Scientific Forecaster Discussion

Return to Local Conditions & Forecast

Without Abbreviations
With Abbreviations

Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
524 PM MDT Tuesday Mar 31 2015

00z taf cycle
west to northwest flow aloft with Lee surface trough. Widely scattered mainly
dry showers and possibly isolated short lived thunderstorms with
erratic surface wind gusts to around 40kt will persist until around
sunset then slowly diminish. West winds aloft will strengthen
significantly after 01/12z...leading to gusty surface winds developing
after 01/18z. VFR.


Previous discussion...317 PM MDT Tuesday Mar 31 2015...
isolated...mostly dry and gusty showers and thunderstorms will
favor the east slopes of the Central Mountain chain and western
Great Plains early this evening as an upper level trough finishes
crossing the area. Winds will strengthen...humidities will plummet
and fire weather concerns will develop Wednesday and Thursday. The
jet stream will move over the state Thursday commonly producing
surface wind gusts from 40 to 50 miles per hour during the afternoon. A cold
front will drop southward through the area Thursday night. After
high temperatures from the 60s to the 80s for the bulk of the
week...readings will generally bottom out between 50 and 70
degrees on Friday with lighter winds. Temperatures should
warm...humidities should drop and wind speeds should restrengthen
Sunday into early next week with the potential for another round
of critical fire weather conditions.


a long wave trough with multiple perturbations rotating through it
will pass mainly north of New Mexico through the end of the week
strengthening the winds aloft over New Mexico. Breezy conditions
Wednesday will escalate to windy conditions on Thursday as the jet
stream arrives and a 999 mb surface low develops in southeast Colorado.
During peak heating gusts around 50 miles per hour will be possible just
about anywhere in the forecast area. Blowing dust will likely be a
concern in dust prone locations. Winds will gradually diminish
through early evening Thursday...except on the plains where a
cold front should keep conditions breezy later into the night.

Models...and the GFS in particular...have backed off on coverage
of showers Saturday night. A somewhat moist southeasterly low
level return flow still looks likely east of the Continental
Divide...but the latest model runs dont look as convinced that a
perturbation ejecting northeastward from the Baja California will be very
significant. In the wake of that perturbation...a strong middle level
dry slot will move over the area from the southwest whisking the
moisture eastward again. A broad upper level low pressure system
moving inland across the Pacific northwest will steer stronger
winds over New Mexico again on Sunday and especially Monday
causing fire weather concerns to redevelop.



Fire weather...

..critical fire weather conditions Wednesday and Thursday...

Isolated showers and a few storms developing around the high terrain
today will precede a significant period of critical fire weather on
tap Wednesday and Thursday. Mainly dry activity will favor erratic
and gusty winds this afternoon. Winds will begin increasing on ridge
top and east slopes tonight.

Recoveries tonight leading into Wednesday will be fair most areas.
Winds will increase quickly by middle afternoon as a surface low deepens
in the east and stronger winds aloft approach from the west. A few
areas of single digit humidity are possible tomorrow with very warm
and unstable conditions. Decided to upgrade the watch to a red flag
for the west...with the wild card being how long the humidity can
fall into critical territory. We have no other events really to
compare with yet this season so erring on the side of caution as
many areas have been dry for a few weeks. Recoveries will trend even
drier Wednesday night with most areas favoring poor values.

Thursday will be the highlight of the week with widespread critical
conditions. Above normal high and low temperatures...a dry and unstable
airmass...along with single digit relative humidity values will support widespread
dangerous fire potential. Upgraded watch to warning all areas due to
first significant event of the season and high confidence. Some items
to consider will be marginal nature for some areas with green up and
points within the northern high terrain. Winds will remain elevated
into the evening hours so extended the timing through 8 PM.

Friday will feature a back door cold front entering the east with a
strong cool down to temperatures below normal. Central and western nm will
remain very dry however winds will be lighter. Single digit relative humidity
values are expected again. The east will see some slightly better
humidities with more stable air. Return flow will develop Saturday
with stronger southerly winds on the increase. Temperatures will be near
normal most areas. Brief marginal critical conditions are possible
for the west Saturday depending on how strong winds can become.

Sunday through Tuesday look like yet another extended fire growing
pattern over the state. Several disturbances slide quickly east on
zonal flow with deep Lee troughing over the eastern plains. Temperatures
again will soar above normal.



Abq watches/warnings/advisories...
red flag warning from noon to 7 PM MDT Wednesday for the following

Red flag warning from 11 am to 9 PM MDT Thursday for the following



National Weather Service Glossary of Abbreviations