Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 160614

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1214 AM MDT Fri Mar 16 2018

VFR conditions expected through Friday evening, as low pressure
quickly moves away from the region to the east. Breezy to windy
condtions will develop Friday afternoon across most of the area with
west to west southwest wind gusts ranging from 20 to 30 knots with
higher gusts to around 35 knots in northeast NM.



.PREV DISCUSSION...925 PM MDT Thu Mar 15 2018...
Quick 1st period update to increase snow totals in the Sangres
tonight, with amounts to between 4-6 inches possible across the peaks
and high west-facing slopes.



.PREV DISCUSSION...257 PM MDT Thu Mar 15 2018...
Showers with some isolated thunder strikes across the northwest with
several inches of snow atop the northern mountains this afternoon
and tonight. Most areas will see continued windy weather into Friday
morning, with areas of blowing snow at higher elevations across the
north and areas blowing dust across central and eastern NM.
Conditions clear with high clouds Friday, and warmer temperatures
Saturday. Another chance for precipitation across western and
northern NM Sunday, accompanied by more strong winds. Temperatures
look to go on a warming trend starting early next week.


An upper trough has begun to enter into western NM, bringing strong
winds across most of the state. Showers have also entered into
northwestern NM, with virga reaching into central NM. The instability
expected with this system can also be seen with some billowing cloud
tops on the visible satellite imagery. This has led to a few isolated
lightning strikes detected, and will continue into the overnight
hours. Some isolated small hail will also be possible. A few to
several inches of accumulating snow will be possible generally above
7500 ft across the northern mtns, with up to 6 inches total from this
event atop the NM San Juans/Tusas Mtns.

A potent jet associated with this system will continue to bring
strong, potentially damaging winds through tonight into Friday
morning. High Wind Warnings and Wind Advisories have been extended into
Friday morning. PoPs across the east will be far less, even for the
east slopes of the Sangre`s where downsloping will limit
precipitation potential. However, this will be the focus for the
strongest winds, thus producing areas of blowing dust the rest of
today into Friday morning.

This system exits the region by Friday afternoon, with high clouds
moving in from the west. The front will bring cooler temperatures for
most Friday, however downsloping winds across the east will limit
the cooling with highs still several to 10F above normal. Breezy to
windy conditions will linger long enough across the east to warrant
another round of critical fire weather in the afternoon (see Fire
Weather Discussion for further details). Saturday will see breezy and
warmer weather with SW flow taking hold.

Another similar upper level trough arrives Sunday, bringing more
wind and another shot at beneficial precipitation. This system looks
to bring in some rather cold air at the mid-upper levels with 700mb
temperatures -5C to -9C, allowing for the likelihood of several more
inches of snow atop the northern and western high terrain. Sunday`s
system still looks to be a quick hitter, limiting the potential for
higher snowfall totals. Models still diverge after this point with
the GFS and ECMWF handling an embedded shortwave trough quite
differently Monday/Tuesday, thus impacting the timing of a ridge
building into the area by mid-week. Forecast confidence is lower
concerning the chance for quick passing snow showers across the
northern mtns early next week. Temperatures do look to warm across
the southern three quarters of the state through next week.




Critical fire weather conditions are currently unfolding over the
eastern plains of NM as the shortwave trough races across the
northern tier of the state. The belt of strongest winds aloft is
currently nosing into the state, and deep vertical mixing should
continue to spread strong to severe gusts into the plains through
the late afternoon. Temperatures are already climbing above normal
in the east, and humidity will plummet more as drier air aloft mixes
down. The Red Flag Warning for today will expire at 8pm, but it
should be noted that much of the east central to northeastern plains
are forecast to observe a continued strong wind event through the
overnight, even though RH may fight its way above 30 to 40 percent

While the disturbance aloft will exit northeast of NM by Friday, the
flow aloft is expected to remain fairly strong in its wake with a
new lee side surface low redeveloping by the afternoon. Forecast
model guidance has increased the winds quite a bit from 24 hours
ago, and thus the critical potential appears to be looming from the
northeast highlands into the eastern tier of NM. High temperatures
are still projected to run a couple to a few degrees cooler in the
plains on Friday, but they will still exceed normal with humidity
easily falling at or below 10 percent in this area. There is
potential for extensive high cloud cover late in the day, but the
projected high vertical mixing is enough to upgrade the Fire Weather
Watch to a Warning for the plains and northeast highlands on Friday.
West of the central mountain chain, the high temperatures will be
more seasonable with lighter breezes.

Saturday will be defined by southwesterly flow aloft and a lee side
surface trough. Breezy to windy conditions will be common in most
zones with yet again, more potential for critical conditions in the
eastern plains albeit a smaller area than previous days.

The next Pacific shortwave trough will rapidly track over the
American Southwest into Sunday with the forecast track having
shifted much farther south. This will shove the strongest mid level
jet farther south while increasing precipitation changes. However,
the window of opportunity for precipitation will be brief, and winds
appear sufficiently strong for more threatening critical fire
weather in the far eastern plains where drier conditions will

Monday and Tuesday of next week will not exactly be tranquil, but
notably less windy than preceding days. Still, localized critical
fire weather will be possible in the central highlands and east
central plains.



Unsettled weather unfolded over New Mexico with hazardous aviation
impacts being primarily focused on the strong to severe winds and
attendant mountain wave activity. Widespread gusts of 35 to 50kt are
expected this afternoon. Areas along central mountain chain into
the east central high plains will observe the strongest gusts, and
these areas will also be slower to observe a relaxation of winds
overnight. Blowing dust is also forecast, reducing visibility to
MVFR status in eastern parts of the state. In northwestern to north
central New Mexico, showers and a few thunderstorms are expected with
occasional/brief MVFR reductions. Mountain obscurations will also be
possible over north central to northwestern peaks.



High Wind Warning until 6 AM MDT early this morning for the
following zones... NMZ513>515-523-526-529-531>534-539-540.

Red Flag Warning from 10 AM this morning to 8 PM MDT this evening
for the following zones... NMZ103-104-108.

Wind Advisory until 6 AM MDT early this morning for the following
zones... NMZ506>508-512-521-524.

Winter Weather Advisory until 6 AM MDT early this morning for the
following zones... NMZ510.


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