319  
FXUS65 KABQ 222355  
AFDABQ  
 
AREA FORECAST DISCUSSION  
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM  
455 PM MST THU FEB 22 2018  
   
AVIATION
 
 
00Z TAF CYCLE  
UPPER-LEVEL TROUGH DEPARTING NM LATE THIS AFTERNOON. SNOW HAS PRETTY  
MUCH ENDED. DRIER AIR WORKING INTO THE STATE WILL PROVIDE VFR  
CONDITIONS AT ALL TAF SITES TONIGHT. STRONG WINDS WILL DEVELOP ONCE  
AGAIN FRIDAY AS ANOTHER UPPER TROUGH APPROACHES FROM THE WEST. GUSTS  
AROUND 40KT AGAIN LIKELY AT KLVS IN THE AFTERNOON. GUSTS GENERALLY  
20KT TO 30KT AT THE OTHER TAF SITES. SNOW SHOWERS WILL DEVELOP FRIDAY  
OVER THE NORTHWEST HIGH TERRAIN WITH CEILINGS LOWERING TO MVFR AT  
TIMES WITH OCCASIONAL MT OBSCURATIONS AFTER 18Z.  
 

 
   
PREV DISCUSSION...401 PM MST THU FEB 22 2018
 
   
SYNOPSIS
 
 
A VAST TROUGH ALOFT OVER THE WESTERN U.S. CONTINUES TO PUSH SMALLER  
SCALE DISTURBANCES OVER THE AMERICAN SOUTHWEST, INCLUDING NEW MEXICO.  
ONE DISTURBANCE IS CURRENTLY EXITING NORTHERN NEW MEXICO WITH SNOW  
DIMINISHING. THE NEXT WEATHER SYSTEM WILL ARRIVE LATE FRIDAY INTO  
SATURDAY, BRINGING LIGHT SNOW TO NORTHWESTERN AND NORTH CENTRAL NEW  
MEXICO, ALONG WITH BREEZY TO WINDY CONDITIONS. SNOW AMOUNTS WILL BE A  
FEW INCHES OR LESS FRIDAY NIGHT AND SATURDAY WITH THE HIGHEST  
AMOUNTS IN THE MOUNTAINS NEAR THE COLORADO-NEW MEXICO BORDER. WINDS  
WILL BE STRONGEST IN THE CENTRAL TO SOUTH CENTRAL MOUNTAINS AND  
HIGHLANDS WHERE GUSTS WILL LIKELY EXCEED 50, IF NOT 60 MPH. A BRIEF  
CLEARING TREND IS EXPECTED SATURDAY AFTERNOON, BUT TEMPERATURES WILL  
FALL BACK BELOW AVERAGE ACROSS MOST OF NORTHERN AND CENTRAL NEW  
MEXICO. YET ANOTHER DISTURBANCE WILL CROSS NORTHERN NEW MEXICO ON  
SUNDAY WITH BRIEF SNOWFALL OVER THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS ALONG WITH  
CONTINUED BREEZY TO WINDY CONDITIONS. DRIER AND MORE SEASONABLE  
TEMPERATURES ARE THEN EXPECTED ON MONDAY BEFORE THE NEXT DISTURBANCE  
APPROACHES.  
 

 
   
DISCUSSION
 
 
A SHORT WAVE PERTURBATION IS LIFTING NORTHEASTWARD OVER THE NEW  
MEXICO-COLORADO BORDER WITH SNOW TRENDING LIGHTER OVER THE NORTHERN  
MOUNTAIN ZONES. WILL CANCEL THE WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY AN HOUR EARLY  
TO ACCOUNT FOR THE DIMINISHING TREND. A MOSTLY CLEAR NIGHT IS  
EXPECTED OVERNIGHT, BUT SOME OROGRAPHICALLY-ANCHORED CLOUDS COULD  
LINGER OVER THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS. THERE IS SOME POTENTIAL FOR  
LOCALIZED FREEZING FOG TONIGHT OVER THE NORTHWESTERN AND NORTH  
CENTRAL ZONES, BUT CONFIDENCE WAS NOT HIGH ENOUGH TO INTRODUCE INTO  
THE FORECAST.  
 
THE LONG WAVE TROUGH WILL INCH EASTWARD INTO FRIDAY, INTRODUCING  
PERTURBED SOUTHWESTERLY FLOW INTO NM BY LATE AFTERNOON. THIS COULD  
SPREAD SUFFICIENT UPWARD FORCING FOR SOME LIGHT PRECIPITATION OVER  
THE WESTERN ZONES BEFORE DUSK FRIDAY, ONLY TO SHIFT INTO CENTRAL  
ZONES OF NM THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING AS THE TROUGH AXIS SWEEPS OVER  
THE STATE. MOISTURE IS NOT AS PLENTIFUL WITH THIS FEATURE, BUT THE  
SYNOPTIC COLD POOL IS HOSTING TEMPERATURES OF -32 TO -34 C, OFFERING  
PLENTY OF DYNAMICS THAT WILL COMPLEMENT OROGRAPHICS, MOSTLY IN THE  
NORTH CENTRAL TO NORTHWESTERN MOUNTAINS OF NM. SNOW AMOUNTS APPEAR TO  
BE LIGHT LATE FRIDAY THROUGH SATURDAY MORNING WITH JUST A FEW INCHES  
OF ACCUMULATION ANTICIPATED NEAR THE NM-CO BORDER. NOT THAT  
TEMPERATURES WILL REBOUND MUCH ON FRIDAY, BUT THE PASSAGE OF THE  
TROUGH AND COLD FRONT INTO EARLY SATURDAY WILL SET DAYTIME HIGHS  
BELOW NORMAL BY 10 TO 20 DEGREES, WITH SMALLER DEPARTURES IN THE  
EASTERN PLAINS.  
 
