Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 150616

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1216 AM MDT Thu Mar 15 2018

Strong southwest winds will develop overnight across the central and
western mountains and adjacent eastern foothills, as a band of
strong winds aloft moves across NM. Daytime heating will bring strong
southwest to west southwest winds to the lower elevations of
northern and central NM by late morning with gusts ranging from 30 to
45 knots. Isolated higher wind gusts are expected in the mountains
with dangerous turbulence and rotors likely near the eastern slopes.
A storm system northwest of the Four-corners Thursday afternoon will
bring isolated showers and a stray thunderstorm to west central and
northwestern NM. VFR conditions are expected areawide through
Thursday evening, despite lowering VFR ceilings between 035 and 060
late Thursday afternoon and evening in portions of west central and
northwestern NM.



.PREV DISCUSSION...224 PM MDT Wed Mar 14 2018...
Two storms to impact NM through the weekend with a third one possibly
approaching us at the end of the forecast period.

Ridge of high pressure overhead will shift east tonight and Thursday
as a short wave trough on the west coast heads our way. Rain and
higher elevation snow showers are forecast tonight through Thursday
night over the northwest third of our CWA. Of more concern will be
strong to high winds across much of northern and central NM. Friday
and Saturday will be dry then another short wave trough will bring
precipitation chances to the northwest Saturday night and Sunday.
More dry weather Monday through Tuesday before the next system
potentially impacts us midweek next week.


A nice afternoon as a ridge of high pressure is crossing NM. This
ridge will move on east tonight and Thursday as a Pacific Coast short
wave trough moves inland tonight and crosses NM late Thursday into
Thursday night. Some rain and high elevation snow showers will
develop over the northwest region tonight, with a little better
coverage and stronger intensity Thursday into Thursday night. Snow
accumulations will be relegated to the Chuska and northern
mountains. Amounts will be generally pretty light, although the San
Juan/Tusas Mountains will receive enough snow to warrant a winter
weather advisory from late tonight through Thursday night. Around 8
inches will be possible on the higher peaks near the CO border. Of
more widespread concern Thursday will be the wind. We are issuing
wind advisories and high wind warnings for all but northwest NM.
Strongest winds along the east slopes of the central mountains onto
the highlands and along the I-40 corridor across Santa Rosa and
Tucumcari to the TX border. A surface cold front will sweep across
the state with cooler temperatures in the west, while the east
remains warm.

Winds will hold up some Thursday night while precipitation
diminishes. Friday will be dry with a warming trend in the west, but
cooler in the east. Winds will be easing everywhere.

Southwest flow aloft will begin to increase again Saturday, but more
so on Sunday. Saturday will be dry with near to above normal
temperatures, while Sunday cools. Another short wave trough from off
the west coast will swing through Sunday, bringing strong winds to
most areas and maybe some precipitation to the northwest.

Early next week will be dry with a slight warming trend while we get
a bit of a break from the wind machine. The next storm system could
impact NM mid to late week, with increasing winds and chances for





As the ridge of high pressure translates east of the Rockies today,
fair weather has lingered over NM, aside from some breezy to locally
windy conditions. Temperatures have climbed a few degrees, and
humidity is trending down, but not yet critical.

This will change for the eastern plains into Thursday as a shortwave
trough rounds the base of the broader upper low over the Pacific
Northwest. This will induce stronger winds aloft tonight with ridge
tops turning gusty. The winds aloft will peak over NM during the day
Thursday, and with deep vertical mixing expected over the plains,
strong to severe gusts will expand and mix toward the surface/20ft
level by the afternoon. As temperatures continue to surge above
normal in the east, humidity will plummet. Confidence has grown over
the past several forecast shifts, and the Fire Weather Watch for the
plains will be upgraded to a Red Flag Warning for Thursday. Windy
conditions will extend outside of the warning in central to western
NM, but cooling temperatures and higher humidity is expected to
limit the critical threat in those areas.

The initial disturbance aloft will exit northeast of NM Thursday
night with strong to severe winds continuing to buffet the Sangre de
Cristos all night. Winds aloft will relax a bit into the daytime
Friday, but breezy to windy conditions are still anticipated along
the central highlands and across the east central plains. While
temperatures will run cooler in the plains on Friday, they will
still exceed normal with humidity easily falling close to 10 percent
amid the very low dewpoints. With regeneration of the lee side
surface low, there is some question of how windy it will get in the
eastern plains with still some stark differences in model guidance.
Nonetheless, speeds appear strong enough to hoist a Fire Weather
Watch for the plains on Friday. West of the central mountain chain,
the temperatures will be close to normal with much lighter breezes,
but still dry conditions.

Another shortwave trough will cut across CA Saturday before crossing
north of the NM-CO border on Sunday. This will keep the breezy to
windy conditions going in eastern NM with yet again more threatening
critical fire weather. Temperatures will remain above normal in the
plains Saturday, aiding the low humidity trend, and while
temperature readings will likely fall back closer to average on
Sunday, the humidity still appears widely critical.

All in all, it will be a busy stint of critical conditions in the
eastern plains through Friday, likely even continuing into Monday or
Tuesday of next week.



Wind Advisory from 11 AM this morning to 9 PM MDT this evening for
the following zones...

High Wind Warning from 11 AM this morning to 6 AM MDT Friday for
the following zones... NMZ513>515.

Red Flag Warning from 1 PM this afternoon to 8 PM MDT this evening
for the following zones... NMZ104-108.

Fire Weather Watch from Friday morning through Friday evening for
the following zones... NMZ104-108.

High Wind Warning from 11 AM this morning to 9 PM MDT this evening
for the following zones... NMZ523-526-529-531>534-539-540.

Winter Weather Advisory until 6 AM MDT Friday for the following
zones... NMZ510.


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