Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
456 PM MST Friday Jan 30 2015
00z taf cycle
moist south to southwest flow to continue through period with
widespread MVFR ceilings and visibilities and mountains obscured. Active
showers to increase from south to north during the overnight hours
with areas of IFR to LIFR ceilings and visibilities in snow and or fog
central...western and northern zones. Some snow east central zones...
especially Highlands...but expecting rain at krow and a rain-snow
mix at ktcc overnight. Conditions to persist through around 18z...
with best chances for precipitation after 18z over the central and
western higher terrain and the northeast.
Previous discussion...256 PM MST Friday Jan 30 2015...
wet and unsettled weather will continue through Saturday as
abundant moisture continues to flow northward ahead of a Pacific
low. Snow accumulation levels will ultimately rise making the
rest of the period a higher elevation snow event. A second atmospheric
wave and accompanying surface cold front will track southward
over the forecast area Saturday night into Sunday and provide a
mix of rain and snow. A warming and drying trend is still expected
for the earlier portion of next week with bouts of breeziness.
Another weak system passage and back door cold front will be
carefully analyzed current/expected thermal/moisture profile and snow
conditions. Decided to make some alterations to the current
highlight package. Downgraded some of the warnings to advisories
as well as cancelled some of the advisories. Made some additions
and upgrades as well. Upgraded the Taos zone to a warning
although the major part of the snowfall impact came earlier today.
Some freezing tonight with lower surface temperatures across the upper
Rio Grande Valley is expected and should create some hazardous Road
conditions. Carefully analyzed Santa Fe zone and decided to keep
that highlight an advisory. Cancelled advisory early for abq metropolitan
area because the expected snow impact should be minimal and localized the
rest of the period. Cant rule out some localized 1 to 2.5 inch
snow accumulations along the abq foothills and rural areas northwest of
Rio Rancho later tonight into Saturday but impact should be
minimal. Also added Farmington zone to an advisory based on current
conditions. These snow conditions should gradually improve
tonight but if the low level pocket of cooler air hangs in a
little longer then slush freezing is a possibility. Also looked at
the northern Sacramento Mountain and Catron County warnings very
closely since the impact will generally be 8000 to 8500 feet and
above. Will allow the warning to ride there and let later shifts
decide its fate. Will also continue to monitor any rain on snow
impacts across Catron County based on what has already fallen and
what is expected to fall. The new west-southwest product will be out shortly.
Overall...minimized snow/freezing precipitation accumulation across the lowest
elevations including portions of the Rio Grande Valley and eastern
plains as well as western mountains current snotel data shows
temperatures above freezing with high dewpoints across Catron
County. The warm tongue associated with this higher wet bulb zero
airmass will continue to track northward based on current
satellite imagery. Otherwise...very little changes made to the
gridded forecast. Adjusted temperatures slightly and continued with the
high pop/quantitative precipitation forecast event through Saturday.
Went a little higher with probability of precipitation Sat night into Sunday along the
east slopes of the central mountains as a back door cold front and
associated weak wave track north to south across the area. Models are
a little more bullish and have some consensus between them for
this period. Although liquid water amounts will be light.
Still looking at a drier overall pattern for the earlier half of
next week. Some bouts of breeziness is expected with a gradual
warming trend. Only caveat to this would be a back door cold front
across the eastern plains on Wednesday. Perhaps some showers
associated with a weak wave favoring the north as well during that
with widespread wetting precipitation expected to continue tonight
and Saturday morning...no major fire weather concerns outside of
poor ventilation are anticipated during the next seven days.
A broad upper level closed low circulation over Southern California
will continue to lift deep subtropical moisture northward over New
Mexico tonight and Saturday. Snow levels will be on the rise over
southern and central areas west of the Central Mountain chain this
evening and overnight as the relatively warm subtropical airmass
begins to modify the lower atmosphere.
As northwest flow aloft associated with a deep upper level trough
dropping southeastward through the northern and Central Plains Saturday
night...the upper low to the west will be forced south and
southeastward into northern Sonora and Chihuahua. An associated
backdoor cold front will drop into the eastern plains Saturday
night...sparking a few snow showers along and east of the Central
Mountain chain late Saturday night into Sunday morning. Temperatures
will modify somewhat Monday...with a stronger warmup expected
Tuesday. Models remain in good agreement that another backdoor cold
front will drop into the eastern plains lateday Wednesday or
Wednesday night...cooling temperatures east of the Central Mountain
chain to several degrees to slightly below average.
Ventilation rates will trend upward somewhat over the east
Sunday...then areawide Monday and Tuesday.
Winter Weather Advisory until 5 PM MST Saturday for the following
Winter Storm Warning until 5 PM MST Saturday for the following
Winter Weather Advisory until 5 am MST Saturday for the following