THE OTHER BIG IMPACT WILL BE WINDS, ESPECIALLY FOR THE CENTRAL TO  
SOUTH CENTRAL HIGH TERRAIN OF THE FORECAST AREA. BOTH THE NAM AND GFS  
ADVERTISE 700 MB FLOW REACHING ALMOST 70 KT NEAR THE  
SACRAMENTO/CAPITAN/GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS NEAR DAYBREAK SATURDAY, AND A  
HIGH WIND WATCH MIGHT BE NEEDED. SATURDAY WILL SEE A DIMINISHING OF  
PRECIPITATION BY LATE MORNING, BUT IT WON'T EXACTLY BE A RESPITE FROM  
THE WEATHER. THE COLD FRONT WILL LEAVE A WIDESPREAD BREEZY TO WINDY,  
AND OVERALL BRISK, DAY FOR SATURDAY.  
 
THE NEXT SHORT WAVE TROUGH, ARRIVING SUNDAY AS A CLIPPER FROM THE  
NORTHWEST, WILL OFFER ANOTHER BRIEF-LIVED AND TRANSIENT SHOT OF  
PRECIPITATION FOR THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS. WINDS WILL RETAIN QUITE A  
BIT OF STRENGTH WITH TEMPERATURES BEING UNABLE TO REBOUND.  
 
FINALLY ON MONDAY, THE FLOW WILL REVERT TO A MORE SOUTHWESTERLY FETCH  
ALOFT, AND TEMPERATURES WILL GAIN A FEW TO SEVERAL DEGREES, RUNNING  
WITHIN A FEW DEGREES OF CLIMATOLOGY FOR LATE FEBRUARY. DRY CONDITIONS  
WILL HOLD FOR MONDAY, BUT BREEZY TO WINDY CONDITIONS WILL REMAIN IN  
THE NORTHEASTERN HIGHLANDS AND PLAINS, WITH SURFACE WINDS ALSO  
CHANGING DIRECTION AS THEY ARE DRIVEN BY A LEE SIDE SURFACE CYCLONE.  
 
THE NEXT TROUGH OR LOW WILL CROSS NEW MEXICO LATE TUESDAY OR  
WEDNESDAY WITH SOME DIFFERENCES ON TIMING AND STRENGTH AMONG THE  
FORECAST MODELS. THIS PROGRESSIVE FEATURE WILL NOT STAY LONG, BUT  
WILL ADD ANOTHER BOUT OF WIND AND PRECIPITATION.  
 
52  
 

 
   
FIRE WEATHER
 
 
...STRONG WINDS AND LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY LIKELY FOR THE NORTHEAST  
AND EAST-CENTRAL PLAINS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY...  
 
WHILE ONE UPPER LEVEL TROUGH EXITS OFF TO THE EAST THIS AFTERNOON,  
ANOTHER WILL APPROACH FROM THE WEST FRIDAY. SOUTHWEST WINDS IN THE  
HIGHER TERRAIN WILL REMAIN BRISK TONIGHT AND INCREASE ON FRIDAY.  
CHUSKA AND TUSAS MOUNTAIN RANGES AS WELL AS THE FAR NORTHWEST  
HIGHLANDS ARE THE FAVORED AREAS FOR ACCUMULATING SNOW FRIDAY EVENING  
AND OVERNIGHT.  
 
VERY STRONG TO HIGH WINDS ARE FORECAST FOR THE SOUTHWEST AND SOUTH-  
CENTRAL MOUNTAINS FRIDAY NIGHT. AS THE ABOVE MENTIONED UPPER LEVEL  
TROUGH MOVES THROUGH THE STATE SATURDAY MORNING, WINDS WILL SHIFT TO  
NORTHWESTERLY WITH STRONG TO VERY STRONG WINDS LIKELY FROM THE  
CENTRAL MOUNTAIN CHAIN EWD TO THE TX LINE. RELATIVE HUMIDITY VALUES  
NEAR OR BELOW 15% ALONG WITH STRONG WEST WINDS ARE FORECAST FOR THE  
EASTERN PLAINS FRIDAY AND SATURDAY BUT WITH LOW TO MID HAINES VALUES  
AND HIGH TEMPERATURES NEAR TO BELOW SEASONAL AVERAGES, WILL FOREGO  
ISSUING ANY FIRE WEATHER HIGHLIGHTS. THE NEXT UPPER LEVEL TROUGH IS  
EXPECTED TO SLIDE EAST THROUGH THE STATE SATURDAY NIGHT AND SUNDAY  
MORNING, RESULTING IN MORE WIND FOR CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN AREAS AND  
SNOW FOR THE NORTHERN MOUNTAINS.  
 
MONDAY CONTINUES TO LOOK LIKE A DRY DAY IN BETWEEN UPPER TROUGHS  
WITH BREEZY SOUTH AND SOUTHWEST WINDS AREAWIDE. WEATHER PREDICTION  
MODELS AGREE THAT A DEEP UPPER LEVEL TROUGH/LOW WILL MOVE OVER AZ  
TUESDAY, SLIDING EAST INTO NM TUESDAY NIGHT OR WEDNESDAY. JURY IS  
STILL OUT ON HOW MUCH THIS SYSTEM WILL WEAKEN AS IT MOVES EWD  
THROUGH THE STATE BUT AT THIS POINT, WESTERN NM STANDS THE BEST SHOT  
AT WETTING PRECIPITATION IN THE FORM OF SNOW.  
 
33  
 

 
   
ABQ WATCHES/WARNINGS/ADVISORIES
 
 
NONE.  
 

 
 

 
 
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