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Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
503 am MDT Friday Jul 25 2014

12z taf cycle
upper high over New Mexico with moisture plume circulating around
the western and northern portions of the high. Surface Lee trough
remains in place but will sag southward after 18z. Most of the
eastern plains and areas south of Interstate 40 may be more stable
after 18z...with convection most likely far west and north.
Generally VFR through 26/00z...but isolated thunderstorms and rain surface wind gusts 35kt may
briefly obscure mts.


Previous discussion...332 am MDT Friday Jul 25 2014...
high pressure aloft will remain anchored over New Mexico today
with meager moisture working into northern parts of the
state. Any showers and thunderstorms will be focused over the
northern mountains. Much of the southern half of New Mexico will
remain dry...and temperatures will remain warm to hot today
through Saturday. A front will then back into northeastern New
Mexico Sunday...leading to cooler temperatures and an increase in
showers and thunderstorms. An increase in shower and thunderstorm
activity is expected through the first half of next week while
temperatures continue to cool near to slightly below average.


as has been prognosticated by the forecast models for a few days
now...the upper high will take up residence almost directly over
nm today with an axis elongating from west to east. Projected
precipitable waters are not overly impressive...generally ranging from 0.75 to
1.00 inch with the higher values in place over the northern tier
of the state. This will allow for isolated to scattered
storms...mostly in the northern tier of the state this afternoon
with little to no chance for storms elsewhere. One potential
feature that may aid a couple of storms in the northeastern corner
of the state will be a weak surface trough that could provide some
low level convergence. Temperatures will rise a couple degrees in
most locales of the forecast area today with some triple digit
readings in the eastern zones.

It still appears that the 500 mb pressure heights will increase by a
decameter or two Saturday...letting temperatures ease up another
degree or two with more triple digits...especially in the eastern
tier of the state. Orographic storms would favor the southwestern
to northern mountains...and the aforementioned surface trough
looks to be a potential forcing mechanism again in the far
northeast corner of the state. This surface trough looks to be a
pre-frontal trough with the best frontal push still locked up
farther north into Nebraska through Saturday evening.

The stronger push of the cold front is not expected to arrive into
northeast nm until middle morning Sunday...and this will be a key
feature as it will provide a continued focus for increased
showers and storms Sunday. Dewpoints in the middle 60s will be
pooling along the leading edge of the this moisture
advection...coupled with frontogenetical forcing...will act as a
catalyst for storms. NAM model depicts hefty cape values of
1500-3000 j/kg near the boundary...and thus some strong to perhaps
severe cells could develop into early Sunday evening in the
northeast. Sunday's boundary is also expected to push through the
northern and central mountains...and some gusty gap/canyon winds
have been built into the forecast Sunday and Sunday night along
with the subtle advection of higher dewpoints.

The surface winds will largely start veering more south
southeasterly into Monday over a wide span of the forecast
area...arguably The Retreat of the front northward. This would
leave the northeast favored again for storms due to upslope
conditions and remnant moisture. The upper high takes a slow jaunt
back toward Arizona by the middle of the week...and a very deep
eastern U.S. Trough will usher down another cold front on
Wednesday. This Wednesday boundary will back into northeast nm and
eventually toward the Rio Grande and Continental Divide...bringing
a recharge to the moisture and keeping the temperatures below
normal in the east. The increase in moisture will kick off an
active end to the week with a big uptick in showers/storms.



Fire weather...

Moisture plume has progressively become more west to east oriented
over Arizona and across Colorado than was observed 24 hours
ago...consistent with the upper ridge axis stretched through
northern New Mexico. Drier air entrained in the circulation pretty
much shut down convection Thursday...and the location of the drier
air this afternoon may again be a limiting factor convection
wise...especially east central and southern portions of the forecast
area as determined by the forecast Theta-E axis...although models
suggest the drier air will gradually diminish today and into
Saturday. Dewpoints slowly recovering after they dried out Thursday
afternoon but expect they will undergo a similar trend this
afternoon. A weak wind shift in the northeast plains this afternoon
may help to focus storms there...otherwise the northern high terrain
should see the best chances for rain through tonight. Some southwest
to west breezes again in the northeast and east central before middle
afternoon today but not expecting min relative humidity values to drop below 15

Convection should start to increase in areal coverage Saturday with
another wind shift stretched over the northeast plains. Depending
where the upper high center is...the moisture plume could sag into
New Mexico. Potential for a period of east winds into the upper rgv
noted in the wind guidance...and went ahead and tweaked wind grids
to include.

Sunday to be more active wetting rain chances ramp up
more significantly north central and northeast...courtesy of the
stronger surface push. An east wind into the rgv through Sunday
night looks to be a good bet right now...although some drier middle
level air is suggested to be located along the leading edge of the
more moist low level easterlies along the Continental Divide...which seems to be
reflected in the dewpoint forecast Sunday afternoon. In any
event...forecast min relative humidity values over this region Don/T fall below 15

Temperatures through Saturday will remain above average then fall to
near or even a bit below through the middle of next week. The upper
ridge axis strengthens into the Great Basin and northern rockies but
the high center may still remain over New Mexico or Arizona.
Depending where the high center ends up will determine if the
moisture plume has more of a direct...or indirect affect on New
Mexico. A short wave in northwest flow around the middle of next
week...and another vigorous front...could keep the weather active.


Abq watches/warnings/advisories...



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