Area Forecast Discussion
Issued by NWS

Current Version | Previous Version | Text Only | Print | Product List | Glossary On
Versions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50
-- Highlight Changed Discussion --
-- Discussion containing changed information from previous version are highlighted. --
000 FXUS64 KEPZ 040925 AFDEPZ Area Forecast Discussion National Weather Service El Paso TX/Santa Teresa NM 225 AM MST Thu Mar 4 2021 .SYNOPSIS... Occasionally breezy and quite warm sums up the Borderland`s weather for the next week. A storm system will pass by to the north today dragging a cold front in from the west. Expect gusty westerly winds to develop through the day, with some patchy blowing dust possible. Friday will be in the upper 60s and mostly quiet until a backdoor cold front pushes in from the east during the evening creating breezy easterly winds. Temperatures will cool slightly on Saturday before jumping into the 70s on Sunday under an area of high pressure. Southwesterly flow will develop Monday into Tuesday resulting in the warmest temperatures of the forecast period. Expect windy conditions and a slight chance of mountain rain showers to return on Tuesday ahead of another Pacific cold front. && .DISCUSSION... .SHORT TERM...Today and Tonight... A large upper-level low is spinning over Las Vegas tonight. In the SW flow ahead of this storm system, we have a minor shortwave pivoting SW to NE across our CWFA. This feature is working quite effectively with what little mid-layer moisture over the area to produce a swath of enhanced clouds and even some minor sprinkles across the region. This band of radar echos is oriented in a broad, broken line from NW to SE across the mid-section of the region, and tracking E. HRRR and other hi-res models show these light "showers" nearly clearing out of our eastern zones by daybreak this morning. We have token POPs over the SACs for the first couple of hours this morning, but then dry all zones. The parent system over Las Vegas will be bouncing E and slightly N, passing over the Four Corners region later this morning, then cutting tough S CO during the day. Water vapor satellite imagery shows a very dry slug of air moving in from the west today; so as this system passes it won`t even produce any clouds for us. This will be a wind producer for us. But even the wind speeds won`t be extreme, likely falling a bit short of Wind Advisory levels. Westerly winds will become breezy to lower-end windy this afternoon. Highest winds should be over Central and eastern zones where the surface gradient is best between high pressure pushing in from the west and a lee trough building to our east. H85 temps look to drop a few degrees from yesterday`s above normal levels. So this should mean afternoon highs trim back to very close to seasonal averages. Fire weather concerns follow with dry and breezy conditions, but weather parameters look to fall just short with RH staying just above 15% for most areas. The only exceptions could be the Far West Texas zones, and possibly Otero county lowlands. However the duration needed is also in question. This evening and overnight a Pacific front will push in from the NW and N on slowly slackening winds. This will drive in some drier and cooler air, to drop overnight lows down the norms. && .LONG TERM...Friday through Thursday... Upper level ridging will build into the Borderland throughout the day on Friday. Since we will be on the front side of the ridge, our flow aloft will be north/northwesterly with generally northeasterly surface winds. As the departing upper level low continues to move off into the eastern Plains, a surface high pressure will slide down behind it. This will bring a backdoor cold front to our eastern CWA boundary by early Friday afternoon. These eastern locations could see a cool down of a couple degrees on Friday thanks to this front nudging in before/around peak heating. Elsewhere, high temperatures are forecast to warm a bit into the upper 60s. Both the GFS and ECMWF have the backdoor front pushing through the entire area, reaching the NM/AZ border by midnight. While this front doesn`t appear to be incredibly strong, it will still be potent enough to create a period of breezy winds Friday evening into the overnight hours. Think the majority of the gusty winds will be along and south of the I-10/US-70 corridors, with the strongest speeds along the western slopes of area mountains. The timeframe for stronger winds in El Paso looks to be between 7pm Friday and 2am Saturday right behind the frontal passage. Winds will generally subside during the early morning hours with only locations along the NM/AZ border still seeing stronger gusts by daybreak on Saturday. The surface pressure gradient will remain rather tightly packed on Saturday leaving low-end breezy winds to return to most areas during the afternoon hours. Looking back aloft, a weak upper level shortwave will move in from the west during the day. This will help quickly push the backdoor front`s airmass back off to the east and out of our area by Saturday evening. Saturday`s high temperatures do look to cool a few degrees underneath the eastern airmass, putting us back to where we should be for early March. More upper level ridging will build in on Sunday creating a pleasant day for the Borderland. Surface winds will become southerly and high temperatures will jump into the lower 70s for the lowlands. Some high clouds will start to push in later in the evening as the ridge moves off to the east and southwesterly flow develops