Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 162139
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
339 PM MDT Mon Apr 16 2018

.SYNOPSIS...
A Pacific trough is currently moving inland, and breezy to windy
conditions have started to take shape across the Land of Enchantment
and temperatures have risen above average. Through tonight and
Tuesday, the trough will quickly move farther inland, tracking north
of the Four Corners and bringing very strong winds aloft into New
Mexico. Strong to severe winds will mix down to the surface Tuesday
with areas along and immediately east of the central mountain chain
observing potentially damaging wind gusts. Widespread critical fire
weather will also be prevalent, as will areas of blowing dust, on
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. A brief respite
is then expected on Wednesday as a weak ridge of high pressure moves
over New Mexico. Showers and thunderstorms will then be possible in
the far eastern plains of New Mexico Thursday as the dryline moves
into the state. Breezy to windy conditions will redevelop Thursday
with western New Mexico having to contend with critical fire weather
again. Any thunderstorms will gradually shift east into Texas
throughout the day Friday while some rain and high elevation snow
showers take shape over northern New Mexico.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Vertical mixing is coming to fruition this afternoon, despite the
extensive high cirrus clouds today. Winds will gradually diminish in
lower elevation areas this evening, however the higher terrain areas
(especially in western NM) will tend to stay gusty, if not increase
overnight. The trough axis is currently draped across northern CA and
will be trekking east northeast over NV and UT overnight with the
stout mid to upper level jet rounding its base. Forecast models have
trended northward with the track and the placement of the jet
overnight into Tuesday, but nonetheless very strong winds will pour
over the state with 700mb wind speeds exceeding 50 to perhaps 70 kt
through this time.

To account for this, a high wind warning will be issued overnight
for the Chuskas, expanding into many other western, central, and
eastern zones into Tuesday along with some wind advisories in a few
lower elevation western zones. Along with the more northward jog of
the upper jet, the lee side surface cyclone will not induce quite as
strong of a gradient as was advertised yesterday, but still easily
conducive to high wind warning criteria. Winds will likely begin to
subside some after the Pacific cold front moves into western zones
Tuesday, and temperatures will also likely peak in these western
zones before noon, running below normal. Meanwhile the eastern zones
will hold above average by 5 to 10 degrees. Blowing dust was kept in
the weather grids, and could prove additionally hazardous to the
expansive critical fire weather and potentially damaging gusts of 60
to 70 mph.

The trough will quickly propagate east of the Rockies Tuesday night,
deepening into a low. This will quickly relax the gradient aloft and
at the surface over NM with a shortwave ridge briefly building over
NM. High temperatures will run a few degrees higher in western zones
on Wednesday, but will remain near to slightly below normal across
central to eastern zones in the wake of Tuesday`s front.

The dynamic and progressive flow will offer another round of
unsettled weather by Thursday as a Pacific low crosses central CA and
southern NV. This nature of this system (being a closed low with
slower propagation speed) will draw stronger southerly winds into
NM, along with a developing dryline in the eastern part of the
state. Along and east of the dryline, south southeasterly return
flow off of the Gulf of Mexico will quickly usher in higher dewpoints
and fuel for isolated to scattered storms, some of which could turn
strong to severe given favorable veering wind profiles, deep layer
shear, and unstable temperature lapse rates. Farther north, a few
rain and high elevation snow showers will start to take shape near
the NM-CO border Thursday, expanding into Friday as the Pacific low
arrives and provides better dynamical forcing. The dryline would
likely still be responsible for showers and thunderstorms in the
eastern plains early in the day, but prospects will dwindle as the
boundary exits into TX late Friday.

No prominent upper level features are advertised into the weekend,
but some modest subtropical moisture could still try to sneak in from
the south. At this time the forecast package will continue with
cooler than normal temperatures Saturday, rising back to normal in
the west by Sunday with no POPs just yet.

52

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...

...WIDESPREAD CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS THIS AFTERNOON...

...WIDESPREAD EXTREMELY CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS TUESDAY...

