Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
559 am MDT Tuesday Mar 11 2014
12z taf cycle
VFR conditions all areas through 00z Wednesday...then patchy MVFR to IFR
ceilings may develop northern mountains and from roughly a lvs to tcc
line on north and east in low clouds and some shower activity. Mountain
wave activity through middle morning to Lee of sangre Delaware cristos and
sandias with gusts around 45 kts. Main impact axx and cqc and
possibly lvs. Surface winds at lower elevations to increase areawide
during the morning hours and continue much of the day with west to northwest
gusts around 30 kts. Strong back door cold front to surge into far
NE nm around 20z and reach rtn to CVS by 00z Wednesday. Very strong north to
NE winds immediately after frontal passage. Gusts will reach 45
kts on eastern High Plains and 55 to 60 kts along Texas border. Areas
of blowing dust and greatly reduced visibility to 1 mile also possible
after frontal passage. Strong winds also possible below gaps in
central Montana chain into Rio Grande Valley after 03z Wednesday...mainly
from abq south.
Previous discussion...339 am MDT Tuesday Mar 11 2014...
an active weather day is in store for the land of enchantment.
Strong northwest winds today will give way to even stronger winds
behind a back door cold front this evening. After the front pushes
westward into Arizona Wednesday morning...cooler temperatures
will follow. A storm system will move over New Mexico Thursday
night and Friday...increasing precipitation chances across much of
northern and central New Mexico. Some light snow accumulations
will even be possible over the northern and western mountains.
Another storm system may clip northeast New Mexico over the
weekend...but its too early to tell if this system will bring much
precipitation with it.
very active day in store. Middle level winds have already increased
resulting in periodic mountain wave activity across the sangre Delaware
cristos and perhaps the Sandia/manzanos as well. Gusts to 48 kts
were measured at kaxx overnight...though speeds have come down in
recent observation. Could see a few more strong wind gusts up there...
especially through 6am...but then winds should lessen. However...as the
sun comes up...daytime heating and mixing will allow winds to
quickly increase over the Central Highlands. Have issued a Wind
Advisory for kcqc and points eastward that are typically quite windy
in northwest flow. Would not be surprised if kcqc neared High Wind Warning
criteria for a short time around noon...but this should mainly be a
high end advisory event for the area.
The back door cold front...now over NE Colorado and Nebraska...is still on
schedule to plunge into NE nm around 3 PM. It will then quickly
barrel southward through the remainder of the plains this evening.
Have upgraded the high wind watch to a warning and have added some
advisories adjacent to it across the NE as well. Will let day shift
decide if they want to add Guadalupe...Delaware Baca and Chaves counties
into a Wind Advisory for the front tonight. Since Guadalupe is
already in a Wind Advisory today...decided to keep it as simple as
possible for now. Day shift will also need to decide on potential
wind advisories for gap winds into the Rio Grande Valley as the
front pushes through. Met guidance has come down in speeds
considerably...but mav remains up there.
Blowing dust will be a possibility today with the strong northwest
winds...but moreso tonight along the Texas border. As mentioned
yesterday...would not be surprised to see a haboob-like feature
moving south across the plains.
In addition to the wind concerns...there are some...though
few...precipitation concerns. Models have definitely trended drier across
the north/NE today behind the front. Could see an inch or two of snow
this evening...mainly near Raton Pass and the surrounding higher
terrain. Overall...not a lot of accumulation...but the winds will
make it seem much worse. Blowing snow may significantly reduce
visibility at times.
After the front pushes into Arizona Wednesday morning...below normal temperatures will
be on tap. A few convective showers may be possible across far
western nm Wednesday afternoon and evening...but chances appear to be dwindling.
Confidence is low for Thursday and beyond. Timing differs by at
least 12 hours among models forecasts for when the upper level storm
system will cross nm. GFS remains the quickest...and most bullish on
precipitation...while the ec and Canadian are the slowest. If the GFS is
correct...and precipitation starts Thursday afternoon...there will be enough
instability during the daytime hours for a few thunderstorms.
However...if the slower solutions are correct...precipitation may hold
off until Thursday night and a chance of thunder may hold off until
Friday. GFS ensemble guidance members appear to be split between
the faster and slower solutions...so hopefully new 12z guidance
this morning will shed more light.
Still looks like another system will clip nm over the weekend. GFS
has trended much drier...though the ec still shows some quantitative precipitation forecast across
the east. Stay tuned.
main focus is on the short term. Have decided to upgrade just zone
108 to a red flag warning and will cancel the watch for zone 107.
The east Central Plains has the most going for it in regards to
critical fire weather conditions. Haines values increase to moderate
and maximum temperatures will be up to 10 degrees above normal along
with a good deal of sunshine. These combine with strong winds and
minimum relative humidity values of 10 to 15 percent to produce several hours of
critical conditions. Zone 107 will have a few hours of critical
conditions as well...but maximum temperatures will be near normal and Haines
indices only very low to low. Finally...critical conditions may be
reached for an hour or two in the Rio Grande Valley and northeast.
Very good to excellent vent rates today.
The strong back door cold front will blast into the northeast this
afternoon and plow south and west tonight. Winds will increase
dramatically behind the front with gust up to 60 miles per hour possible along
the Texas border counties...and 45 to 50 miles per hour across the remainder of
the eastern lowlands. Moderate East Gap winds will spill into the
Rio Grande Valley tonight...mainly from Albuquerque on south.
Far northern and northeast locations have a chance for a rain snow
mix this afternoon through Wednesday as an upper level disturbance
passes to our north. Relative humidity recoveries will be much better tonight...
good to excellent. Vent rates will be good to very good Wednesday
except for fair to poor rates in the northern mountains. Maximum
temperatures will be much lower Wednesday...20 to 30 degrees cooler
than Tuesday. Humidity values will trend up but will still manage to
drop into the teens and 20s.
The models are in general agreement on the next system set for later
this week. All produce a closed low over Nevada Thursday...then open
it up and bring a trough through nm Friday. Shower activity is
likely from Thursday afternoon through Friday...favoring the north
and west. There is a chance for some isolated lightning as well.
Wetting precipitation will be sparse though. Temperatures will
rebound nicely on Thursday. Winds will generally be light while
good to excellent vent rates are expected.
Another back door cold front and disturbance is possible for the
weekend. Models though are trending drier with the only chance for
any precipitation over the northeast and far east central areas.
Amounts will be Light. Ridge of high pressure builds in for the
first half of next week.
red flag warning from 11 am this morning to 6 PM MDT this evening
for the following zones...nmz108.
High Wind Warning from 6 PM this evening to 6 am MDT Wednesday for
the following zones...nmz535-536.
High Wind Warning from 3 PM this afternoon to 6 am MDT Wednesday
for the following zones...nmz530-531-534.
Wind Advisory until 6 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...
Wind Advisory from 3 PM this afternoon to 6 am MDT Wednesday for
the following zones...nmz527-528-532.