Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
1049 PM MST Thursday Mar 6 2014
06z taf cycle
clouds will continue to lower tonight and Friday as a Pacific
trough will swing into northern and central nm during the day
Friday. Rain and High Mountain showers and perhaps some banded
precipitation will be associated with this trough passage. There
could be an isolated thunderstorm as well in the PM. Except brief MVFR
ceilings Friday PM with mountain tops obscured with the heavier showers over
the northern mountains. Strong wind gusts likely late tonight/Friday
am from mountain waves to the Lee of the sangre Delaware cristos. Gusts to 35
kts possible. A back door cold front will arrive in the NE Friday
around noon...slow up Friday PM...then accelerate S and west Friday
night with gusts of 25 to 35 kts down the eastern plains. In
addition...snow will develop behind the front especially in the
NE where IFR to LIFR ceilings and visibilities will be possible...including
cao and rtn. 40
Previous discussion...325 PM MST Thursday Mar 6 2014...
next weather system to affect the forecast area mainly Friday into
Saturday with some spotty light precipitation more locales than
not...but from the sangre Delaware cristos on east it still looks fairly
likely to produce several inches of snow starting mainly across
the high country above 8500 or 9000 feet Friday afternoon then
snow levels dropping to the surface all areas of the north as the
night progresses. Winds brisk in many spots...though nothing that
dramatic. Back door front will sweep quickly south and west late
in the day Friday into Saturday morning...but Saturday looks to be
the only below normal temperature day. Quiet with a warmup Sunday
and Monday with some potentially unsettled weather again midweek.
majority of forecast models now indicating the leading shortwave for
Friday to be a little stronger and the trailing one on Sat to be a
little weaker. This may bring enough additional lift to the forecast
area Friday afternoon and early evening to create more convective middle and high
based virga than earlier anticipated with potential for somewhat
stronger wind gusts with the stronger instances of said virga.
Quantitative precipitation forecast values still pretty low all areas Friday into Sat with the main
exception being the sangre Delaware cristos east into the far NE plains.
Latest 18z models now in better agreement...compared to 12z
runs...especially in Colfax and Union counties...for upwards
of nearly an inch of water equivalent precipitation Friday evening. 12 runs of
the GFS and NAM were both substantially lower on quantitative precipitation forecast for this
area. Believe that while there could be potential for as much as 3
to 5 inches...even locally 6 inches...of snow in northern
portions of these 2 counties...feel the area is too small and
accumulate potential too borderline between advisory and warning
criteria...plus uncertainty still a bit too high...to warrant watch
highlights at this time. There is also the potential that as much
as the first three or four tenths of an inch will be rain or at
least a mix of rain and wet enough snow to not accumulate
initially. Will update early morning Special Weather Statement by or just
before 4 PM. Will also be looking at some pretty blustery Post
frontal winds acros the eastern plains and...perhaps on Saturday...
below gaps into portions of Rio Grande Valley.
After this system things quiet down and warm up for a couple of
days...followed by another fairly similar scenario unfolding for
the Tuesday to Wednesday period. Timing and evolution inconsistencies among
the forecast models make this a fairly low confidence precipitation maker for
the forecast area...but right now at least the NE third seems favored
for precipitation. 43
weather trend looks to be the same. Cooling short term with some
wetting precipitation potential Friday night/Saturday then gradual
warming Sunday and Monday. Perhaps a return to unsettled weather
by middle week next week.
Weather models show an increase in westerly wind flow over the
central mountains after midnight tonight. There is some indication
of moderate mountain wave winds developing along the east slopes of the
central mountains especially favoring the sangres so built that into the
gridded forecast some. Doesnt look to be a real strong event but
some noticeable breezes will be possible there overnight.
Temperatures were warmer today despite the thicker cirrus cloud
cover. Look for some cooling Friday. More major cooling on Saturday
as a mature Pacific trough dives southward out of the northern
rockies into the central/southern rockies. Cant rule out some spot
showers across the northwest this evening but moisture would be
limited. A stronger round of showers should sweep across the western
and northern half Friday afternoon. Suspect some measurable moisture
will be found over the mountains due to orographic effects. The main
precipitation bullseye that the models have been showing the past
few days still appears to be with the back door cold front Friday
night into Saturday across portions of the eastern plains and
perhaps some upslope areas along the Front Range. There are still
some model differences in terms of stronger precipitation areas
between the European model (ecmwf)...GFS and NAM. All models point towards a
convergence of moisture across the northeast third so that is the
best bet for wetting rain/snow. High temperatures should still be
above normal Friday but go to below normal status on Saturday.
Mixing heights look to be unusually high across the southern and
eastern half Friday but lower on Saturday.
Some sub 15 percent relative humidity readings will be possible across the east Central
Plains but that will be dependent on the intrusion of cold air from
the north and subsequent back door cold front Friday afternoon.
Breezy conditions will be felt across western and central portions
of nm Friday. Perhaps some locally stronger winds along the leading
edge of the upper cold front or trough. Some high resolution models
indicate this possibility middle/late afternoon across central nm.
Much higher relative humidity on Saturday with a switch in wind from from the east
and north due to the frontal boundary. Moderate gap winds will be
possible along the central mountains as a result of the frontal
push. Still a little fuzzy as to how strong.
Upper ridge is still expected to move over the state on Sunday. This
will lead to a gradual warming trend. Models show a distinct and
strong middle level dry intrusion moving over the area during that time
frame. Despite more normal mixing height values decided to lower
dewpoints and thus relative humidity values for Sunday afternoon. Relative humidity values should
fall into the teens...perhaps even single digits as a result
although residual snow cover will mess up relative humidity values across some mountain
and northeast plain areas. Wind is expected to be pretty light.
Continued warming and drying on Monday with a few breezes being
reintroduced back over the higher terrain and areas to the Lee of
the central mountains ventilation looks to be pretty good areawide.
Weather models show another Pacific trough and back door cold front
by middle week. They have been showing this pattern for a little while
although have differed on precipitation effects. The blocking
ridge over the West Coast has been fluctuating some within the model
solutions. Either way...another round of cooler and higher humidity
air will be very possible then. Precipitation and wetting
precipitation is a bit more uncertain. 50