An exceptionally dry air mass is in place across NM today with
dewpoints in the teens across the eastern plains and in the single
digits with some below zero values across central and western NM.
These dewpoints will translate into very low relative humidity
values across the region, ranging from 4 to 7 percent across most of
the area this afternoon through early evening. Daytime heating will
allow stronger winds aloft to reach the surface this afternoon and
early evening with southwest winds 20 to 30 mph with gusts 35 to 45
mph. Haines values this afternoon and evening will be near 6, so the
potential for raid fire growth will be high. Red Flag warnings are
in effect for the entire area through 9 PM MDT this evening.

Poor recoveries are expected tonight across all of the area, except
the far northern mountains, as a result of a very dry air mass in
place and southwest winds in the 10 to 15 mph range through the
overnight hours. These poor recoveries will set the stage for
extremely critical fire weather conditions on Tuesday.  Deep surface
low pressure will form in eastern CO Tuesday and move eastward into
western KS by late afternoon, while a Pacific cold front will enter
western NM early Tuesday morning and then race eastward to the
eastern plains by Tuesday afternoon. A band of very strong winds
aloft will cross NM late Monday night through Tuesday evening. The
combination of the factors will cause a strong surface pressure
gradient and allow very strong winds aloft to reach the surface.
West to southwest winds Tuesday will peak between 30 and 45 mph with
gusts 50 to 70 mph. Minimum relative humidity will fall below 10
percent Tuesday and will be as low as 5 to 7 percent in the eastern
plains. The strongest winds and gusts will occur along and eastward
of a line from the north central mountains southward to the Manzano
Mountains. Haines values will range from 5 to 6 in the Middle Rio
Grande Valley and east of the central mountains. The very strong
winds combined with very low relative humidity will produce extremely
critical fire weather conditions with the potential for rapid fire
weather growth in the high Haines areas.

A ridge of high pressure aloft will move across northern and central
NM Wednesday. South winds Wednesday will be 10 to 18 mph across the
eastern plains and less than 12 mph across the rest of the region.
Minimum relative humidity will still be in the single digits, except
for a few locations in the lower teens in the northern mountains.

Surface low pressure will form in southern UT Thursday, and this
will generate breezy south winds across the region with speeds
ranging from 20 to 30 mph and gusts to near 40 mph. In the eastern
plains and adjacent highlands, this southerly flow will increase
low level moisture and relative humidity will range from the upper
teens to near 30 percent during the afternoon hours. To the west, a
drier southerly flow from northern MX will keep relative humidity in
the single digits and lower teens. Critical fire weather
conditions are expected to develop across central and western NM
Thursday afternoon and early evening.

Thunderstorms will expand in coverage across the eastern plains late
Thursday afternoon and evening and then continue overnight into
Friday. Rain and elevation snow will develop across northern NM
Thursday night into Friday, as an upper low from the southern Great
Basin moves eastward. As a result of increasing moisture in eastern
and northern NM Thursday night into Friday, relative humidity will
stay above critical thresholds Friday afternoon. A Pacific cold
front will cross NM on Friday. West winds associated with the cold
front will range between 20 and 30 mph and could produce a few hours
of critical fire weather conditions in portions of south central NM
Friday afternoon.

Cooler temperatures and relative humidity greater than 15 percent
across the entire area on Saturday will reduce fire weather risk.
Temperatures will remain seasonably cool on Sunday with light winds
and relative humidity mainly above 15 percent, except in portions of
western NM.

28

&&

.AVIATION...
18Z TAF CYCLE
Southwest flow aloft will transport high clouds across northern and
central NM today and tonight. Cloud bases will generally be aoa 15K
feet AGL, and VFR conditions are expected through 18Z Tuesday.
Southwest winds will increase today across most of the region during
the afternoon with 20 to 30 knots sustained and gusts 30 to 40
knots. An approaching upper level disturbance in the Great Basin
will keep southwest winds between 10 and 20 knots tonight. A Pacific
cold front will move through western NM between 12Z and 15Z Tuesday,
causing winds to shift to the west and west southwest with gusts to
around 40 knots along and behind the front. Ahead of the cold front
south to southwest winds will gust between 25 and 40 knots Tuesday
morning in central and eastern NM. KLVS, KRTN, KSRR and other
airports immediately to the east of the central mountains could see
wind gusts in the 40 to 50 knot range Tuesday morning. Very strong,
potentially damaging, winds are expected across the region Tuesday
afternoon and early evening.

