Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 241727 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1127 AM MDT Thu May 24 2018

A ridge of high pressure aloft will continue to slowly build over
the American Southwest today and Friday, keeping mostly clear and
tranquil conditions over northern and central New Mexico. The
exception will be in the southeast quarter of the state where
residual moisture will ignite a few thunderstorms, capable of
localized hail, gusty winds, and brief downpours.



.PREV DISCUSSION...259 AM MDT Thu May 24 2018...
One more day of storms, although confined to a smaller area of south
central and southeast New Mexico and with less chance to become
severe. Otherwise, a warming and drying trend is underway and will
continue into the weekend. Saturday will be the warmest day of the
next seven and will be accompanied by breezy to windy conditions.
Temperatures will come down a few degrees Sunday, but generally be
above normal. Dry southwest flow will be the rule from late weekend
into next week with little day to day change and no chance for rain.


A significant smoke plume was produced by the Buzzard wildfire in
southwest mountains yesterday that was lofted high into the
atmosphere and transported northeast over the Albuquerque Metro
during the evening and overnight hours. What goes up must come down,
but the question is where? The KABQ ASOS is currently picking up
smoke as cloud layers at 4K and 25K feet agl. The smoke is definitely
there and likely descending and is currently making for a rather
cool orange/red moon in the western sky. We have not added smoke or
visibility limitations to our forecast yet, but this will likely
become an issue for us over the next few days with the potential for
more fire growth.

One more day of storms, but limited in area and with less
instability due to warming of the column associated with an
amplifying upper level ridge over the region. Today`s round should be
confined to the south central mountains, adjacent eastern highlands
and the southeast plains. A few strong storms are possible, but the
severe threat will be very limited given forecast 0-6km bulk shear
between 20-25kts. Elsewhere, drier and warmer conditions are forecast
with above normal temperatures and afternoon gustiness. Warming will
continue Friday as the ridge amplifies further over the southern
Rockies and dry air will overtake all of New Mexico.

The ridge will shift east of our area Saturday as a Pacific low makes
eastward progress across the Great Basin. A lee side trough will
deepen in response and the southwesterlies will increase, leading to
a breezy to windy day with significant fire weather concerns (see
Fire Weather discussion below for details). Saturday will likely be
the warmest day of the next seven, with above to well above normal
highs forecast. More of the same Sunday into early next week as the
Pacific low makes slow progress across the central Rockies and dry
southwest flow prevails across New Mexico. One possible variation
would be on Sunday, with the potential for a few dryline storms to
develop across the eastern plains near the Texas border. Will cover
with low PoPs and no mention of weather for now, but would not be
surprised to see probabilities trend up over the next several
forecast cycles.




A ridge of high pressure will build over NM today and allow drier
air to spread from western and central NM into the eastern plains.
Single digit minimum relative humidity will extend from western NM
to the Rio Grande Valley, while minimum relative humidity will fall
into the mid teens to mid 20s in the eastern plains. Lighter winds
aloft beneath the upper level ridge will produce south to southwest
winds less than 15 mph, and critical fire weather conditions are not
expected. Residual low and mid level moisture in the southeast
plains could generate isolated showers and thunderstorms this
afternoon and evening.

The upper level ridge will strengthen Friday and then move slowly
east of NM on Saturday. This will result in very dry and hot weather
across the area with high temperatures 5 to 15 degrees above normal
and afternoon relative humidity falling into the single digits to
lower teens. Light winds on Friday will limit the fire weather
threat, but south winds increasing to 15 to 20 mph Saturday
afternoon will create several hours of near critical fire weather
conditions, especially in the northwest highlands and northeast

An upper level low will move into the eastern Great Basin Sunday and
keep a dry southwest flow aloft in place. A weak surface low
pressure area in eastern CO will cause south winds across the
northeast plains to peak near 20 mph in the afternoon. Critical fire
weather conditions will be possible across the eastern plains Sunday
and will be most likely in the northeast plains. The upper low will
move slowly eastward into UT Monday and weaken, and south winds
across NM will weaken in response. A few hours of critical fire
weather conditions will be possible across the far northeast plains
Monday afternoon. High pressure aloft will rebuild over NM Tuesday
and Wednesday, bringing a continuation of dry air, above normal
temperatures and light winds to the region.





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