhat slower track, there does appear to be a slight chance for
precipitation with winds not appearing quite as stout as Tuesday. In
addition, the low will induce a south southeasterly return flow off
of the Gulf of Mexico Wednesday night into Thursday, bringing in the
dryline to eastern NM. Isolated storms will be a possibility here
with more dynamically driven showers in the northern zones until
Friday.

Cooler temperatures will linger into Saturday, but breezes will be on
a downward trend. Another ridge would move overhead into Sunday with
an outside chance for some modest subtropical moisture to seep into
Chihuahua and southwestern NM.

52

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
...WIDESPREAD CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS MONDAY...

...WIDESPREAD CRITICAL TO EXTREME FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS TUESDAY...

An upper level ridge over the region this afternoon will shift
eastward tonight and usher in very dry air from southern
AZ/northwestern MX. This air mass will produce poor relative
humidity recovery for most of western and central NM tonight and
fair recovery across far northern NM and eastern NM. Except in the
northern mountains and the Chuska mountains, Monday will be
extremely dry with minimum relative humidity between 4 and 7 percent
across much of the region and hours of single digit relative
humidity exceeding 8 hours in many locations and exceeding 12 hours
in central and south central portions of the region. In addition to
the exceptional dryness, a lee surface trough in northeastern NM and
eastern CO will combine with strong boundary layer mixing to produce
southwest winds at 20 to 30 mph and gusts to around 35 mph Monday
afternoon. Haines values will increase to 6 across most of the
region Monday afternoon and early evening with a band of values near
5 in far western and southern portions of the region. High Haines
values in combination with critical wind and relative humidity
thresholds will create critical fire weather conditions across most
of the area. A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the entire
region Monday afternoon through early evening.

A Pacific cold front will move into western NM Tuesday morning and
into central and eastern NM in the afternoon. The cold front will
drop high temperatures in western NM to 5 to 12 degrees below normal
and in central NM to near normal. Highs in the eastern plains will
still be 5 to 10 degrees above normal, as the area will be able to
warm up before the frontal passage. Despite the areawide cooling,
conditions will still be very dry, as the front will lack a flow of
moisture in its wake. Minimum relative humidity Tuesday will remain
in the single digits across much of eastern and central NM with low
to mid teens elsewhere. The main fire weather critical element
Tuesday will be very strong winds. Very strong winds aloft and a
strong lee surface low in far eastern CO/western KS will result in
west to southwest winds in the 35 to 50 mph range with gusts of 50 to
70 mph. Winds will be strongest along and east of the central
mountains, where the highest Haines values between 5 and 6 will be
located. This area will likely experience extreme fire weather
conditions Tuesday afternoon and evening. A Red Flag Warning has been
issued for the entire area Tuesday afternoon through mid evening.

Weak high pressure aloft will cross NM Wednesday, bringing lighter
winds and a brief respite from critical fire weather conditions. A
deep upper low will move into the southern great Basin on Thursday.
Ahead of this system, breezy south winds will develop across
northern and central NM. Low relative humidity values in central and
western NM will combine with wind to create the potential for
critical fire weather conditions Thursday afternoon. Increasing low
level moisture and instability in the eastern plains will bring
chances of showers and thunderstorms to the area Thursday afternoon
and evening.

28

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Red Flag Warning from noon to 8 PM MDT Monday for the following
zones... NMZ101>109.

Red Flag Warning from 8 AM to 9 PM MDT Tuesday for the following
zones... NMZ101>109.

&&

$$

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