28

&&

.PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS...
Farmington......................  44  57  22  63 /   0   5   0   0
Dulce...........................  37  54  19  60 /   5  10   0   0
Cuba............................  38  57  22  60 /   0   0   0   0
Gallup..........................  38  57  16  67 /   0   0   0   0
El Morro........................  37  55  19  64 /   0   0   0   0
Grants..........................  41  60  19  67 /   0   0   0   0
Quemado.........................  41  61  21  67 /   0   0   0   0
Glenwood........................  44  67  32  74 /   0   0   0   0
Chama...........................  30  49  14  54 /  10  10   0   0
Los Alamos......................  47  61  32  61 /   0   0   0   0
Pecos...........................  44  61  25  60 /   0   0   0   0
Cerro/Questa....................  36  55  16  57 /   0   0   0   0
Red River.......................  32  50  14  52 /   0   0   0   0
Angel Fire......................  34  53  10  56 /   0   0   0   0
Taos............................  34  60  15  61 /   0   0   0   0
Mora............................  43  61  23  59 /   0   0   0   0
Espanola........................  46  67  27  66 /   0   0   0   0
Santa Fe........................  44  62  26  61 /   0   0   0   0
Santa Fe Airport................  41  66  25  64 /   0   0   0   0
Albuquerque Foothills...........  47  69  33  66 /   0   0   0   0
Albuquerque Heights.............  49  71  35  67 /   0   0   0   0
Albuquerque Valley..............  45  72  30  68 /   0   0   0   0
Albuquerque West Mesa...........  46  71  32  67 /   0   0   0   0
Los Lunas.......................  43  75  31  70 /   0   0   0   0
Rio Rancho......................  47  71  32  68 /   0   0   0   0
Socorro.........................  48  80  40  72 /   0   0   0   0
Sandia Park/Cedar Crest.........  45  64  25  63 /   0   0   0   0
Tijeras.........................  45  67  27  65 /   0   0   0   0
Moriarty/Estancia...............  40  70  23  67 /   0   0   0   0
Clines Corners..................  42  66  28  63 /   0   0   0   0
Gran Quivira....................  45  72  32  67 /   0   0   0   0
Carrizozo.......................  51  75  39  68 /   0   0   0   0
Ruidoso.........................  51  68  39  64 /   0   0   0   0
Capulin.........................  40  67  25  60 /   0   0   0   0
Raton...........................  38  68  23  64 /   0   0   0   0
Springer........................  40  70  28  66 /   0   0   0   0
Las Vegas.......................  45  65  27  60 /   0   0   0   0
Clayton.........................  47  77  33  63 /   0   0   0   0
Roy.............................  45  72  32  61 /   0   0   0   0
Conchas.........................  47  80  38  70 /   0   0   0   0
Santa Rosa......................  45  78  35  68 /   0   0   0   0
Tucumcari.......................  52  84  39  71 /   0   0   0   0
Clovis..........................  49  83  40  69 /   0   0   0   0
Portales........................  49  83  41  70 /   0   0   0   0
Fort Sumner.....................  51  83  40  71 /   0   0   0   0
Roswell.........................  50  88  45  76 /   0   0   0   0
Picacho.........................  51  78  42  70 /   0   0   0   0
Elk.............................  50  75  40  69 /   0   0   0   0

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
High Wind Warning from 6 AM to 9 PM MDT Tuesday for the following
zones... NMZ506>508-510>516-518-519-521>524-526>540.

Red Flag Warning until 9 PM MDT this evening for the following
zones... NMZ101>109.

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

Wind Advisory from 9 AM to 9 PM MDT Tuesday for the following
zones... NMZ520-525.

Wind Advisory until 9 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...
 NMZ502-505-506.

Wind Advisory from 6 AM to 4 PM MDT Tuesday for the following
zones... NMZ501-503>505-509.

High Wind Warning from 9 PM this evening to 4 PM MDT Tuesday for
the following zones... NMZ502.

&&

$$

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