Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
1106 PM MST Friday Dec 19 2014
06z taf cycle
VFR conditions to still be the rule through end of forecast period...
06z sun. However areas of IFR to locally LIFR ceilings and visibility...
including fzfg...developing across portions of east central...west
central and northwest nm as of time of this issuance and will likely
expand to some degree...though remaining contained within the
aforementioned areas. Some Montana obscurations as well in these areas.
Most impacted will be kgup and ktcc vicinities and perhaps kfmn
until sometime between 16z and 19z Sat. Have beefed up low ceilings
and fog mentioned in those tafs...emphasizing kgup and ktcc.
Thereafter VFR areawide.
Previous discussion...952 PM MST Friday Dec 19 2014...
fog along the Texas line creeping westward into New Mexico...as
low clouds spread over the Gallup area in the west. Will add fog
overnight maintained with nowcasts...and update public zone
Previous discussion...319 PM MST Friday Dec 19 2014...
a brief-lived ridge of high pressure is currently working into
New Mexico with dry and mostly tranquil conditions prevailing. A
few moderate breezes have developed this afternoon...and most of
the low clouds and fog have eroded away. As Saturday
approaches...a weak disturbance aloft will track eastward across
New Mexico...however this system is not expected to produce much
in the way of significant weather as the dry and mostly tranquil
conditions should persist. On Sunday...stronger northwest winds
aloft will be observed...leading to breezy to windy
conditions...mostly along and east of the central mountains and
Highlands. The winds will turn even stronger into Monday with more
widespread areas of New Mexico experiencing gusty conditions. In
addition...some periodic snow showers will begin breaking out over
the northern mountains early Sunday through Monday before a drier
Tuesday and Wednesday period.
short wave ridging will be brief-lived over nm through the rest of
the afternoon and into the evening. Fog and low stratus clouds
were slow to erode away through the morning and the early
afternoon...but do not expect redevelopment tonight as high clouds
are starting to roll in from the west. This should impede
radiational cooling some...making it difficult for fog/stratus to
fill back in.
Forecast models are now showing the short wave trough expected to
arrive into nm on Saturday as being slightly weaker with still no
available moisture to produce any precipitation. A fairly weak
gradient aloft will also preclude any strong winds associated with
the passage of the upper trough. Temperatures still appear to warm
by a few degrees Saturday afternoon...despite the temperatures
aloft cooling slightly in the core of the trough aloft. As the
flow turns northwesterly behind the trough axis...it will begin to
strengthen into Sunday as a stronger segment of the polar jet
noses toward nm.
The stronger northwest flow aloft will be complemented by a
deepening Lee side surface trough...allowing surface winds to ramp
up through Sunday afternoon. In addition some spotty showers could
break out over northwest facing slopes of the San Juan/tusas and
and northern sangre Delaware cristo peaks. And even with the
strengthening northwesterlies aloft...the pressure heights will
still rise a couple of decameters and thus temperatures will still
rise another couple degrees.
The latest model guidance now shows the northwesterlies
strengthening even more on Monday with an impressive 50 to 65 knots
depicted at 700 mb by the GFS. The surface low would bottom out close
to 1000 mb in West Texas on Monday ahead of a fast-moving cold
front. Winds have been increased the past two shifts for monday's
forecast and may Need More speed added if current model trends
hold. With a deepening upper low over the northern plains...Monday
looks to be a very dynamic day not only with the winds...but also
with cooler temperatures and some precipitation. Probability of precipitation have been
painted across the northern tier of zones Monday with the
northeast potentially seeing frontogenetically forced bands of
light precipitation and more orographically driven showers farther
west. The low level frontogenesis...and perhaps a weak up slope
component...could keep precipitation going over some eastern zones
Monday night into early Tuesday.
Temperatures will fall short of average in many zones on
Tuesday...particularly the east with proximity to colder
Continental air. Winds should relax substantially on Tuesday when
compared to monday's speeds...however the cooler temperatures will
leave things quite brisk. A drier spell should hold for Tuesday
and Wednesday with northwesterly flow being slow to relax.
Into Thursday and Friday the GFS has trended flatter...or more
zonal...with the flow aloft...but still keeps it quite brisk while
ushering any perturbation or precipitation into Colorado and
points farther north. The European model on the other hand has
left its agreeable tone and has now reverted back to a solution
that brings a more potent storm across the central to southern
rockies. Consequently the European solution is able to let the
cold Canadian air plunge much farther south while breaking out
precipitation over parts of the state. Have left minimal probability of precipitation in
the forecast for now. While the European has not held much
continuity or consistency as well as the GFS...it does not seem
too far-fetched to have this cold core low buckle the flow and
plunge farther south.
drier/subsident air mass in place over much of the area today.
Narrow northwest-southeast corridor of fair/locally good ventilation from
central into SC areas where northwesterly surface winds of 10-20 miles per hour have
been common in wake of yesterday/S wave passage.
Uneventful weather pattern through Saturday as northwesterly winds aloft steadily
weaken and mixing heights trend downward. Widespread poor ventilation
will be the main fire weather concern. Periods of high cloudiness
and overall drying will limit extent/expansion of low clouds/fog
across the northwest/wc valleys as compared to this past night...but patchy
coverage persisting as of this writing.
Improved mixing going into Sunday afternoon beneath strengthening northwest
winds aloft and Lee side surface troughing. Forecast maximum temperatures
Sunday 5-15 degrees warmer as compared to today. Windy conditions
likely to develop along/immediately east of the Central Mountain
chain extending across the wind-prone Central High plains. We kept
a small chance of precipitation for the northern high terrain near the
nm/Colorado line late Saturday into Sunday as top down moistening and
orographic forcing for lift increase but predominately dry
conditions expected this weekend.
Models continue to develop a powerhouse low pressure system over the
northern plains states late Sunday into Monday that will slowly
translate eastward through mid-week. Associated upper level jet
intensifying on the backside of this system from the inland northwest
to The Four Corners will bring windy conditions to many areas of nm
during the day Monday into Monday evening followed by colder
temperatures Monday night into Tuesday. GFS...NAM and especially
European model (ecmwf) showing areas of light snow expanding farther south on the
eastern plains of nm as a backdoor segment of the cold front presses
southward Monday night. Will watch this period closely but
significant changes on tap during the Sunday night to Tuesday
period. No ventilation concerns Monday or Tuesday.
Looking further ahead... the 12z European model (ecmwf) has now trended back toward a
deeper/stronger shortwave passing over the area for Christmas day
and just beyond while the GFS advertises a predominately dry and
fast westerly flow regime with less amplification. Important to note
that both models have been struggling with overall pattern...so
we/ll await further runs before trending strongly either direction.