Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
437 am MST Wednesday Dec 11 2013
12z taf cycle
VFR conditions expected across our forecast area for the next 24
hours. A back door cold front that sagged through the plains
overnight will continue to push southwestward toward Southeast Arizona today.
Winds with this front are weak with only minimal gusting. There
is some uncertainty about how well the front will push through
gaps in the Central Mountain chain into ksaf around middle day. If
the northerly drainage wind remains strong enough...this
southeasterly wind may not develop. Otherwise...patches of middle and
high clouds will continue to stream across central and southern
parts of the forecast area until tonight when there should be
clearing in central areas.
Previous discussion...257 am MST Wednesday Dec 11 2013...
a relatively quiet outlook is in store for the next 7 days compared
to the past few weeks. A cold frontal boundary shifting south across
the eastern plains has made it to Clovis as of 230am and it will
progress well south through The Trans-Pecos region through sunrise. This
will trend temperatures 5 to 15f cooler than Tuesday which will be near 15f
blw normal. Wind chill values will hover in the 20s most of the day so
again it will be cold but not nearly as bad as it was over the weekend.
A weak shearing upper wave off the soca coastline will drift northeast
through tonight and increase warm moist advection off the Baja California region into
southern nm. CIRA precipitable water products show a deep tap of moist SW flow out
ahead of this wave stretching all the way from the equatorial Pacific
across northern Mexico. Models continue to trend wetter for our area
Thursday as the sheared wave deepens again over SW Arizona before
filling/shearing as it crosses nm. Dynamics will be in place over
southern/eastern nm for a band of rain/high terrain snow to eject NE
over the area late Thursday. A second area of rain/snow will impact
the SW and western high terrain as cold core instability slides over.
Model quantitative precipitation forecast values are on the order of 0.10-0.25 across the east and
less than 0.10 for the west. Made minor adjustments to probability of precipitation but if
trend continues will need to ramp up significantly. Temperatures will be
a challenge for snow accums during the day but some lingering snow
is possible Thursday night depending on how slow the wave progresses
over the state.
Colder air will filter southeast across the region Friday with a reinforcing
shot Saturday/Sunday. Overall temperatures will average near to blw normal
for at least central/western nm through Sunday before moderating early
near zonal to northwest upper level flow over New Mexico with the
next opportunity for precipitation in the form of a closed low
currently off the West Coast near Baja California. Cold air still in place and
despite a fairly pronounced warm up especially across the east
today...temperatures remain below seasonal levels. Quite the contrast in
surface pressure today with a 1040 high over southwest Colorado and
Lee trough across the east. In addition...winds are still fairly
strong at mountain top levels such that gusty west to southwest
winds will persist this afternoon across the Central High terrain
and northeast plains. Critical thresholds will be met over the east
Central Plains for a few hours this afternoon.
A back door front will move into the northeast this evening and
through the remainder of the eastern plains over night. Except for
the wind shift...impacts will be minimal. Another surge of colder
air will accompany the front with another round of cooling across
the east on Wednesday with temperatures continuing an upward trend
across the west. Still temperatures to remain 5 to 15 degrees below
normal...with weak easterly flow reaching the central valleys.
Mixing heights to be below average so poor ventilation is expected
By Thursday the upper low should reach southwest Arizona by middle day
with area of diffluence ahead of the low supporting decent lift
across portions of the state. However...models dont agree on the
amount of moisture available to work with. Precipitable water...
extremely low on this mornings sounding...should steadily increase
from the south thus precipitation looks most likely over the
southwest and south central zones Thursday and Thursday night. With
temperatures warmer than the last two systems...snow looks to be
limited with this system. Winds increase a bit on Thursday
especially east...but mixing heights remain low and ventilation
The trough opens and crosses New Mexico Friday...with a slight
chance of wetting precipitation mainly central terrain. The upper
level gradient increases and a surface low moves from eastern
Colorado to the Texas Panhandle. West to northwest winds
increase...favoring higher terrain and eastern Highlands...mixing
heights increase and ventilation should be good to excellent along
and south of Interstate 40 with poor to fair values across the
A weak disturbance looks to move through the northwest flow behind
the exiting upper level trough with another round of cooler air on
Saturday. Poor ventilation returns most areas except the extreme
east where north winds persist.
Extended models in agreement that northwest flow should persist Sunday
into Tuesday supporting day to day temperature increases and dry
conditions...but also mostly poor to fair ventilation.