Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
1143 PM MDT Wednesday Apr 1 2015
06z taf cycle
surface wind shift NE nm due to line of convection over Kansas expected
06z-12z...then surface low/Lee trough to redevelop and deepen...as
upper disturbance moves into the Great Basin and southern Colorado. At the
same time...westerly winds aloft to strengthen...and mix down to the
surface after 18z. Gusts to 40-45kts possible with localized reduced
visibilities in bldu.
Previous discussion...335 PM MDT Wednesday Apr 1 2015...
surface winds will commonly gust out of the west southwest at
speeds from 40 to 50 miles per hour on Thursday as an upper level trough
passes north of New Mexico. These winds will combine with very low
humidity to produce fire weather concerns areawide. A cold front
will drop through the state during the afternoon and evening
cooling temperatures. High temperatures on Thursday will generally
fall a few to 12 degrees from todays readings...then another few
to 19 degrees across central and eastern areas on Friday. After
lighter winds on Friday...breezy to windy conditions should
redevelop over the weekend and into early next week with more
widespread critical fire weather conditions.
above normal precipitable water values are lingering over nm this
afternoon with a strong dry slot on water vapor imagery pushing
this way through western Arizona. Strong lapse rates over nm and
an apparently week perturbation crossing the central rockies has
lead to some isolated virga showers and even a lightning strike
this afternoon. A slight chance for gusty and dry thunderstorms
will continue to be possible mainly along and just east of the
Central Mountain chain through sunset.
Still looking for a speed maximum in the polar jet to cross
Thursday with Wind Advisory speeds likely across a good portion of the
forecast area. Will let the night shift narrow down the precise
boundaries...but the vicinity of Las Vegas...Clines
Corners...Corona and the Central Highlands...as well as Gallup and
the west central mountains...look favored for gusts to 50 miles per hour
during the afternoon until sunset. Blowing dust will likely
afflict dust prone locations.
The back door portion of the cold front that drops through nm on
Thursday night looks like it will have enough moisture with it for
a few rain and snow showers to develop Thursday night through
Friday along and east of the sangre Delaware cristo mountains...and
especially near the Colorado border. There could even be some
thunder early Thursday evening around sunset.
The GFS is flip flopping on whether there will be any showers from
the Continental Divide to the east slopes of the Central Mountain
chain Saturday night. More recent runs have put some light quantitative precipitation forecast
back into the forecast. This is possible with a moist
southeasterly return flow developing Saturday and an upper trough
ejecting northeastward from the Baja California. This precipitation is now also
reflected in the Canadian model...but not really in the European model (ecmwf).
Upper level troughs crossing the northern and central rockies will
keep winds aloft moderate to strong over nm during the weekend and
into early next week. Strong springtime atmospheric mixing should
result in the aforementioned breezy to windy conditions and areas
of fire weather concern each afternoon.
..several critical fire weather days on tap for New Mexico...
The beginning of a fire growing pattern is taking shape over the
area today. Strong winds...low humidities...and an unstable airmass
are leading to critical conditions...although a little slower than
expected today. A few fast-moving light showers have developed in
a few locales...which will exacerbate erratic and gusty winds. Sub
critical humidities are favoring eastern nm and the Rio Grande
Valley...although cloud cover may have some mitigating effect for
central and western areas. Much drier air will invade from the west
overnight and especially on Thursday.
Poor overnight recoveries along and south of I-40 will lead into a
quick deterioration in fire weather conditions Thursday. The center
of a potent dry slot will invade the region and deliver a big punch
of strong west winds...very unstable air...and single digit relative humidity for
several hours. A cold front will then slide into the region early
Thursday evening and shift winds to the north and northwest. Cooler
air will move in and force maximum temperatures below normal into Friday. The
dry air will still hang on for central/western nm where single digit
relative humidity values are expected again...however the wind will be much less.
Some near or even sub-freezing temperatures are possible Friday morning
and again Saturday morning for a few areas that are already seeing
green up. This may slow the process a bit...but above normal temperatures
are in store again for Sunday through at least middle week next week.
Models are trying to develop some moist return flow Saturday night
as a ridge builds over the Southern Plains. This may result in some
overnight showers from the Rio Grande Valley eastward into the High
Plains. This will most likely just offer very good recoveries with
little wetting rainfall.
Monday and Tuesday look like a ridge break down pattern with west
to southwest winds increasing again. The chance for more critical
fire weather conditions are looking on the increase during this
period. A weak wave passing north of the area Wednesday may drag a
front into the area and cool temperatures slightly through Thursday.
red flag warning from 11 am to 9 PM MDT Thursday for the following