Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
904 am MST Sat Dec 7 2013
updated forecast to increase cloud cover and lower maximum temperatures
several degrees mainly for the middle and lower Rio Grande Valley
as warm air advection clouds continue to develop rapidly...likely keeping
afternoon high temperatures down by several degrees. Latest nam12
time-heights indicating the clouds not likely to break until middle to
late afternoon with the strengthening southwesterly flow aloft.
Previous discussion...536 am MST Sat Dec 7 2013...
upgraded the previously issued Winter Storm Watch to various
advisories/warnings after some adjustments to snow accumulations
for tonight- Sunday. Highest impact areas will be near the nm/Colorado
line from the Chama area westward...as well as the west facing
slopes of the sangre Delaware cristo mountains. Kj
Previous discussion...453 am MST Sat Dec 7 2013...
12z taf cycle
fzfg...fzdz and LIFR/IFR ceilings continue across much of eastern nm
this morning...though low clouds and fog have also developed
toward ksaf and klam. Will be watching low clouds potentially
extending southward from these areas impacting kaeg...though
confidence is not high at this time. Though ceilings should raise some
middle/late afternoon...suspect the east will generally remain under cloud
cover for the rest of the day...with some areas of fog persisting
after 16z. SW winds will pick up this afternoon across the
west...with gusts near 35kt possible. Strong cold front with gusty
winds will sweep from northwest to southeast late tonight and through the morning
hours on Sunday. However...suspect ceilings will lower again across
the east tonight before the clouds are mostly scoured out middle day
Sunday. A return of fzfg is also possible tonight across the east.
Previous discussion...356 am MST Sat Dec 7 2013...
..bitter cold/Arctic grip will only strengthen in the coming
Brutally cold temperatures and increasing impacts due to snow and
blowing snow...and dangerously cold wind chill values are expected
for much of the area in the coming days. A crawl then steady climb
out of the deep freeze pattern should commence by the middle of
next week. Until then...please take necessary precautions if
planning any outdoor activities and to protect pipes...etc.
Impressive shortwave dropping southeast from the inter-mountain
west is our next weather feature of interest. A large pool of very
cold air aloft /500mb temperatures -35c or colder/ stretching from the
pacnw to the northern Great Plains will be migrating south.
Expanding difluence field aloft ahead of the wave will begin to
overspread The Four Corners later today with snow expected to
expand and become heavy at times over the northwest/northern
mountain region by the evening and into tonight before a
transition to largely orographically-dominated snow Sunday
morning. Stronger winds accompanying this system will result in
considerable blowing and drifting snow in the northern high
country and even some low elevation areas of the northwest along
with dangerously cold wind chill readings. Will keep the watch in
place for now...but expect advisories/warnings later this morning.
As mentioned...impressive lapse rates will characterize the early
part of this event and that combined with favorable
orographics/large forcing for ascent and increasingly dry snow
ratios support solid warning criteria for the higher terrain of
NC/northwest New Mexico. The NAM continues to hit quantitative precipitation forecast the hardest...it
is actually more significant than its run 24 hours ago. The
GFS...European model (ecmwf) and sref are trending drier which is not surprising
given how cold/dry the incoming air aloft will be. However...snow
to liquid ratios will easily approach 30:1 and thus snow
accumulations could be surprisingly high for the favored terrain
areas especially west-facing slopes of the sangres the high
terrain from the jemez region north to the Colorado state line.
Meanwhile...east of the Central Mountain chain areas of freezing
fog and flurries or light snow will persist this morning. We
posted a freezing fog advisory earlier as impacts are likely to
quickly ramp up through the morning. This is occurring as subtle
warm air advection above the cold dome/veering and strengthening boundary layer
winds become more pronounced ahead of incoming wave. Surface winds
expected to eventually veer all the way around to southwesterly and that
should bring an end to widespread impacts. Kj
low clouds and freezing fog plague areas along and east of the
Central Mountain chain this morning. Similarly to yesterday...these
clouds will persist for much of the day...and should there be any
break in them this afternoon...they will fill back in tonight.
Thus...mixing will be poor...as will vent rates across the east
today. Meanwhile...vent rates will improve across the west as the
next system dives toward nm and transport winds increase. Very good
to perhaps excellent ventilation is expected across the west today.
Otherwise...continued cold will be the rule today and for the next 7
days...though some moderation is expected by the middle to latter
part of the week.
The next storm system will begin to impact northwest nm late tonight...with
significant amounts of snow possible for the northern mountains...
and light to moderate accumulations across the west/NW. Much of the
snow will come along and behind a cold front which will also bring
windy conditions. As the front moves east on Sunday...wind gusts
between 50 and 55 miles per hour will be possible along and just east of the
Central Mountain chain beginning middle morning and continuing through middle
afternoon. The increase in winds will improve ventilation
areawide...with very good to excellent conditions expected across
all areas but the far east Central Plains. The downsloping component
of the winds may help some of the eastern plains break the freezing
mark in the afternoon for the first time in 2 days.
Once the winds calm down...very cold conditions will follow...and
most areas will struggle to reach the freezing mark on Monday.
Ventilation will also drop as mixing will lower. Models continue to
struggle with precipitation potential on Monday as another trough
slides over nm. Light snow may develop along a cold front moving northwest
to southeast. Amounts would be light...with little impacts.
Looks like general northwest flow will prevail Tuesday through
perhaps Thursday...though a weak low/trough may try to move up into
nm Wednesday night or Thursday. At this time...little if any precipitation is
expected. Models then really diverge toward the end of the week with
the upper air pattern. Not sure of specifics...but it looks to
remain active. At this time...ventilation looks to be poor Tuesday
through at least Thursday with little mixing. 34
freezing fog advisory until noon MST today for the following
Winter Weather Advisory from 6 PM this evening to 4 PM MST Sunday
for the following zones...nmz501-502-504>506-511-512-515>517.
Winter Storm Warning from 6 PM this evening to 4 PM MST Sunday for
the following zones...nmz503-510-513-514.