over the Desert Southwest ahead of broad troughing moving ashore out west. This will set up Monday to be a mostly cloudy day. Despite the cloud cover, Monday is still forecast to be our warmest day of the period thanks to the enhanced southwesterly flow, with high temperatures topping out in the upper 70s. Some models have highs reaching 80 degrees in El Paso, but I`m not confident in that solution since thick high cloud cover will be overhead. We`ll start to see the atmosphere moisten a bit more in the mid and lower levels on Tuesday as a tap of subtropical moisture streams in ahead of a Pacific cold front. The GFS raises dewpoints into the 40s with PW values pushing over three-quarters of an inch. This might mean it`s possible to squeeze out a few light showers over the higher elevations of the Gila and Sacramentos late Tuesday evening right ahead of the incoming cold front. Snow levels will be over 9000-10000 feet, so anything that does make it to the ground will definitely be rain. I should point out that the ECMWF does show the tap of subtropical moisture overhead, but it does not produce any QPF over the CWA. Additionally, Tuesday looks to be quite windy across the Borderland as strong leeside troughing develops over eastern CO. Both models are already indicating 850mb wind speeds of 25-30 knots during the afternoon, which is rather impressive agreement this far out. With these stronger westerly winds, high temperatures will still be warm, with El Paso pushing the boundaries of the upper 70s once again. Western areas will actually cool several degrees as the influence of the cold front will start to nudge in. The Pacific front will then push through the entire area during the late evening/early overnight hours completely kicking out any lingering moisture. Dewpoints will tank into the lower teens during the day on Wednesday, and highs will drop back into the upper 60s to lower 70s. Broad upper troughing will persist over the Southwest for the second half of the week as a storm system gets organized over the Pacific Northwest. This will mean breezy to windy afternoons continuing here locally, as well as above normal temperatures. && .AVIATION...12Z TAF CYCLE... VFR conditions expected through the period. Mid-layer Clouds diminishing through the early morning hours as shortwave exits and deep westerly flow brings in drier air. Skies FEW-SCT100-120 from Rio Grande east...SKC west of Rio Grande. AFT 16Z skies SKC-FEW250. Winds will be on the increase today from the west as the parent storm system passes to our north to increase pressure gradients. Winds 220-240 3-7KTs G15-20KTs through 16Z. By 18Z winds shifting to 240-280 and increasing 15-20KTS G 30-40KTs. && .FIRE WEATHER... Elevated, but not Critical, fire weather conditions expected today. Yet another storm system will pass just north of the region today. The system is very starved for moisture as satellite shows every dry air aloft moving in from the west. Our region will come under the southern extent of the system, keeping moisture and precipitation well north, and placing our area under a tightening pressure gradient, resulting in increased winds. At low levels we will see minor gains in dewpoints from the west, to elevated RH a bit. Wind speeds look to fall in the 15 to 30 mph range, with the stronger winds over the area mountains and eastern lowlands. The min RH today looks to bottom in the 20% range in the mountains and upper teens in the lowlands, falling just short of RFW criteria. Some locales will likely see an observation or two with RH at or below 15% (mainly east of the Rio Grande), but the 3 hr duration necessary for RFW is not expected. So we will NOT be placing the any portion of the region under Red Flag Warnings, but it will be close, and focused east. Ventilation rates pretty good today with, moderate mixing heights and strong transport. A backdoor cool front pushes in from the east Friday with slightly cooler, near seasonal, temperatures FRI and SAT. Ventilation drops with lighter winds and cooler surface temperatures. Next day with elevated winds looks to come next Tuesday with another west coast trough inbound. && .PRELIMINARY POINT TEMPS/POPS... El Paso 69 41 68 42 / 0 0 0 0 Sierra Blanca 65 36 64 36 / 0 0 0 0 Las Cruces 67 36 68 38 / 0 0 0 0 Alamogordo 67 35 67 34 / 0 0 0 0 Cloudcroft 42 25 43 24 / 10 0 0 0 Truth or Consequences 66 37 67 37 / 0 0 0 0 Silver City 54 34 63 35 / 0 0 0 0 Deming 64 30 67 35 / 0 0 0 0 Lordsburg 60 29 69 37 / 0 0 0 0 West El Paso Metro 68 41 68 43 / 0 0 0 0 Dell City 68 33 65 30 / 0 0 0 0 Fort Hancock 70 36 69 37 / 0 0 0 0 Loma Linda 61 38 62 36 / 0 0 0 0 Fabens 69 37 68 40 / 0 0 0 0 Santa Teresa 65 34 67 38 / 0 0 0 0 White Sands HQ 66 41 67 42 / 0 0 0 0 Jornada Range 65 34 67 34 / 0 0 0 0 Hatch 65 34 69 34 / 0 0 0 0 Columbus 65 36 67 40 / 0 0 0 0 Orogrande 67 36 67 38 / 0 0 0 0 Mayhill 55 31 53 28 / 0 0 0 0 Mescalero 53 26 53 25 / 10 0 0 0 Timberon 52 26 52 24 / 0 0 0 0 Winston 57 26 59 26 / 0 0 0 0 Hillsboro 62 33 63 33 / 0 0 0 0 Spaceport 65 33 67 32 / 0 0 0 0 Lake Roberts 55 29 61 26 / 0 0 0 0 Hurley 57 28 63 30 / 0 0 0 0 Cliff 62 27 69 31 / 0 0 0 0 Mule Creek 55 31 66 30 / 0 0 0 0 Faywood 57 34 62 35 / 0 0 0 0 Animas 64 30 68 37 / 0 0 0 0 Hachita 63 29 66 34 / 0 0 0 0 Antelope Wells 65 34 65 37 / 0 0 0 0 Cloverdale 59 36 63 40 / 0 0 0 0 && .EPZ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES... NM...None. TX...None. && $$ 14-Bird/32-Pegram is the U.S. government's official web portal to all federal, state and local government web resources and services.