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Area forecast discussion...updated 
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
1042 am MST sun Dec 28 2014

18z taf cycle
VFR conditions expected during the next 24 hours. Due to the fresh
snow still found across the north...cant rule out some localized
pockets of fog/br tonight but terminal sites are not expected to be
impacted. Increasing middle/high clouds will be the norm through part
of the evening before clearing most areas. Gustier breezes
expected over the higher terrain and areas along and east of the
central mountains especially focused on the i40 corridor. Gusts up to
25 knots possible at tcc and stronger further west. Lighter wind flow
during the evening at the terminal sites. Lowering ceilings will be
on the door step of our northern border by 18z Monday due to the
Arctic blast.



Previous discussion...317 am MST sun Dec 28 2014...
a strong Arctic front will invade northeast New Mexico on
Monday...with much colder temperatures spreading south and west
during the final days of 2014. At the same expansive
storm system will gather strength and organize over the inter-
mountain west and Great Basin region. This deepening low pressure
system aloft will eventually cross New Mexico later in the
week...most likely late New Years Day into Friday. Widespread low
clouds and areas of light snow will dominate areas east of the
Central Mountain chain later Monday through Tuesday...while
western areas remain more settled although the colder air mass
will begin spilling through the gaps of the Central Mountain chain
impacts areas between the Continental Divide and Rio Grande Valley
by Tuesday. Expect winter weather impacts to ramp up significantly
areawide new years evening through Friday.



..winter weather impacts expected to ramp back up as 2014 ends
and the New Year begins...

Previous forecast trending well with no major changes in the short
term. Raised maximum temperatures today based on trends yesterday...though
readings will remain below normal. Northwesterly flow aloft to steadily
strengthen evidenced by increase surface winds at kcqc and
mountain wave clouds vicinity of the northern sangre Delaware cristos.
Otherwise...middle and high cloudiness will be on the increase and
will maintain a low pop shsn for the high terrain near the nm/Colorado
line though strengthening jet axis looks to set up just north of
the border. Quick perusal of forecast soundings for tonight
suggest moderately favorable parameters for mountain wave
impacts...especially east slopes of the Sandia/Manzano Mountains
northward. Stable layer just above ridge tops not as pronounced...and
700mb winds may tend more west-northwest by 12z Monday. Definitely increased
windiness for the usual East Slope suspects as well as much of the ec/NE

Significant pattern change then to dominate remainder of the
forecast period. Impressively expansive and cold upper trough to
carve out over the inter-mountain west/Great Basin region Monday/Tuesday
that will eventually close off /535-540dam low/ near or just
southwest of the Las Vegas Nevada by new years evening. The European model (ecmwf) and
GFS remain in very agreement through this period. The deep closed
low will likely become cut-off briefly...before making its initial
easterly jog some time New Years Day but still remaining well west
of New Mexico. Thus...not surprisingly...a slower eastward
translation is now preferred and supported by medium range
ensemble guidance. Looks like the low will cross the area Friday
with a closed circulation indicated passing along or south of
Interstate 40. A very favorable track for significant snow across
the central/northern high terrain.

But we will see two distinct rounds of winter weather impacts.
First will be classic up slope conditions along/east of the Central
Mountain chain later Monday through Tuesday night/Wednesday as the
modified Arctic air mass deepens and advances south and west. Areas of
light snow will be common and impacts are expected to ramp up
..especially favored up slope areas of the northeast. Warm air
advection above the Arctic Dome then looks to bring a period of
mixed wintry precipitation to the east Wednesday night into New Years Day
morning...which would be problematic. Second and main round will
then develop as the low begins to kick east and interact with
residual cold air/up slope that will be in place from The Divide
region back east. Could be a fairly robust warm air advection pattern for the Rio
Grande Valley. Trending drier with moderating temperatures for the
first weekend of 2015. Kj


