Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
1052 PM MST Wednesday Nov 25 2015
06z taf cycle
winds will continue at mountain top level where gusts around 40
kts will remain through the night. Clouds will increase...thicken
and lower overnight as showers will become more widespread. Most
taf sites should remain VFR through the night but ceilings could be
around 040 before daybreak. IFR and maybe even LIFR ceilings and visibilities
possible at row after 10z. A potent cold front will slide into the
far northeast plains overnight. Rain will change to freezing rain/sleet
from cao to tcc Thursday. IFR to LIFR conditions likely developing
during the day in the NE. Elsewhere rain and mountain snow showers
with brief MVFR conditions and Montana obscurations. 40
Previous discussion...319 PM MST Wednesday Nov 25 2015...
increasing atmospheric moisture will combine with a strong
backdoor cold front to produce a winter weather event across
portions of northern and central New Mexico beginning late
Thursday and lasting into Saturday. Temperatures behind the front
will plummet below freezing across most of eastern New Mexico
where a mix of freezing rain...sleet and snow is forecast.
Accumulating snow is forecast in the higher terrain...with the
greatest amounts expected over the peaks of the northern and south
central mountains. Significant travel impacts are expected with
this event...mainly across eastern and northern New Mexico. Cold
conditions will persist into Saturday as precipitation diminishes.
Some improvement is forecast Sunday... but daytime temperatures
will remain below normal going into the middle of next weeks
thanks a reinforcing cold front.
moisture advection is underway throughout the column...with the
12z kabq upper air sounding showing precipitable waters trending up compared to
the past couple of soundings and surface dewpoint 24hr change
values currently an average +5. Precipitable waters are forecast to continue the
uptrend and become anomalously high across the southeast half of
our County warning forecast area by late Thursday night. Certainly a messy forecast
through Saturday in terms of precipitation type across the eastern
plains/Highlands and placement of greatest snow amounts. Model
run-to-run trends on quantitative precipitation forecast are down generally north of I-40 and up
south of I-40 along/east of the Central Mountain chain. Both the
12z and 18z GFS showing significant quantitative precipitation forecast from the south central
mountains north and east to near the Texas border on Friday and
Friday night. Although fairly significant travel impacts are
forecast north of I-40...it is looking more likely that we'll see
less snow and/or ice than forecast there. The opposite may be
true for locales along/south of I-40 across the east. Added the
south central mountains and eastern Lincoln County to the watch
based on forecast snow and ice amounts. Amounts in excess of a
foot are possible across the peaks of the south central mountains.
A fairly strong East Canyon/gap wind is forecast for the usual
suspects in the Rio Grande and upper Tularosa valleys Friday...but
held speeds just below Wind Advisory threshold. Trends on speeds
are up...so a Wind Advisory may end up being required. Models are
showing rapid improvement late Saturday as the upper low starts to
pull-out to the northeast. Temperatures behind the front Friday
and Saturday will be well below normal...especially across the
eastern plains where many locales will go below freezing late
Thursday or Thursday night and stay there into Sunday.
12z GFS and European model (ecmwf) differ with the handling of the secondary upper
low...with the European model (ecmwf) keeping it further south and bringing it
just north of The Four Corners by Sunday night. As such...the
European model (ecmwf) generates another round of precipitation late Sunday into Monday
focusing across the northeast quarter. Added low end probability of precipitation and a
mention of precipitation as a compromise with the drier GFS solution.
Sunday will warm-up a bit and will try to reach normal by Monday
but a reinforcing cold front will come through Monday and keep
temperatures below normal through the middle of next week.
increasing clouds and winds are signaling the arrival of changes
coming tonight and Thursday. As was the case Tuesday...northeast
nm continues to focus marginal critical conditions this afternoon
with single digit relative humidity values and gusty winds. Deeper moisture will
continue to increase tonight and a few light showers are expected
by daybreak around the high terrain.
Thursday will feature a plunge back to winter for eastern nm as a
potent back door front dives southwest across the area. Temperatures will
fall 30 to 40 degrees behind the front with rain changing to freezing rain
and sleet from north to south through late Thursday. Winds will be
howling behind the front as well. This front will surge west into
the Rio Grande Valley and deliver gusts near 45 miles per hour below canyons
Friday morning through Friday night. The east will see measurable
frozen precipitation in the form of snow/sleet/fzra...with damage possible
to trees around Quay...Curry...Roosevelt...and Delaware Baca counties.
Meanwhile the high terrain east of The Divide will pick up several
inches of snow through Saturday.
Light snow will impact areas between Santa Fe/abq and The Divide
Saturday. Very dry air will invade from the west late Saturday and
force precipitation eastward Saturday night. Overall dry...breezy...and
very chilly air will hold over the state through at least early next
week. Poor vent rates through the weekend will improve to fair/good
all areas. Humidity recoveries will be dominated by snowmelt through
this period as temperatures slowly modify.
Winter Storm Watch from Thursday afternoon through late Friday
night for the following zones...