Scientific Forecaster Discussion
fxus65 kabq 282305 aaa
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
505 PM MDT Wed Jun 28 2017
00z taf cycle
dry westerly flow with sfc Lee trough. Occasional wnd gusts to around
35kt especially over the higher terrain of nrn nm. VFR except smoke
from regional fires may locally reduce sfc vsby between 3-5sm at
Previous discussion...322 PM MDT Wed Jun 28 2017...
very dry and hot conditions will continue over New Mexico through
Thursday before changes begin Friday. A strong back door cold front
will slide down the eastern plains Thursday night and trend high
temperatures several degrees cooler from the Rio Grande Valley
eastward. Moisture will also increase over the region behind the
front and allow for an uptick in shower and storm coverage through
Sunday. A ridge of high pressure will build north into New Mexico
Monday through Wednesday of next week and trend temperatures back
above normal with decreasing coverage of showers and storms. A
potentially more significant moisture surge will attempt to move
into New Mexico by the middle to end of next week.
very dry and hot conditions have redeveloped over nm today within a
deep layer dry intrusion entering the southwest Continental U.S.. min surface
humidities have already fallen below 5% in many areas and this is
expected again Thursday. A forward tilt upper trough axis entering
the northern rockies will shift southeastward tonight and force
increasing zonal flow aloft over nm thru Thursday. 700-500mb layer
winds near 30kt, deep atmospheric mixing, and a surface low center
near 994mb over northeastern nm will create windy conditions over
much of the region Thursday. This will significantly elevate fire
danger (see fire wx discussion). On the positive side, nighttime
temps will be comfortably cool with strong radiational cooling.
Changes arrive Friday as a potent back door front slides quickly
southwest across eastern nm. 12z NAM BUFKIT profiles indicate low
level moisture will build to near 775mb as mid levels remain very
dry. This moisture along with a 1014mb surface high center building
south in it's wake will generate a strong pressure/density gradient
across gaps in the Central Mountain chain. Latest MOS guidance is
hinting at speeds near advisory criteria for kabq Friday morning.
This is quite a change compared to the past several model runs, so
deeper moisture for Friday may make it to the Continental Divide and
allow for a nice uptick in storm coverage for central nm.
Moisture from Friday will be key for recycling Saturday and Sunday
as the 500 mb high builds northward into nm. The 12z guidance suite
is now more bullish with convective coverage beneath the high over
the weekend, so have increased pops accordingly. 500 mb temps near -9c
will be favorable for maintaining steeper lapse rates and limiting
the capping inversion beneath the high center. Max temps during this
period will trend back closer to normal all areas.
The 12z GFS continues to show a weak trough axis sliding east over
the northern periphery of the 500 mb ridge Monday and Tuesday. This will
help force a deep layer of drier air into at least northwest nm. Max
temps will likely trend back above normal with coverage of storms
decreasing, depending on how much moisture actually shifts out of the
Extended model guidance is still advertising the 500 mb high building
northward across nm into the central rockies by mid to late next
week. This will allow deep layer flow over nm to become more east/
southeast and provide a potentially significant uptick in storm
coverage by late next week.
..hot, dry, breezy, and unstable pattern continuing on Thursday...
The hot dry and breezy conditions are expected to continue Thursday
over the forecast area. Relative humidity recovery values overnight will be poor
over most of the region with values in the 20-30% range. Winds are
expected to stay breezy through the night with the exception of the
Rio Grande Valley where winds will diminish to 10 mph or less.
On Thursday, minimum relative humidity values will once again dive back into the
single digit range as temperatures will rise again to 5-10 degrees
above normal. Winds will continue to be breezy with windy and gusty
conditions developing over the area. Expect the strongest winds
along the I-40 corridor and the higher terrain of the san Juan's and
the Sangre de Cristos. Unstable conditions are expected again with
Haines values of 6 over virtually the entire area. With all that
said, local areas may approach red flag criteria but widespread
critical fire weather conditions are not expected.
Conditions will improve over the eastern plains on Friday as a
backdoor front pushes southward during the day. Relative humidity recoveries
overnight on Thursday into Friday will increase ahead of this front
over much of north and central nm. Temperatures will return to near
normal (or slightly below) for the region on Friday as the front
pushes through. Although moisture will be pushing into the eastern
plains, single digit relative humidity values are expected again Friday west of the
Central Mountain chain. The atmosphere will generally remain
unstable east of the central mountains, but somewhat cooler
temperatures will help moderate fire weather concerns Friday.
Finally, this front will also bring a chance of showers and
thunderstorms to mainly the eastern slopes of the Sangre de Cristos.
In the extended, conditions are expected to be near seasonal for the
weekend with minimum relative humidity values in the low teens with good overnight
recoveries. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are expected over
most of the state through the weekend.