Fire weather...
critical fire weather...none expected through the new years Holiday
into next weekend. reasonable agreement through next Sunday...with some
differences in pattern evolution emerging from Monday Onward in the
following week. Sharp trough extending from the northern Texas
Panhandle to north central Mexico will shear eastward...and leave
New Mexico in the broad northwest flow in circulation about closed
low over northern Ontario and sprawling across much of the
Continental U.S. In the broad flow...tight shortwave rocketing
across western British Columbia will buckle into a powerful wave
over the U.S. West Coast...with closed low forming near Sacramento
by late Tuesday. System core will drop into Southern California by
Wednesday afternoon...and then drift into Arizona with little change
in strength late New Years Day. Until the system plows into New
Mexico on Friday...southwest flow will intensify across the state in
advance of the system. System core will shear rapidly into Oklahoma
late Friday...returning New Mexico to blustery northwest flow aloft
heading into the weekend. This northwest flow will taper off through
the weekend. Beyond the weekend...models differ on pattern
evolution. Domestic GFS solution keeps a modest zonal flow over New
Mexico for the first days of the following work week...while
European colleagues at European model (ecmwf) weaken the New Mexico flow and build
large sloppy trough extending from northeast New Mexico to the
offshore Pacific west of Mexico. Impact differences for New Mexico
reasonably modest...and a simple difference split for now should
hold US pending better agreement in future runs.

For today...warmer temperatures statewide with most spots still 5 to
15 degrees below normal...with increase in high cloud cover through
this afternoon as New Mexico remains broadly under northwest flow
aloft. Windy conditions setting up over the east...especially on the
eastern slopes and adjacent plains of the Central Mountain chain and
eastward along Interstate surface trough deepens through the
day from eastern Colorado to the southwestern Texas Panhandle.
Humidities running in the 20s and 30s percent in the east with 30s and
40s percent typical in the west. Dryer conditions in general will limit
eastern overnight humidity recoveries to fair to good...with
somewhat better recoveries in the west. Ventilation remaining poor
for the most part...with somewhat improved but marginal conditions
over the eastern plains south of Interstate 40. Up north...a few
evening snow showers are possible along the Colorado line across the
San Juan and Tusas Mountains.

For Monday...warming trend continues for all but the
a strong cold front penetrates southward out of the northern plains
states...and this feature will make solid southward and westward
progress across the New Mexico eastern plains through Monday night.
Eastern points will sag to high temperatures 10 to 20 degrees below
normal...with the remainder of the state running 5 to 15 degrees
below normal. Increased snow coverage as this cold air moves
in...with snow shower focus over the northern sangre Delaware cristo
mountains...and eastward across the northeast plains through the
day. Southward and westward frontal progress will expand snow
coverage over the entire eastern half of the state through Monday
night. Snow amounts should be modest in this otherwise dry system.
Breezy northeast winds will dominate the eastern third of the
state...with easterly gusts reaching the Central Mountain chain
Monday night. Cold push will boost minimum humidities into the 40s
and 50s percent over northeast New Mexico...with 30s and 40s percent over
much of the remainder of the state...a little dryer south of
Interstate 40. Good to excellent humidity recoveries Monday night.
Ventilation rates improving broadly...with last pockets of poor
ventilation west and south along the state borders...with good to
very good conditions elsewhere.

For Tuesday...temperatures head for the cellar over the east...with
25 to 35 degree cold departures from normal over the east...10 to 20
degrees cold departures over the central...and a less dramatic 8 to
15 degree departure over the west. Snow coverage will continue over
the east with heaviest snowfall over the northeast Highlands and
over the Interstate 25 corridor...but snow coverage extending as far
south as the Sacramento and Guadalupe Mountains in Lincoln and
Chaves counties. Humidities will bottom out in the 50s and 60s percent
in the east...and in the 40s in the west with excellent humidity
recoveries overnight. Colder air moving in as cold front advances
westward to the Continental Divide will return ventilation
conditions to poor across New Mexico through Tuesday night.

Outlook...Wednesday through Friday...modest moderation of
temperatures across the new years Holiday period...with most spots
10 to 20 degrees below early January normals by Friday. Large
Pacific coast storm will coil up over Southern California on
Wednesday...strengthen in place on New Years Day...and then swing
rapidly across New Mexico along Interstate 40 to wind up around
Santa Rosa on Friday. Lingering snow showers on Wednesday will
become more widespread and heavier over the west Wednesday night
with coverage expanding across the central portion of the state New
Years Day and night...and out over the eastern half of the state on
Friday. Southeast breezes will dominate western New Mexico from the
Arizona line to the Continental Divide Wednesday with flow veering
to southerly and reducing speed on Thursday. Quick shifts to west
and northwest in the wake of the surface of the low moving out of
Arizona to northeast New Mexico by Friday will return breezy to
windy conditions across the Continental Divide and central mountains
mainly south of Interstate 40 by Friday. Humidities remaining
high...with some very gentle drying beginning on Friday. Ventilation
broadly improving through the period...with better ventilation in
the west Wednesday expanding across the state through Friday.



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