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FXUS65 KABQ 161725 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1025 AM MST Sat Dec 16 2017

Except for some gustiness at KTCC and KROW today, winds will
generally be light through the TAF period. VFR conditions prevail,
but development and a gradual lowering of VFR cigs are forecast
overnight as an upper level low approaches from over Southern



.PREV DISCUSSION...304 AM MST Sat Dec 16 2017...
Dry conditions with above normal temperatures will continue today,
with breezy westerly winds across the plains. Cloud cover will
increase through Sunday, and snow is forecast, particular for the
southwest and south central mountains, Sunday and Sunday night.
Though snowfall amounts are trending downward, a couple inches remain
possible for the highest peaks. A few showers may linger south of
I-40 Monday, then drier weather returns for Tuesday and Wednesday.
Another storm system may impact the state on Thursday. While
precipitation is possible, a return to much colder temperatures is
a better bet.


One upper level low will eject northeastward to the southeast of the
CWA today, resulting in little or no sensible weather changes.
However, the next system will be diving southward across the Great
Basin today. Most models show the upper low closing off over the
AZ/MX border late tonight, then slowly shifting eastward Sun/Mon
before elongating to the NE. Overall, the low seems to be further
south, and have trended PoPs and snowfall amounts down, particularly
across the northern extent of the existing PoPs/SnowAmts. Still
looks like the higher terrain of Catron County, in the vicinity of
the Mogollon Mountains, could see a couple inches of snow, but not
ready to issue any Winter Wx Advisories just yet. Models have been
flip-flopping too much with this system, and it also seems like the
trend has been downward in the latest few models runs. Trended temps
up a bit, particularly on Sunday, due to the diminishing precip

A back door front will arrive on Tuesday, but winds will quickly
veer around to the southwest and west on Wednesday. Downsloping
should result in Wednesday being the warmest day of the next week.

The next system will be sliding southeastward across the
Intermountain West on Wednesday and potentially shifting into
northwest NM on Thursday. Appears there will be convergence between
the back door and Pacific cold fronts across central NM, and this
may be a focus area for precipitation. Still too early to say for
sure though, as models take the track of the upper low across
differing locations.  As time goes on, model differences increase
further. The GFS stalls the low south of the AZ/MX border, then late
next weekend breaks out significant precip across NM as it finally
shifts eastward. However, the latest ECMWF shows a much more
progressive system, and by next weekend, NM would be under a dry
northwest flow. The CMC also shows a low, similar to the GFS, but
nowhere near as much precip. With these differences, kept PoPs
pretty conservative into the extended. With that said though, it
should turn much colder starting Thursday, but especially Friday and
Saturday. Temperatures may struggle to get out of the 30s.



Westerly breezes gusting to around 35 to 40 mph this afternoon
expected over portions of the eastern plains, thanks to a deepening
surface low over northeast NM. Forecast winds aloft are relatively
light for this time of year so not thinking any gusts will be much
stronger due to the absence of deep mixing. High temperatures will
be a little warmer and mostly above average. Localized critical fire
weather conditions will develop over the East Central Plains and far
southern portions of the Northeast Highlands and Northeast Plains
but not covering a sufficiently large area to consider a red flag
warning. Widespread poor vent rates forecast for much of northern NM
and the Rio Grande Valley this afternoon with areas of good rates
south of Interstate 40 west central and east central.

Models still having issues how the incoming storm system will play
out. The cold front dropping into the eastern plains tonight is
forecast to lose much of it's oomph and what energy there is, is
directed more into the TX panhandle, so it's effects look to be
limited. The upper low may track a little farther south, so colder
air aloft may be limited as well. In fact, forecast highs on Sunday
have warmed up and won't be too far from average. Right now the
brunt of precipitation looks to fall south of Interstate 40 Sunday
and Sunday night. Forecast vent rates Sunday are poor over all but
the central mountain chain.

Temperatures will warm again Monday, especially in the northeast.
Any lingering precipitation should exit by Monday night. Stronger,
generally zonal flow is forecast to develop Tuesday then persist
into Wednesday night/Thursday. High temperatures soar to 5 to 15
degrees above average Wednesday as westerly winds strengthen. More
model deviations show up with the storm system for the later part of
next week, but considerably colder temperatures are forecast,
especially Friday and Saturday. Vent rates Monday through Wednesday
will see some localized good conditions but will be mostly poor
thanks to forecast low mixing heights. Rates next Thursday could see
a significant improvement, depending how/if the incoming storm
system pans out.