Scientific Forecaster Discussion

Return to Local Conditions & Forecast
Area forecast discussion...updated 
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
546 PM MDT Sat Apr 19 2014

00z taf cycle
active night of convection. Showers and thunderstorms initiating
across southern nm will move north through the evening and night
hours...with MVFR to IFR conditions at times and Montana obscurations
through at least 12z Sunday. Only going with thunderstorms in the vicinity and vcsh for
fmn...gup...abq and aeg. Categorical for saf...lvs and tcc the
next couple of hours as they are all reporting rain. A bit of a
lull possible Sunday morning with more convection firing in the
afternoon. Favored areas will be the northern well
as the NE where a back door cold front will reach. 40


Previous discussion...218 PM MDT Sat Apr 19 2014...
showers and a few thunderstorms will develop over the region tonight
and become more widespread Saturday and Sunday. The greatest potential
for moderate rainfall amounts will focus mainly south of Interstate
40. A few showers and thunderstorms may become locally strong Sunday
for the southeastern plains. Any shower activity will be capable of
producing strong gusty winds and blowing dust. Temperatures will cool
to near normal through this period. Drying and warming will commence
Monday before warmer temperatures and the Spring winds return for
much of the remainder of next week.


abundant moisture has finally returned to nm today. CIRA percent
of normal precipitable water values are well above normal for a large area of
the state. The 12z kabq radiosonde observation precipitable water of 0.54 was +2 Standard dev above climatology
and 0.77 at kepz was at the 99th percentile. The water vapor loop
shows a large scale upper low dragging all this moisture into the
area and shifting very slowly east across nm/southern Arizona. Thick
cloud cover over central nm has really hampered translation and
development of precipitation into the region...while numerous rain showers/thunderstorms and rain
impact nearly the entire periphery. Fortunately areas that have
reported precipitation since midnight are doing quite well. Lots of 0.25
to 0.50 inch reports generally along and south of Highway 60.

Unfortunately model agreement is not great tonight into Sunday with
the focus for highest chances. The latest hrrr continues to indicate
a trowal feature developing over the central Montana chain and Rio Grande
Valley tonight as the upper trough shifts into eastern nm. Quantitative precipitation forecast
numbers could be impressive for the central mts/valley if in fact
this feature develops. Other operational guidance shows this to
some degree but convective quantitative precipitation forecast bullseyes are all over the place.
Didnt change grids too much for tonight since confidence on the
placement of definite probability of precipitation is too low. The main forcing will slide
into the NE plains Sunday where a surface front also slips into
the region. Increased probability of precipitation a tad there and lowered for the west
where drier air should begin filtering into the area.

Did not focus much on the Monday through Friday period since mainly a
temperature and wind forecast. Precipitation chances will lower as very dry
air begins scouring out any low level moisture left over from the
current system. Tuesday and Wednesday look nasty with strong winds...
blowing dust...and critical fire weather conditions.



Fire weather...
critical fire weather outlook...critical fire weather setting up for
northwest plateau and adjacent Highlands Tuesday afternoon...and
across much of the state Wednesday. Critical conditions
redeveloping over the eastern plains Thursday...and again on Sunday. reasonable agreement through the upcoming work week and
weekend...with some differences in strength and timing of features
early in the following work week. Broad trough from Salt Lake City
across Arizona to the Gulf of California will drift east across New
Mexico through the remainder of the weekend as upstream ridge slides
over the state Monday. Trough digging out of the northeast Pacific
Ocean will swing onshore central California early Tuesday..tilt
negative...and then move to The Four Corners on Wednesday. Trough
will shear rapidly across the state into Thursday morning leaving
state in zonal flow. Next Pacific trough will arrive over the
California coast in negative tilt aspect Saturday morning...and this
feature will move across the state over the weekend. Monday morning
dawns with differences emerging in displayed features between
solutions. European European model (ecmwf) maintains a brisk shearing zonal to
northwest flow across the state into the first of the work
week...while GFS opts for closing the trough off into a closed low
over Colorado and northern New Mexico...with correspondingly slow
ejection into the Central Plains. GFS tendencies to close features
off over the west of late are becoming evident...and will thus opt
for the more sheared and progressive European model (ecmwf) solution to guide
extended forecast thinking for now pending better agreement.

Overnight...a temperature repeat of last night in a cloudy and
showery period with thunderstorms running pretty much all night.
Shower focus will shift to the eastern plains by sunrise. Good to
excellent humidity recoveries...and gusts limited to the proximity
of thunderstorms with otherwise weak winds overhead and near the

For Sunday...baggy trough over eastern New Mexico by daybreak will
drift off into Texas and the Southern Plains states by late Sunday
afternoon. Shower focus will trail the system...with shower focus
mainly north and northeast...and showers tapering over the east.
Isolated coverage will hang in there through Sunday afternoon over
the west. Moisture influx will keep minimum humidities in the 30s
percent over the east...and in the 20s percent over the east in modest west
to northwest winds in the wake of the departing trough. Generally
good or better ventilation conditions through the day with good to
excellent humidity recoveries overnight. Daytime temperatures close
to late April normals.

For Monday...ridge builds over New Mexico with light winds aloft and
at the surface. Spotty shower coverage lingering over the east will
end over the northeast Monday night with modest cool
push from the northeast crosses into New Mexico and slops over the
Central Mountain chain and Rio Grande out to the Continental Divide
by Monday night. Drying trend will drop minimum humidities into the
upper teens percent over the west...and the 20s percent over the east.
Ventilation conditions moving down gradually...with fair or better in the extreme east. Generally good humidity
recoveries overnight.

For Tuesday...drying out and warming daytime high
temperatures rise to 3 to 8 degrees above normal...and ridge axis
crosses The Heart of the state through Tuesday afternoon in advance
of substantial West Coast trough. Surface winds will veer southerly
as surface low deepens over the New Mexico Boot Heel. Gusts near the
Arizona border and humidities in the low teens percent will spread some
critical fire potential across the Chuska Mountains and adjacent
northwest plateau Tuesday above normal temperatures
and Haines indices running around 5 in the area contribute to the
overall threat picture...and this will bear watching carefully.
Elsewhere...humidities in the 20s percent east with fair to good
humidity recoveries statewide Tuesday night. No ventilation issues.

Outlook...Wednesday through Friday...West Coast trough moving to The
Four Corners Wednesday for a windy slide across the state through
Thursday. Trailing ridge will move in on Friday as wind speeds die
down. Temperatures running at late April normals or a few degrees
above in a very dry ending to the work week. Windy Wednesday
combined with single digit humidities will produce widespread
critical fire weather conditions over much of the
Thursday gusts over the east redevelop the critical pattern along
and south of the Interstate 40 corridor from the Rio Grande to the
Texas line. Reduced wind speeds Friday will ease up on the fire
weather pattern to end the work week. No ventilation issues
Wednesday and Friday...conditions running good or better on the
intervening Thursday. Poor to fair humidity recoveries all three
nights. Shy


Abq watches/warnings/advisories...