Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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654
FXUS65 KABQ 181123 AAA
AFDABQ

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
523 AM MDT Fri May 18 2018

.AVIATION...
12Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions will continue across the area through at least 12Z
Saturday. The exception will be across parts of northeast and far
eastern NM for a few hours early this morning where patchy MFVR/IFR
cigs in the vicinity of KRTN and KCAO will persist through 14Z.
Similar low clouds may develop near the NM/TX line and possibly KROW
associated with a dryline. Otherwise, moderately strong SW flow aloft
over the area will gradually weaken through the day. Surface winds
gusting in the 20-30kt range are anticipated at terminal sites this
period with the strongest gusts focused across the northeast
highlands and eastern plains. KJ

&&

.PREV DISCUSSION...254 AM MDT Fri May 18 2018...
.SYNOPSIS...
Temperatures cool across the west today with a Pacific front moving
in, with well above normal temperatures and critical fire weather
remaining across the east. A backdoor front will try to enter into
northeast New Mexico Saturday, and will surge through the central
mountain chain bringing strong gap winds early Sunday. This will drop
temperature back to normal area wide. Increased moisture behind the
backdoor front will bring isolated to scattered thunderstorm activity
along and east of the central mountain chain. Isolated dry
thunderstorms are possible across the west Sunday and Monday.
Temperatures trend back up above normal early next week, with drier
weather likely toward the latter half of next week.

&&

.DISCUSSION...
Low clouds have formed across the far northeast from Raton to Clayton
this morning, and are expected to burn off just after sunrise.
Highs will be several degrees cooler today as high pressure slides
to the east and a Pacific low encroaches from the west. Dry and
breezy SW winds will still focus over eastern NM where critical fire
weather will once again be the main concern this afternoon.

The Pacific low pushes across the central Rockies Saturday where a
backdoor front will try to move into far northeastern NM. However
models have backed off with its progression today, therefore
temperatures have trend up for Colfax and Union counties today.
However, highs for Raton and Clayton may be warmer if the backdoor
remains in CO, or colder if it slides into NM. No matter, the
backdoor front will finally surge into eastern NM Saturday night surging
through the central mtn chain Sunday morning. Strong gap winds will
be likely Sunday morning for ABQ and Santa Fe.

The front is still looking to surge to the continental divide Sunday.
SW flow ahead of another Pacific storm system sliding down the CA
coastline is now appearing to limit the westward extent of this
moisture push, meaning less chances for t-storm activity west of the
RGV. However, still left mention of slight chance for dry-
thunderstorms. The NAM12 continues east winds east of the ctrl mtn
chain Sunday, while both the GFS and ECMWF veer the flow south
quickly Sunday afternoon. This means a big discrepancy for highs
across the east Sunday. Took a split of the two, however highs will
likely be warmer if more SW flow mixes down across the east or cooler
if there is no mixing.

The SW flow turns more southerly Mon and Tue with recycling sfc
moisture keeping the thunderstorm activity going along and east of
the ctrl mtn chain. There still remains a chance for isold dry-
thunderstorms across the west Mon. There is some potential for some
of this storm activity to turn severe early next week with models
continuing to show a diffluent pattern aloft and plenty of sfc
moisture to fuel instability. Storm activity looks to be shunted to
eastern NM Wed as the Pacific low moves closer, with drier conditions
likely returning by Thu and late next week.

24

&&

.FIRE WEATHER...
...ONE MORE DAY OF CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ACROSS EASTERN
NEW MEXICO THEN AN EXTENDED BREAK FROM STRONG WINDS AND LOW RH...

The focus for widespread critical fire weather conditions will shift
into eastern New Mexico this afternoon and early evening. While it
will remain extremely dry areawide with single digit RHs, the
strongest 20-foot winds will focus across the northeast highlands,
far east-central and southeast plains. Elsewhere, winds will not be
as pronounced as they were on Thursday but the lower atmosphere will
again become very deeply mixed and a few hours of 25-30 mph gusts
are anticipated for central and western areas later this afternoon
and early evening maintaining at least elevated fire concerns.
Meanwhile, a dryline that touched off very isolated showers and
thunderstorms across far eastern NM on Thursday will quickly shift
even farther east today. Temperatures will trend down several
degrees this afternoon as compared to Thursday, mainly west of the
Rio Grande.

Even lighter winds are anticipated for Saturday as pressure
gradients surface and aloft continue to relax.  Daytime temperatures
will trend upward several degrees in the west while they cool
slightly in the east.  Humidities will begin to recover across the
far north and especially the northeast, but another day of single
digit RH is expected for a majority of the area. A few high-based
showers and thunderstorms can be expected from the east slopes of
the Sangres to the far northeast as well as the NW high terrain
where isolated dry lightning potential does exist.

Beyond Saturday, confidence continues to grow for an extended period
of air mass moistening early next week, especially for the eastern
half of the area.  Most importantly, no major wind events and no
days with 10+ hours of single digit RH expected next week!

A moderately strong cold front is modeled to approach the far
northeast plains Saturday afternoon, surging south and west Saturday
night into Sunday. This moist boundary will bring gusty east canyon
winds to the Rio Grande Valley Saturday night/Sunday morning and
should reach the Continental Divide Sunday before gradually washing
out. At the same time, another closed low developing southward over
southern CA and the lower Colorado River Valley Monday/Tuesday will
be slow to eject eastward during the first half of next week. Models
are generally in good agreement through this period.  This will
allow an extended return flow pattern to set up that would support
multiple rounds of showers and thunderstorms mainly along/east of
the central mountain chain Sunday through at least Wednesday.  Much
lower confidence on the extent of shower and thunderstorm coverage
west of the Rio Grande, and potential for dry lightning will be the
main concern. However, a mix of wet/dry storms seems a good bet from
the Divide to east slopes of the central mountain chain with high
confidence that wetting footprints will predominate for the eastern
half of the area.

KJ

&&

.ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES...
Red Flag Warning from 1 PM this afternoon to 9 PM MDT this evening
for the following zones... NMZ103-104-108.

&&

$$



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