Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 182333 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
533 PM MDT Wed Apr 18 2018


Stellar weather conditions are currently in place across northern and
central New Mexico as a ridge of high pressure continues to flatten
over the area. Conditions will slowly turn a bit more unsettled
tonight into tomorrow. The light to moderate breezes currently
ongoing will turn a bit stronger overnight near the Rio Grande valley
as easterly flow surges throught gaps/canyons within the central
mountain chain. Gusts to 20 to 30 kt will be possible at KSAF and
KABQ overnight, likely increasing into Thursday. Winds will develop a
bit more of a southerly component (generally south southwesterly
along and west of the Continental Divide and south southeasterly
across and east of the Rio Grande) during the day Thursday with
increasing speeds through the day. Moisture will push northward
amidst this southerly flow, leading to some high-based showers/virga
late in the day and potentially wetter showers and thunderstorms
Thursday evening.



.PREV DISCUSSION...352 PM MDT Wed Apr 18 2018...

Overnight lows will be several degrees warmer than last night`s,
especially in the mountains where winds will increase. South and
southeast winds will increase all areas Thursday, ahead of approaching
storm system. Strong winds will not be the only impact from this
system as moisture gets drawn into the area and showers and thunderstorms
develop from the mid Rio Grande Valley northward. Shower and thunderstorm
activity shift to the northeast third or so of the state Friday with
showers spreading into western New Mexico Friday night. Accumulating
snow remain on track for the northern mountains above about 8500
feet with several inches of the white stuff Friday morning and again
Saturday. High temperatures will drop to below seasonal averages
Friday and Saturday, warming back up Sunday and into early next week.


A relatively deep closed upper-level low continues to drop southward
just off the CA coast this afternoon. This low is forecast to result
in quite the unique weather scenario for portions of the northern
two-thirds of NM Thursday through Friday night. Latest model suite
continues to develop a strong (18mb) surface pressure gradient
across NM Thursday and Thursday night. Uncertainty continues with
regard to where the strongest winds will set up as the models
continue to trend slightly farther west with a surface low in
southeast UT with each run. Will hold off on wind highlights for now
but widespread wind advisories a good bet for late Thursday morning
through Thursday night. In fact, the 12Z and 18Z NAM12 develop a low-
level jet (@ 800mb or ~1300ft AGL) up the RGV tonight and a much
stronger feature Thursday evening. It`s this feature that results in
a rapid increase in low- level moisture/PWATs and a potential for
isolated thunderstorms capable of producing large hail and gusty
outflow winds in a swath from I-40 or so northward from ABQ`s west-
side volcanos wwd to the divide around sunset Thursday. Some of the
thunderstorms on the dry side of the moisture gradient near the
divide will likely be dry, producing very gusty outflow winds from
VIRGA. Downsloping effects from strong southeast winds will likely
squash shower and thunderstorm chances in the ABQ metro.

Shower and thunderstorm activity shifts to north-central NM late
Thursday night and to the northeast third Friday. Effective bulk-
shear and mid-level instability is forecast to be plentiful for
scattered strong to severe convection for the northeast third of the
state Friday. As the closed upper- low moves to near the Four Corners
mid- day Friday, snow is forecast above about 8000 feet in the
northern mountains with several inches of accumulation likely for the
Tusas and Sangres Friday morning and again from the wrap-around of
the low circulation Saturday.

A warming and drying trend gets underway Sunday into early next week
underneath a relatively weak transitory upper-level ridge. GFS and
ECWMF continue to bring in a strong backdoor cold front Monday night
and Tuesday. GFS develops widespread precipitation late-day Tuesday
but the ECMWF is not nearly as excited.




Surface high pressure over eastern New Mexico combined with an upper
low pressure system digging into the Great Basin will begin to
induce a gusty east to southeast wind through the central mountain
chain and into the Rio Grande Valley tonight. The wind may
temporarily diminish late tonight before strengthening Thursday and
Thursday night. Southerly winds will also increase Thursday over
western New Mexico and over the Northeast Highlands and Plains.
While moisture will eventually be drawn north and westward,
initially any convection which develops Thursday afternoon and
evening may be dry with gusty and variable winds.  In addition, high
Haines will be combined with strong winds and low humidities as well
as above average high temperatures over the west and Middle Rio
Grande Valley Thursday, consequently will go ahead and convert the
fire weather watch to a warning.

More widespread wetting precipitation with scattered thunderstorms,
will be found over the north and east Friday into Friday night, with
high northern mountain snow accumulations. Minor accumulations are
possible over the western mountains during this time. The upper low
exits the state Saturday with the focus for precipitation over the
north central and east while the west dries out. High temperatures
will fall below average Friday and Saturday by 5 to 15 degrees with
lows within a few degrees of normal.

A ridge of high pressure will set up over New Mexico Sunday with dry
and seasonable temperatures except below normal on the eastern
plains. A short wave trough will pass to our north Monday night and
Tuesday as a potent back door front blasts south and west Monday
night. Isolated to scattered showers and storms will favor central
and eastern areas early next week with potential for more widespread
convection mid to late next week.


Red Flag Warning from noon to 6 PM MDT Thursday for the following
zones... NMZ106.

Red Flag Warning from 11 AM to 9 PM MDT Thursday for the following
zones... NMZ101-105-109.


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