Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
534 am MDT Sat Apr 25 2015
12z taf cycle
currently VFR at area terminals...although patchy MVFR ceilings are
developing between kabq...ksaf and kskx. Some mountain
obscurations are likely this morning before clouds lift.
Otherwise...the main aviation impact today will be strong
southwest wind gusts by middle to late afternoon at klvs...ktcc and
krow. An approaching trough will begin to impact kfmn and kgup
toward the end of the taf period with light rain and the potential
for MVFR cigs/vsbys.
Previous discussion...346 am MDT Sat Apr 25 2015...
an unseasonably deep and cold upper level storm system will
approach the land of enchantment today. As the flow aloft ahead of
this system becomes southwesterly this morning...clouds and
scattered light showers will develop over far northwest New
Mexico. Scattered showers with a few thunderstorms will develop
over western and northwestern New Mexico tonight. Widespread rain
and High Mountain snow will encompass the western two thirds of
the state Sunday with the action shifting to northeast New Mexico
Sunday night and Monday. Significant rain and High Mountain snows
will be a good bet from the east slopes of the sangre Delaware cristo
mountains eastward to the Texas border Sunday night and Monday.
High pressure returns to the western states Tuesday night and
southwest flow aloft ahead of deepening upper level trough
dropping into the pacnw already showing signs of setting up this
morning over northern Arizona. This relatively moist flow will
bring increasing clouds along with isolated light showers and a
few thunderstorms to the northwest quarter of nm today.
Weather prediction models remain in good agreement that the above
mentioned upper level trough over the pacnw will drop southeastward through
the western Great Basin today and develop into a deep closed low
near The Four Corners Sunday morning. Main frontal band of precipitation
prognosticated to overtake the western half of nm Sunday morning. Numerous
showers...a few thunderstorms and mountain snow showers are likely
from the Central Mountain chain westward to the Arizona line Sunday
morning. The showers spread east and northeast Sunday afternoon to
include the central and NE Highlands and NE plains. Snow levels
will drop to around 7500 feet Sunday morning rising to around
9000 feet Sunday afternoon. Once the closed upper low moves east
of the Central Mountain chain...Gulf moisture gets into the act
with moderate to heavy rain and mountain snow developing over the
northeast quarter of nm. 00z European model (ecmwf) remains somewhat slower and
slightly farther south with the upper low track...bringing more
moderate to heavy precipitation slightly farther south and west
Sunday night and Monday. At this time the favored area for
significant snow accumulations would be the northern and eastern
sangre Delaware cristo mountains Sunday night and Monday morning. Will
issue Winter Storm Watch for the northern and eastern sangres and
the Raton/Johnson/Bartlett mesas Sunday evening through Monday.
Six to ten inches of accumulation with perhaps up to 15 inches is
possible above about 9000 feet over the northern and eastern sangres
with slightly lesser amounts for the highest elevations of the
Raton/Johnson/Bartlett mesas. Models remain in good agreement that
significant rainfall between about one and one and a half inches
could fall over the NE plains and Highlands between Sunday afternoon and
Northeasterly jet on the backside of the upper low will combine with
residual low level moisture to produce scattered showers and
thunderstorms over the western and northern mountains Tuesday afternoon and
early evening. A rather strong upper level ridge begins to
translate east toward/over nm Wednesday and Thursday...warming
temperatures to above average for late April and limiting shower
chances to slight...mainly over the northern mountains. Ridge axis
slides east of nm Thursday night and Friday. GFS and European model (ecmwf) in good
agreement that a relatively moist south to southwesterly flow aloft will
develop Friday into early next weekend...possibly resulting in
scattered showers and thunderstorms.
today will be warmer than yesterday between weather systems...
although still below normal across all but the far eastern plains.
A Lee side trough will get cranked-up late day as the developing
upper low over the Great Basin approaches...with breezy to windy
conditions forecast across much of the area. A few hours of critical
fire weather conditions are possible across the lower Rio Grande
Valley and far east Central Plains this afternoon...but Haines of
3-4 and temperatures at or below normal will preclude a warning
A significant cooling/moistening trend is in play for Sunday through
Monday as a potent upper level low moves east across the state. Good
chances for wetting precipitation will favor the northern and
western mountains Sunday...then shift to include the northeast
quarter on Monday as the diffluent region of the upper low interacts
with a backdoor cold front. Soaking rains are likely across the
northeast plains/Highlands and east Central Plains Sunday night
through Monday...with significant snow accumulation likely in the
sangre Delaware cristo mountains and over the Raton ridge. Below normal
temperatures will continue into Tuesday as the upper low moves away.
A few showers and thunderstorms are possible Tuesday with a trailing
shortwave moving across the southern rockies in northerly flow
aloft...but coverage of wetting precipitation will be down
significantly from the previous two days.
Increasing pressure heights associated with ridging aloft will be the
story from Wednesday through Friday with a warming/drying trend.
Vent rates will be a mixed bag of poor to good on Wednesday with
light flow and warming of the middle levels of the atmosphere lending
to stubborn inversions...although some improvement is forecast by
Friday. The ridge shifts east by Saturday with a troughing pattern
forecast for the intermountain west going though next weekend...
meaning a possible return of winds but with a potential subtropical
moisture tap. Point here is that critical fire weather conditions
appear unlikely through at least next weekend.
Winter Storm Watch from Sunday evening through Monday afternoon for
the following zones...nmz513-515-527.