Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS Albuquerque, NM

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FXUS65 KABQ 140015 AAA

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
615 PM MDT Tue Mar 13 2018

Moderate east to southeast winds are expected at KABQ and KSAF this
evening as the remnants of the back door front push through the gaps
of the central mountain chain. Spotty MVFR cigs will be possible
again tonight as moisture remains trapped underneath the upper level
ridge. However, confidence is low at any one location. South to
southwest winds will increase Wednesday afternoon as lee side
troughing strengthens. Strongest winds will be across the eastern
plains where gusts near 30 or 35kt will be possible.



.PREV DISCUSSION...338 PM MDT Tue Mar 13 2018...
High clouds will thicken over New Mexico tonight with a ridge of high
pressure shifting east through Wednesday. Warmer temperatures and
breezy to windy conditions will unfold during the afternoon
Wednesday. A disturbance aloft will then sweep through northern New
Mexico on Thursday, increasing the winds more while also bringing a
quick shot of rain and high elevation snow, primarily to north central
and northwestern portions of the state. Cooler temperatures will then
sweep in, dropping readings back to seasonal averages in the western
half of the state through Friday. Winds will be gusty on Friday, but
not nearly as strong as what is expected on Thursday. Into Saturday
and Sunday, breezy to windy conditions will become more widespread.


Upper level ridge axis will transition east and over the spine of the
Rockies tonight with periodic high clouds thickening. Surface winds
should also trend more southerly over the forecast area, and this
should keep minimum temperatures a bit more mild through Wednesday

The ridge will push towards the plains east of the Rockies during
the day Wednesday, and our focus will shift to the western states
where several smaller scale disturbances will pinwheel around a core
low pressure area offshore of WA and British Columbia. An initial
shortwave will round southern NV late in the day, beginning to induce
a stronger gradient aloft over NM, as well as some lee side surface
cyclogenesis. Look for breezy to windy conditions starting to take
shape in the afternoon with the south southwesterly direction helping
temperatures gain several degrees.

The aforementioned initial shortwave races north northeastward to
WY/MT Wednesday night with a second one quickly wrapping over
southern CA. This will keep the trend of strengthening winds aloft
going, with NM ridge tops observing overnight gusts. Precipitation
will quickly take shape over the western to north central NM zones
Wednesday night and into Thursday as the southern CA shortwave
advects positive vorticity and eventually crosses our forecast area
into the daytime Thursday. The San Juan/Tusas mountains appear to be
the biggest beneficiaries of precipitation (snow), but accumulations
should still only amount to a few inches Wednesday night through
Thursday evening. Winds will also be a concern with several zones
potentially reaching wind advisory status with blowing dust possible,
as well as critical fire in the northeastern plains.

Cooler air will also settle in with the passage of the shortwave
trough, dropping temperatures back toward seasonal averages in
western and central zones Thursday into Friday. By late Friday,
shortwave ridging will transiently cross NM, offering a slight reduction
to the winds. The longwave pattern will then stage the next vort
lobe over CA, poised to cross north of the Four Corners late Saturday
into Saturday night. Precip appears to largely bypass NM to the
north during this Saturday to Saturday night period. However, colder
temperatures (below normal in western and central NM) will spill in
with breezy to windy conditions persisting into Sunday.

A brief disconnect from the large scale lows/troughs will then grace
NM Monday into Tuesday of next week as a ridge swells across the




Backdoor cold front has pressed up against the east slopes of the
central mountains and will spill into the RGV this evening. Not
expecting that strong of a wind, though. Low clouds and fog will be
sparse, perhaps some along the east slopes of the central mountains
and the northwest mountains.

Wednesday will be a great taste of Spring with a decent amount of
sunshine and mostly above normal temperatures. This is compliments
of a ridge of high pressure that will cross NM Wednesday. Winds will
pick up some in the east, but nothing more than breezy.

The warming trend and increasing winds will continue Thursday. In
fact, winds will be quite strong over the western and central
mountains onto the eastern highlands and plains. Min RH`s will drop
below 15 percent in the northeast, likely resulting in critical fire
weather conditions. Will issue a Fire Weather Watch for Thursday pm
and early evening for zone 104. An upper level short wave and
surface cold front will be sweeping across the state Thursday, being
responsible for the strong winds. Precipitation will be confined to
the northwest third of the forecast area, and favor the northwest

Despite less wind and lower temperatures, critical fire weather
conditions will likely expand to include all of the east Friday
afternoon. This will be due to the very dry airmass behind
Thursday`s cold frontal passage. Single digit minimum rh`s will be
common across the eastern plains. Any precipitation will be confined
to the northern mountain peaks, and there will not be much.

A storm off the Pacific Northwest coast will finally come inland
late in the week, and weaken considerably before crossing NM this
coming weekend. It may be able to generate a little precipitation
across the west central and northwest mountains. Of greater concern
will be more critical fire weather conditions, in the northeast
Saturday and on all the eastern plains Sunday. Temperature will
cool down some over weekend.

A ridge of high pressure early next week will give way to increasing
southwest flow for mid-week, then maybe a storm for the end of next



Fire Weather Watch from Thursday afternoon through Thursday evening
for the following zones... NMZ104.


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