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Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
557 PM MDT Friday Aug 1 2014

00z taf cycle
upper high center to meander over New Mexico next 24 hours. Low
level easterly gradient persisting...which will lead to a light
or perhaps briefly moderate easterly wind below canyons into the
rgv. Scattered to numerous rain showers and isolated thunderstorms and rain with scattered MVFR ceilings/visibilities
surface and wind gusts to 35kt before 02/06z...will occasionally
obscure higher terrain over northern and western nm. Thunderstorms and rain to
spread southeast onto the eastern plains through the night. MVFR
ceilings and visibilities with br...with isolated IFR conditions to develop
along the east slopes central Montana chain after 02/06z. Most likely
at klvs...kaxx...kskx and krtn.


Previous discussion...311 PM MDT Friday Aug 1 2014...
a complicated weather scenario is in place over New
with abundant moisture and a few disturbances aloft that will lead
to scattered to numerous thunderstorms over a large swath of the
state. Many of the showers and thunderstorms will move very
slowly while producing heavy downpours...and this will lead to a
heightened risk for flash flooding. The threat for flash flooding
will be highest this afternoon and tonight over a large portion of
northern and central New Mexico...mainly between the Continental
Divide and areas just east of the Central Mountain chain of the
state. On Saturday the focus for storms could shift more into
south central and southwestern parts of New Mexico. The pattern
will remain fairly active going into Sunday with scattered to
numerous storms favoring the western half of New Mexico. A
gradual day-by-day decrease in shower and storm activity is then
expected through the first half of next week.


a wet and complex pattern will continue to pose monumental
challenges to the forecast...namely with regards to location of
flash flooding. There are several upper level features of interest
including a short wave trough over Colorado that will be tracking
into northeastern nm this evening. Other features that are more
subtle are a weak convectively-induced perturbation working into
southeastern nm while pressure falls and a circulation are
starting to appear over the Baja California peninsula...a soon to be
subtropical low. No blatant surface features are currently being
analyzed...and dewpoints are fairly homogeneous...just slightly
higher in the southeastern quadrant where remnant cloud cover and
showers are finally dissipating from last night's activity. Precipitable waters
are also healthy with abq balloon release showing 1.11 inch this
morning while epz showed an impressive 1.60 inches...moisture
which could seep northward into Saturday as steering winds flip
more southerly.

Orientation and timing of the Flash Flood Watch seems to still
outline the highest threat for locally heavy rainfall. Steering
flow is going to be variable over the forecast area...but much the
north central to northeastern parts of the area will generally see
a northwest to southeast movement...occasionally moving at 10 to 15 knots. This
could be fast enough to limit some flooding...but training cells
and saturated soils for many areas will counteract this. Other
areas will see slower and more variable storm movement. As the
northern wave digs farther into nm...some subtle drying and
subsidence may build into the middle levels behind the
system...lowering storm potential in the far north central zones
after midnight. Other areas farther south may remain quite active
into the early morning hours Saturday.

Forecast models depict the subtropical low closing off and becoming
well-defined over far SW Arizona on Saturday with no other blatant
shortwave troughs evident over nm...pending tonight's convection.
This will leave a very weakened area of high pressure over nm with
a large majority of the forecast area retaining high
moisture/pwats...especially in central to south central and
southwestern areas. This would likely be the focus area for flash
flooding...and another watch could be issued by the night shift.
While the eastern plains retain some higher moisture...the lifted indice's
indicate only marginal instability...thus storm coverage should be
less in the eastern tier of zones. Temperatures will fall well
short of normal again...generally 5 to 12 degrees below average.

Sunday will undoubtedly hinge on what transpires Saturday...but
with the subtropical low inundating Southern California and western
Arizona...the plume of moisture should stand its ground over the
western half of nm. Thus...scattered to numerous probability of precipitation have been
built into the Sunday forecast in most western zones with
continued below average temperatures. As the subtropical low
pushes northward into Nevada on Monday...moisture will lay over the
northwestern half of nm and slightly beyond with decent coverage
of storms expected. This essentially is the case Monday and into
Tuesday with a weak centroid of high pressure floating around east
central nm...roughly near Vaughn. No dramatic moisture surges are
expected during the first half of next the day-to-day
recycling of moisture may gradually subtract from the source or
at least diminish the coverage of storms.



Fire weather...
the wet pattern continues through the weekend and into early next
week. A transition in the location and orientation of the upper
ridge axis...north to south through New Mexico...still forecast
for this weekend as one or more disturbances migrate north and
around the western border of the ridge. Low level easterly upslope
flow will also continue to assist storm development. Locally heavy
rains which could lead to flooding will remain a concern through
the weekend...especially on and around wildfire burn scars.

The featured area tonight for the highest probability of precipitation will be from the
Continental Divide to the Pecos River valley...where a Flash Flood
Watch is in effect. Better rain chances Saturday through Sunday will
exist from the Central Mountain chain westward to the Arizona border
as the eastern plains transition to a less favorable flow pattern
and a more stable regime. Convection Monday should also favor the
northeast and Central Highlands west to the Arizona border.

Overnight relative humidity recoveries will continue to be excellent into next
week. High temperatures will remain below average through the
weekend but will slowly climb towards normal by the middle of week.
Poor to fair ventilation will be found across portions of the west
central...north central and far eastern plains Saturday...with areas
of poor ventilation featured along the Continental Divide and over
the north central Sunday. Vent rates trend towards some improvement
by the middle of next week.

Extended forecast models continue to suggest a stronger trough will
push into the Great Basin middle to late next week...bringing a drier
westerly flow to western and northern New Mexico. Dewpoints trend
downward especially over the northwest third...and afternoon
southwest breezes could pick up across the northeast. The 12z GFS is
stronger with the upper trough but eventually rebuilds the ridge
over New Mexico by 240hrs...while the 12z European model (ecmwf) appears a bit more
bullish with the ridge. Either way...the monsoon doesn/T appear to
be over just yet...although it may taper down a bit from what/S
expected this weekend.


Abq watches/warnings/advisories...
Flash Flood Watch through late tonight for the following zones...



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