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Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
555 PM MDT Wednesday Apr 23 2014
00z taf cycle
VFR conditions prevail for the next 24 hours. Strong and gusty
northwest to southwest surface winds will be the main impact to
aviation through around midnight. North-northwest winds behind the front and
S-SW winds ahead of a surface cold front traversing the state will
gradually diminish after 10 PM. Slight chance of isolated high based
-shra/-tsra along the cold front over north-central and central nm
likely producing virga as well as gusty and erratic surface winds.
Previous discussion...308 PM MDT Wednesday Apr 23 2014...
midweek gusts will taper off into late week breezes...in time for
a large Pacific storm system to drift across New Mexico over the
weekend. A stormy and blustery Saturday will bring a much cooler
Sunday...with temperatures working slowly back toward normal
during a breezy start to the work week.
currently...high amplitude trough from the New Mexico Boot Heel to
the Canadian rockies heading toward the Continental Divide this
afternoon...with complex interplay of fronts and boundaries
playing out at the surface. Approaching Pacific cold front lying
from northeast Colorado...to The Four Corners...to the lower Colorado
River valley in western Arizona will continue its southern and
eastern sweep. Dry line setting up from northeast New Mexico to
The Big Bend country will help focus afternoon thunderstorms east
of the state...with weak inverted trough poking northward from
northeastern Sonora into extreme southwest New Mexico. Lots of
boundaries...but a dearth of moisture...will keep shower coverage
confined to the northern mountains for now with an eastward smear
in the cards tonight.
Models...in reasonably good agreement on a complex pattern through
the weekend and into Thursday morning next week...with
differences in downstream feature placement...and upstream
evolution complicating the Harmony for late in next work week on
into the following weekend. Happy start moves high amplitude
trough into The Heart of Texas by late tonight...as next Pacific
trough slams into the Southern California coast late Friday. This
system will swing east into western New Mexico on Saturday and
roar across The Heart of the state through Sunday morning. A
roaring entrance will be followed by a lingering and slow
departure...as the system closed low over northeast New Mexico
late Sunday will move only slightly to central Kansas on
Monday...and across the lower Missouri and lower Ohio valleys on
Tuesday. New Mexico will remain on the western fringes of this
strong and sprawling circulation...and subject to spokes of
southbound shortwaves in circulation about the closed low moving across
the state and touching off showers...shifting winds...and
temperature perturbations with each pass. Circulation center will
drift into the Great Lakes by Thursday morning...with the westward
extent of the circulation just starting to pull out of New Mexico.
Model differences emerging from Thursday daytime Onward...as
European European model (ecmwf) solution camps the closed low over Lake
Michigan...and extends broad trough south and west across the
Southern Plains and southeast New Mexico. Domestic GFS...in
contrast...probability of precipitation up a ridge from the tropical east Pacific
northeast across The Rockies into hudsons Bay in Canada with New
Mexico remaining in a gentle northwest flow.
For Thursday...trough moving through by early Thursday
morning...and setting up over The Heart of North Texas by midday
Thursday. Breezy winds will set up over the Continental Divide
mainly south of Interstate 40...and over the high country of the
northern mountains and Central Mountain chain through Thursday
afternoon. A dry and sunny day otherwise..with a few clouds
lingering over the northeast plains. Temperatures will run a few
degrees either side of late April normal values.
For Friday...flow aloft backing to southwest in advance of next
Pacific trough moving over the California coast. Dome of high
pressure will set up over the northwest plateau...as surface low
associated with inbound Pacific coast sets up over central Nevada.
A solid warm up will push eastern temperatures 6 to 12 degrees
above late April normals....while the west will run a few degrees
above normal. A broad and breezy southwest flow will strengthen
through the day...with local areas of blowing dust over the
northeast and eastern plains...and from the Arizona line to the
Continental Divide. Otherwise...a dry and sunny day in advance of
the weekend adventure to come.
For Saturday...Pacific storm system will move across Arizona and
encroach on western New Mexico Saturday morning...as rapidly
deepening storm system over eastern Colorado will strengthen
surface pressure gradients. Copious momentum overhead and strong
surface pressure gradient at the surface will set up a very windy
day...with speeds already at advisory levels...and flirting with
warning levels in spots mainly south of Interstate 40. Morning
shower coverage over the north and west will expand eastward across
the sangre Delaware cristo mountains...with cooler air bringing snow
levels down and expanding snow coverage from the northern mountain
summits to some of the higher slopes. Away from
precipitation...blowing dust will impact visibilities and pose
some localized travel dangers. With cold air invading from the
west...temperatures will fall 3 to 8 degrees below late April
normals over the west...but remain 5 to 10 degrees above normal on
the eastern plains.
Outlook...Sunday through Tuesday...protracted period of shower
coverage over the northern third of the state...as closed low of
departing weather system takes Sweet time reaching the middle
Mississippi...lower Ohio...and lower Missouri valleys by Tuesday.
Circulation about closed low will keep pumping southbound energy
and associated shortwave spokes around the cyclonic
wheel...maintaining dynamic contribution for northern showers.
Weekend windy conditions continuing through Sunday...with winds
veering to the northwest behind the eastbound cold front...with
another day of northwest windiness on tap for Monday. Winds
veering northerly and easing somewhat over New Mexico...as focus
of speediest winds shifts eastward to the Texas and Oklahoma
panhandles. Although moderating gently into Tuesday...temperatures
5 to 15 degrees below normal will end up 3 to 8 degrees below
normal heading into midweek.
..critical conditions returning central and east Friday...
Mainly dry upper level trough will continue to move east through
northern and central nm this evening. Surface winds will shift to
northwest early this evening...then northerly overnight. Dry air mass
behind the front along with the northerly breezes will keep
overnight recoveries mainly poor to fair...with local good values
over the far northeast plains. These higher dew points will shift
east into West Texas during the afternoon.
With a very dry air mass continuing to filter into the region
Thursday...relative humidity recoveries Thursday night will be rather pitiful for
the middle Rio Grande Valley and Central Highlands with some maximum relative humidity
values not even reaching 25 percent. The majority of the lower
elevations...including the eastern plains...may see maximum humidity
values in the 30 to 40 percent range.
Kept Fire Weather Watch as is for the middle Rio Grande Valley and
northeast Highlands eastward to the Texas border Friday. Models
backing off on timing of the strongest winds aloft until late Friday
afternoon/early evening creating some uncertainty as to the duration
of the critical fire weather conditions. High Haines with perhaps
more marginal wind speeds winds a possibility but with plenty of
time...will let future shifts see if the models settle on a
solution. Winds will likely stay gusty across some of the higher
terrain Friday night...leading into a very windy day Saturday...with
potential for gusts to 60 miles per hour over the higher elevation of central
areas...primarily south of Interstate 40. Widespread critical
conditions still on track Saturday afternoon and evening with what
looks like a classic April very strong to perhaps high wind event
area wide. European model (ecmwf) model...however starting to trend farther south with
the closed low Saturday and Saturday night. This result would take
the strongest wind speeds farther south along with a better chance
for wetting precipitation...especially north.
red flag warning until 8 PM MDT this evening for the following
Fire Weather Watch from Friday afternoon through Friday evening for
the following zones...nmz103-104-106>108.