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Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
413 PM MST Fri Dec 9 2016

Aviation...
00z taf cycle

VFR conditions have returned to all of New Mexico with light to
moderate breezes prevailing. Despite an increase in high clouds,
forecast models are bullish with the return of low stratus clouds
and fog to the southeastern and east central portions of New
Mexico early Saturday morning. Have introduced MVFR conditions to
row taf, but some LIFR conditions could even develop there and
toward CVS. Otherwise, afternoon breezes will increase Saturday
afternoon in some higher terrain areas and eastern plains.

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Previous discussion...313 PM MST Fri Dec 9 2016...
synopsis...
temperatures will rebound above normal areawide by Saturday with
increasing winds, especially across the northeast quarter of the
state. The trend of increasing winds will continue Saturday night
into Sunday, when the jet stream will take a southerly dip into
southern Colorado and New Mexico. The result will be windy
conditions, with the potential for strong to damaging winds along
the Central Mountain chain and east Central Highlands. Light snow
is forecast across the northern and west central higher terrain
late Saturday night into Sunday, with no significant accumulation.
Above normal temperatures will persist into early next week prior
to the next backdoor cold front, forecast to impact the eastern
plains Wednesday into Thursday with below normal temperatures.
Another, potentially stronger, backdoor cold front may impact the
area toward the end of next week.

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Discussion...
the last patch of low stratus is diminishing across central Chaves
County, but redevelopment is possible overnight across the
southeast plains with some fog potential given the remaining very
shallow moisture layer. Otherwise, tonight will be uneventful with
above normal temperatures forecast areawide thanks in part to a
batch of high clouds moving overhead limiting radiational cooling
somewhat.

Winds will be on the uptrend Saturday with a deepening Lee side
trough and above normal temperatures forecast areawide. Winds
throughout the atmospheric column will increase substantially
Saturday night into Sunday as the jet stream takes a southerly dip
across southern Colorado and New Mexico. By 12z Sunday, the
700-500mb layer mean winds are forecast to reach up to near 65kts
along the Central Mountain chain. These strong to potentially
damaging winds will definitely impact the peaks and may extend
down the east slopes to the adjacent Highlands if the inversion
sets up at the right time and a well developed mountain wave
materializes. Will issue a high wind watch for Saturday night and
Sunday for the Central Mountain chain and east Central Highlands
for now, but will likely also end up with several additional
forecast zones in wind advisories. Orographic forcing will help to
produce some accumulating light snow late Saturday night into
Sunday, favoring west-facing slopes of the northern and west
central higher terrain where a couple inches are possible. Strong
winds aloft will continue over the state Monday with zonal flow
across the Continental U.S.. more wind highlights may be required Monday for
the sangres.

The jet stream will dip south once again Wednesday as a shortwave
trough moves east across the Great Basin and into Colorado. Look
for another windy day Wednesday, perhaps requiring more wind
highlights. In addition, a backdoor cold front will slide down the
Easter plains Wednesday, but lower forecaster confidence on the
extent of the westward penetration given some continued
differences among the latest medium range model solutions. For
now, we're forecasting below normal temperatures across the
eastern plains Wednesday through Thursday, with above normal
temperatures elsewhere.

More differences show up by the end of next week with regard to
another backdoor push, but both the 12z European model (ecmwf) and GFS show a
pattern transition next weekend with the potential for a major
winter storm to develop over the intermountain west and progress
east toward the Desert Southwest and southern rockies by Sunday
the 18th and Monday the 19th.

11

&&

Fire weather...
a stiff west northwest flow aloft will continue to prevail, bringing
bouts of stronger winds to nm with potential for a strong cold front
intrusion by the middle of next week. Winds this afternoon have been
light to moderate with just some high clouds observed over the
forecast area after the areas of low clouds and fog burned off
earlier. Good to excellent relative humidity recovery is expected tonight with high
clouds thickening.

Into Saturday, the west northwest flow aloft gradually strengthens
toward the day's end, inducing some Stout Ridge top winds to the
Sangre de Cristos by late afternoon. Windy conditions will spread
from the Central Highlands eastward along the I-40 corridor too
Saturday afternoon. Gusts of 35 to 45 mph can be expected across
these two areal stretches, and these will be about the only areas
able to mix out of the poor ventilation category. Temperatures will
warm areawide, but especially in the eastern plains, with all zones
running above average for early December. Despite this warming
trend, dewpoints should stay high enough to keep relative humidity from dipping
into the critical ranges. Winds aloft continue to strengthen
significantly into Saturday night and Sunday morning with very high
gusts expected to buffet the Central Mountain chain and areas
immediately east, perhaps gusting as high as 65-70 mph.

Any cooling that takes place into the daytime Sunday will be subtle
and/or negligible with high temperatures remaining above to well
above normal. The winds will slowly decrease in speed toward late
afternoon Sunday, but excellent ventilation is expected with relative humidity
staying at or above 30 percent, even in the warm, downsloping windy
plains. Some light rain and high elevation snow will be possible
Saturday night and Sunday, mainly in the north central to
northwestern zones.

Similar to Saturday night, the winds will restrengthen aloft into
Sunday night and Monday morning, pounding the Central Mountain chain
of nm again. The strongest winds aloft again arrive in the morning
hours with surface speeds not able to reach full mixing potential,
but still significant impacts are expected to the higher elevations
near the Central Mountain chain, especially the sangres.
Temperatures remain above average, and humidity above critical
thresholds, through the day Monday.

Winds will by no means relax Tuesday with most zones staying in the
breezy to windy category. A change in the pattern then unfolds into
Wednesday as a disturbance aloft potentially crosses Colorado, and a
surface cold front is dragged into nm. Forecast models still have
some inconsistencies with this phenomenon, so the finer details of
the temperature and wind forecast will likely undergo big revisions.

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Abq watches/warnings/advisories...
high wind watch from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon

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