Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
1023 am MST Friday Nov 28 2014
18z taf cycle
VFR conditions will prevail for the next 24 hours. Mountain wave
induced cirrus continues along and east of the sangres...though
should be diminishing as the afternoon progresses. Main concern
remains in regards to winds through Saturday. Westerly winds will
continue to increase this afternoon across the plains with gusts near
35kt expected. Middle level winds will continue to increase tonight
over northern nm...and very strong winds are possible over the
highest peaks of the sangres tonight. As mixing occurs late
Saturday morning...strong and gusty surface winds are expected Sat
afternoon along and east of the Central Mountain chain.
Previous discussion...650 am MST Friday Nov 28 2014...
mountain wave clouds continue to hold strong over northeast nm
around sunrise. Updated to increase cloud cover to mostly cloudy
for this morning...with some clearing anticipated this afternoon
as drier air aloft moves in from the west. Maximum temperatures may be in
jeopardy over this region if cloud cover does not thin out by
early afternoon. Downsloping will still be strong and min temperatures
are starting out mild in some areas so a challenging forecast is
Previous discussion...333 am MST Friday Nov 28 2014...
very warm weather for late November will impact much of the area
through Saturday. Folks across the eastern plains can enjoy their
Thanksgiving left overs at a picnic...with near record to record
high temperatures today and Saturday. Areas from Clayton to Santa
Rosa...Tucumcari...Fort Sumner...and Clovis will top out near 80
degrees. Typical gusty winds will however impact much of the area
as well...especially along the east slopes of the sangre Delaware cristo
mountains. Mountain wave activity will be particularly strong on
Saturday night...when high winds are possible from Angel Fire to
Mora and Clines Corners. A strong cold front will shift into the
area Sunday night...bringing an end to the warm temperatures.
high clouds blanketing the northeast plains in response to a well
defined standing wave are slowly tapering off early this morning.
Increasing downslope flow combined with high cloudiness is forcing
min temperatures well above normal...with readings at Clayton nearing 60f
at 2 am. The GFS 300-200mb layer relative humidity shows near saturation through
much of the day across the northeast...but to a lesser degree than
what is occurring early this morning. Water vapor does show a large
area of dry air moving in behind this wave...with the next patch of
upper level moisture currently over northern Arizona. If high clouds do
stick around in the northeast today there will be a battle between
downslope flow and reduced solar insolation so record temperatures could
be in jeopardy. That said...it is still going to be very warm for
700-500mb winds will steadily increase today through late Saturday.
The high resolution NAM and WRF solutions show layer winds along
the east slopes of the sangres increasing to around 55 knots by
tonight...then 65 knots Saturday night. The Storm Prediction Center 4km WRF vertical
profile shows a classic downslope high wind event with a mountain
top level inversion...however the NAM/GFS and even our local WRF
do not indicate this very well. Will continue to monitor trends
and mention high winds in severe weather potential statement at this time. Greatest confidence
is for localized high winds potentially tonight along the east
slopes...with a better shot Saturday night. Temperatures will be well
above normal for many areas again Saturday along and east of the
central Montana chain...with more record highs possible.
Sunday will feature a weakening Lee trough as a powerful back door
cold front blasts down the Front Range. Maximum temperatures will cool with
decreasing downslope flow and cold advection moving in aloft. The
front is well represented by guidance to slip down the plains on
Sunday night as a 1045mb surface high builds down the Great Plains.
Temperatures Monday will be 25 to 35f colder than Sunday. This will be a
huge shock from near 80f today and Saturday to highs in the 30s
Monday. Lee troughing will increase again Tuesday and temperatures will
trend back 15 to 25f warmer.
Extended model guidance continues to leave big questions regarding
a large scale pattern change over the United States. At this time
it appears the long persistent trough along the East Coast will
transition to quasi-zonal flow...and allow for a much anticipated
enhancement of the Pacific jet stream into the southwestern U.S.
The GFS and European model (ecmwf) do show increasing moisture Tuesday night and/or
Wednesday...with another possible shot next weekend.
well above normal temperatures...wind and fire weather concerns this
weekend. A back door cold front should settle the fire weather
situation down when it enters the plains Sunday night and Monday.
There will be a slight chance of light rain and snow showers mainly
over western and north central areas around middle week...when winds
could become breezy again.
A few hours of critical fire weather conditions are likely across
parts of the east Central Plains and southern parts of the northeast
Highlands and plains this afternoon. A strengthening Lee trough and
strengthening winds in zonal flow aloft should cause surface winds
to touch critical speeds briefly. Speeds may be capped today by
limited atmospheric mixing and some cloud cover. Humidities will
also fall to critical thresholds in many lower elevation locations
this afternoon. Some new record high temperatures are likely today
across the plains...where this mornings low temperatures are staying
quite warm due to clouds and downslope flow. High temperatures
should reach 15 to 27 degrees above normal today across the
east...but only 6 to 17 degrees above normal across central and
Winds aloft will strengthen tonight and especially Saturday night as
an upper level trough crosses the northern and central rockies and
the surface Lee trough deepens. 700 to 500 mb winds are forecast by
the higher resolution NAM model to reach 55 knots tonight...then 65 knots
late Saturday night. With somewhat stable flow directly
perpendicular to the Central Mountain chain...a mountain wave event
looks likely along the east slopes of the sangre Delaware cristos. Surface
winds along the higher peaks and adjacent east slopes could reach 60
miles per hour in spots tonight...then more widespread gusts to 70 miles per hour will be
possible west of I-25 to the sangre Delaware cristo peaks Saturday night
into early Sunday morning.
Critical fire weather conditions look to become more widespread
across lower elevations east of the central mountains Saturday. West
wind gusts from 30 to 40 miles per hour are expected within about 50 miles
either side of the I-40 corridor...with the strongest winds around
Clines Corners. Widespread critically low humidities are expected
Saturday as skies clear and temperatures remain 8 to 26 degrees
above normal with the warmest readings in the east. Mixing heights
should also peak between 3500 to 4500 feet along the I-40 corridor of
eastern nm with Haines indices in the 4 to 5 range. Will issue a
Fire Weather Watch for the east Central Plains Saturday afternoon
and emphasize locations north of the Portales latitude.
Winds aloft will weaken and the Lee trough should relax some as
Sunday progresses. Humidities will come up above critical thresholds
in the west as temperatures trend downward...but eastern humidities
will again reach critical thresholds in most locations. There will
probably be a few spots that briefly touch critical conditions from
Las Vegas to Clines Corners and Santa Rosa Sunday afternoon...but
the conditions should be too limited in time and space to warrant
another day of fire weather headlines.
The fire weather and wind excitement will end abruptly end Sunday
night and Monday as a 1040 mb surface high in the upper Great Plains
shoves a shallow cold front into eastern nm. The high temperature
will fall 30 to 35 degrees from Sunday into Monday across much of
the plains. This front should washout by Tuesday allowing a
temperature rebound across the east.
A weakening upper level trough will eject northeastward from the
Great Basin into the north rockies around middle week probably causing
surface winds to become gustier again over nm...especially along and
just east of the Central Mountain chain where a Lee trough will
redevelop. There may be a few showers mainly across western and north
Fire Weather Watch from Saturday morning through Saturday afternoon
for the following zones...nmz108.