Scientific Forecaster Discussion
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Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
541 PM MDT Friday Apr 18 2014
00z taf cycle
an upper level storm system will continue to overrun the forecast
area through the next 24 hours. VFR conditions through period with
brief mountain obscurations from showers. Virga showers across
portions of western and central nm may produce a lightning strike
or two and gusty winds this evening. More wetting showers will
develop late tonight...but confidence still low on impacting
terminal sites. Current thinking vcsh at kgup and kfmn...but may
amend later as showers better develop. Models hint at potential
for showers spreading farther east near kabq and ksaf tonight...but
will leave out of taf for now. Higher confidence in -shra
developing over southeast nm...so have prevailing at krow with timing the
biggest unknown. A lull in activity expected Saturday morning
before more widespread showers develop across northern and central
nm. Went with vcsh for most sites Saturday afternoon along with
increasing southerly wind speeds.
Previous discussion...300 PM MDT Friday Apr 18 2014...
showers and a few thunderstorms will develop over the region tonight
and become more widespread Saturday and Sunday. The greatest potential
for moderate rainfall amounts will focus mainly south of Interstate
40. A few showers and thunderstorms may become locally strong both
Saturday and Sunday for the southeastern plains. Any shower activity
will be capable of producing strong gusty winds and blowing dust.
Temperatures will cool to near normal through this period. Drying
and warming will commence Monday before warmer temperatures and the
Spring winds return for much of the remainder of next week.
latest CIRA blended precipitable water loop indicates a widespread area of the
desert SW under strong moist advection today. Percent of normal values
in this moist plume have increased to between 100-150 percent of normal
with pockets of greater than 200 percent. Satellite shows the associated
upper level storm system pushing slowly east while the center of
circulation weakens over Southern California. 12z-18z guidance is
in good agreement with the overall timing and placement of moist
instability over our region through Sunday. The 16z hrrr was very
bullish on developing a large area of rain/storms over the SW mts
this evening then sliding north along the continue dvd into San Juan
County...with another bullseye from Lincoln and Chaves counties into
the southeast plains. Trended probability of precipitation up for these areas but very dry low
levels will battle the initial development for several hours before
top down effects take over.
Model instability parameters are probably the strongest so far this
Spring season for much of the south and east. Lifted indices may
average -2 to -3c wtih cape of 500-800 j/kg. Shear values are weak
so main threat will be strong winds and blowing dust with small hail
possible. Also raised pop values for this period in line with HPC
probabilistic quantitative precipitation forecast guidance. Dry air will begin shifting in from the
west Sunday with the main upper forcing. This will create a stronger
focus for strong storms over the southeast plains but coverage should be
more limited for central and western nm. Maximum temperatures through the period
will be near normal while min temperatures remain quite warm.
Monday will be a transition day with temperatures warming and dry air
scouring out any remaining low level moisture. Winds will return
Tuesday through the remainder of the week. Definitely watching
closely for any fire starts from dry storm activity the next couple
days since the winds look ugly for an extended duration thereafter.
lightning slow to approach state but look for it later today into
the overnight as the atmosphere destabilizes. Wetting storms on
Saturday with residual impacts Sunday although drier. Confidence
high for a multi day wind event starting Tuesday and lasting into
Thursday. Models have slowed the trough for Tuesday which means
critical conditions shift further to the west. Wednesday looks to
be a doozy with low to very low relative humidity combined with really strong
wind areawide. Post cold frontal conditions most areas on Thursday
with residual strong wind. Strong wind/low relative humidity across the eastern
As far as the rest of today. Clouds will overspread the area. The
higher cirrus has kept surface based convection from developing but
the right combination of instability and moisture is quickly
approaching from east central and Southeast Arizona. Mainly isolated
thunderstorms...initially drier will impact the west. Cant rule out
some strong downdrafts. As the overnight progresses additional juice
will fuel wetter showers/storms. Models continue to project the best
results across the northwest third with another developing area
across the south late tonight. Gusty southerly winds will be found
through the rest of the afternoon.
The southern area of precipitation mentioned above should overspread most
of the area during the day on Saturday. Areas along and south of
Interstate 40 stand to benefit the most in terms of some wetting
moisture or greater than tenth of an inch. Southeast areas will be
fairly juicy most of the day. Needless to say...humidity values will
be unseasonably high on Saturday. Storm motion doest appear to be
all that fast although the southern tier activity will be moving
towards the northeast/east quicker than the northern activity.
The Southern California wave will pass over the state Saturday night
with some drying found on the backside into Sunday. Instability
showers will be the name of the game across the west and north and
perhaps some cold frontal showers and residual wave induced lift
across the northeast. The best chance of wetting moisture on Sunday
would be found across the east...specifically northeast.
Models remain consistent for some ridging over The Rockies on
Monday. Drier air would begin to move in from the west but it
appears to be a slow process. Perhaps some drier spot showers over
the mountains...favoring the central mountains the wind flow associated
with the ridge looks to be light.
All eyes remain on the Tuesday through Thursday period. As mentioned
above...models a little slower with the trough progression but a
similar idea stands. Increases in south/southwest wind on Tuesday.
Middle portions of the atmosphere still look to be the most unstable
Tuesday...then shifts eastward on Wednesday as a traditional or
Pacific cold front moves over the state. The winds appear to be
quite strong on Wednesday with more herky jerky or wide gust spread like
winds on Tuesday. Post cold frontal strong winds would remain across
a good chunk of the area on Thursday. Haines and negative
temperature anomalies might be a limiter in terms of critical
conditions Thursday. In the coming days...can see a watch being
issued for the west for Tuesday an areawide watch for Wednesday.
Confidence is high for this multi day event although
Haines/temperature anomalies will most likely fluctuate some due to
speed and depth of the trough passage. Another caveat in terms of
Tuesday and critical conditions would be thicker high clouds
preceding the middle and upper level front.