Scientific Forecaster Discussion

Return to Local Conditions & Forecast

Without Abbreviations
With Abbreviations

Area forecast discussion...updated 
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
524 PM MST sun Dec 21 2014

00z taf cycle
strengthening northwest flow aloft will continue tonight and Monday. Surface Lee
trough to deepen as well. Strongest winds will continue from east
slopes of the central Montana chain east to the Central Highlands
including kcqc. Widely scattered -sn with MVFR ceilings obscuring mts possible
over the peaks near the Colorado border...becoming more widespread
over northwest and north central nm after 22/06z.



Previous discussion...319 PM MST sun Dec 21 2014...
stronger northwest winds aloft have been working into New Mexico
today...and these will continue to strengthen into Monday. Gusty
conditions are already being observed over central areas of New
Mexico this afternoon with much stronger gusts anticipated
over a larger area on Monday. Some snow showers have also been
breaking out over the northern mountains today as the stronger
northwest flow aloft rises over the higher peaks. As an upper
level disturbance plunges southward into New Mexico on
Monday...additional snow and lower elevation rain showers will be
spreading toward the Interstate 40 corridor. Showers will taper
off through the day on Tuesday with chilly temperatures expected
along with very windy conditions in the far eastern plains.


weather pattern is unfolding to a more dynamic one...with evidence
of stronger winds already showing up in the Central
Highlands...courtesy of a strong northwesterly jet. This jet will
continue to nose into nm tonight and into Monday...bringing
100-130 knots of flow at 300 mb and upwards of 60 knots at 700 mb. Ridge tops
will observe more periodic gusts overnight as the flow
strengthens...and a few showers will impact the northern peaks of
the state. This should keep temperatures somewhat elevated overnight.

Into Monday...the stronger anticipated winds prompted the issuance
of a high wind watch for the central mountains and Highlands into
Guadalupe County. With the northwest flow strengthening...a
vigorous lobe of vorticity will also slide down into nm as an upper
low deepens over the Great Plains. This will spread rain and high
elevation snow showers over much of the northern half of the state
with snowfall rates picking up in the northern mountains.
Thus...have opted to hoist a Winter Weather Advisory for the
northern mountains for Monday and Monday night where 2 to 6 inches
will be possible above 8500 feet. As the lobe of energy aloft sags
south...a potent cold front will sweep into the state. By Monday
evening the front will be invading the northeastern plains...with
stratiform rain quickly changing over to snow in a strong band of
frontogenesis. This precipitation will spread over the remainder
of the plains Monday night with a hint of upslope flow also aiding

Precipitation will diminish over the Central Mountain chain and
adjacent Highlands and plains on Tuesday with colder than average
temperatures. The biggest story will be winds in the eastern
plains on Tuesday...primarily the northeastern plains where Stout
flow will wrap around the back of the low in Oklahoma. Winds have
been increased for this area Tuesday with parts of Union County
potentially flirting with high wind criteria.

A drier and relatively tranquil period is then expected on
Wednesday as the flow begins losing its strong meridional
component and starts backing more west northwesterly. The
perturbation anticipated for Christmas day and the day after is
trending weaker with less moisture for precipitation. Some
increase in winds is expected...but the amount of shower activity
should stay on the lighter and minimal side.



Fire weather...
northwest flow will strengthen and tend toward northerly as the
synoptic scale pattern becomes more amplified during the next 24-36
hours. Upper jet in excess of 130 kts will develop over western Colorado and
into New Mexico Monday. Mountain top winds will see a corresponding
increase as well...with 50-60kt or more forecast from northwest to southeast over
the state Monday. Exact placement of the strongest winds still
wavering...could be a little more to the west or east...which could
put more focus on some of the western high terrain and south central
opposed to the sangre Delaware cristo mts where winds look to be strongest
tonight as the surface Lee trough deepens.

Moisture will also increase and 700 mb temperatures turn
colder...leading to higher chances for snow over the northern and
portions of the west central higher terrain Monday...which spreads
southward Monday night along with a strong cold front. Areas along
and east of the Central Mountain chain look to see the best chances
for snow or a mix of rain and snow Monday night. Snow should taper off
quickly Tuesday. For the most part temperatures on Monday will
remain above normal but will average around 5 to 15 degrees below
normal Tuesday. Northerly winds will remain gusty Tuesday as the
upper ridge to the west builds into the Great Basin...nudging the
upper jet eastward and surface high pressure continues to build into
New Mexico.

Dew points are forecast to dry out Tuesday and especially Tuesday
night...resulting in overnight lows cratering to as much as 15
degrees below average across the northern mts. Winds may subside
Wednesday under a slackening and dry northwest flow...but may increase for
Christmas day as another upper trough swings over the northern and
central rockies. The trough will force another cold front into New
Mexico by Friday...and drop highs back below average by 5 to 15
degrees. An unsettled weather pattern will persist through the
upcoming weekend...but little confidence in any of the details.

Vent rates will be good to excellent most locales Monday and Tuesday
then crater Wednesday with the exception of the far east central
where good rates are forecast. Locally poor rates...mainly in the
valleys and plains are forecast for Friday and Saturday.


Abq watches/warnings/advisories...
high wind watch from Monday morning through Monday afternoon for
the following zones...nmz521-523-533.

Wind Advisory until 8 PM MST this evening for the following zones...

Winter Weather Advisory from 6 am Monday to 5 am MST Tuesday for
the following zones...nmz510>515.




National Weather Service Glossary of Abbreviations