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Area forecast discussion 
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
339 PM MST Thursday Jan 29 2015

Synopsis...
a significant winter storm event will impact northern and central
New Mexico through Saturday. Abundant subtropical moisture will
flow northward ahead of a Pacific low and create a mix of lower
elevation rain and higher elevation snow. Some sleet will also be
possible at times due to the ever changing temperature profile of
the atmosphere. Significant snow accumulations will be possible
above 7500 feet. The Pacific system will dig southward Saturday
night into Sunday and begin the drying process. Drier and warmer
weather is anticipated for early next week.

&&

Discussion...
as mentioned during previous shifts...very tricky forecast in
terms of determining snow/rain/sleet impacts across the landscape.
Feel that the models will under do the intensity and reach of the
elevated moist/warm tongue ahead of the Pacific low but at the
same time could be underdoing the impact of cooler/lower dewpoint
air advecting in from the north at the surface. That combination
creates a very tricky precipitation type forecast.

Based on the snow total grid for the event...main changes from
the previous forecast package include lowering snow amounts across the
lower elevations...especially across the east central and
southeast plains. This is primarily driven by wet bulb zero
forecasts since this is more of a saturated environment event. The
ec and southeast plains area in particular will have to be re looked at
in terms of highlights because there is a chance of accumulating
snow along the higher elevations of The Caprock as well as some sleet
potential. Especially as the elevated warm tongue develops. This
is a system where updates are expected. Otherwise...looking at
slam dunk warning snow totals for most of the mountain zones. Very
impressive amounts show up above 8500 feet. Have some near 20 inch
amounts for the Montana Taylor and highest Gila terrain areas. Snow
amounts wihin the Rio Grande Valley...especially greater abq metropolitan
area will vary widely with near warning amounts possible rural
areas west of Rio Rancho and the abq foothills. Near warning
amounts at Santa Fe possible as well. Feel that the overall
impact of the event warrants advisory wording. Antecedent warm ground/Road
conditions went into that decision making. The incoming cold
airmass from the north has already been modified as well. The
heavier quantitative precipitation forecast or liquid water periods will also try to modify the
surface airmass as well. Thus the wet bulb zero effect. Will continue to
watch the thermal/moisture profile closely.

Mav guidance still quite a bit stronger versus the NAM guidace in its
East Canyon wind values for the abq area tonight into Friday
morning. The mav did a better job with the last easterly wind
event and our wind grids show the higher mav numbers. Thinking
below advisory levels at this time but will have to monitor. Cant
rule out 30 to 32 miles per hour sustained winds for a brief period. Both
models show the east wind impact across the Rio Grande Valley
lessening rapidly during the day period on Friday. Blended in the east
wind effect on the liquid water values by making them lower in the
stronger wind envelope area but higher on the western perifphery of
it.

As far as surface temperatures...decided to go with slightly
warmer overnight lows but cooler day time highs through Saturday.
Otherwise very little change to the temperature gridded forecast.

Models still take the upper low southward and weaken it
Saturday night into Sunday. Thus have the highlights ending at 5
PM Saturday. The 12z and 18z NAM model shows a little more
weakening Saturday and less quantitative precipitation forecast versus the GFS so that trend will
need to be watched. The upglide or overruning dynamics also weaken
rapidly Saturday night as indicated by both the NAM/GFS. Drier
weather for Sunday with small chance probability of precipitation.

Gradual warming and drying trend early next week based on the last
few runs of the GFS and European model (ecmwf). There is some potential for gustier
breezes as the flow turns more northwesterly and strengthens.
Perhaps a back door cold front across the eastern plains midweek.



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&&

Fire weather...
no major fire weather concerns during the next several days...

Expect widespread wetting precipitation areawide tonight through
early Sunday. Look for below normal temperatures on Friday with
slight warming Saturday and Sunday...with stronger warm up for
Monday.

A Pacific storm system continues to edge toward the forecast
area...meanwhile a back door front pushed west through the rgv
which lowered dewpoints and temperatures...especially across the
northeast Highlands. Easterly winds will peak later this evening
after sunset...especially within the rgv but will gradually taper
off Friday. Widespread wetting precipitation in the form of a
rain/snow mix will develop later this evening into Friday. Higher
elevations will favor snow while lower elevations could see rain or
a rain/snow mix. Expect heavy snow accumulations above 7000 feet for
central areas and above 8500 feet for western areas.

Precipitation will end Sunday. A weak back door front will keep
temperatures below average for the eastern plains. By early next week look
for dry conditions as northwest flow aloft takes over.

Expect widespread poor ventilation rates Friday and Saturday...with
some improvement in the far east Sunday through Tuesday.

&&

Aviation...
18z taf cycle
conditions will continue to deteriorate this afternoon. Ceilings will go
from VFR to MVFR/IFR around 06z. Expect gusty to windy east winds
within the rgv this afternoon...especially for kabq. An aww could
be issued if gusts continue. Incoming -shrasn will obscure mountains
tops after 18z along and west of the Continental Divide.

&&

Preliminary point temps/pops...
Farmington...................... 35 41 32 42 / 90 100 100 60
Dulce........................... 29 43 29 40 / 90 100 90 70
Cuba............................ 29 40 28 38 / 90 100 100 60
Gallup.......................... 35 41 33 43 / 90 100 80 50
El Morro........................ 31 37 28 39 / 100 100 100 50
Grants.......................... 32 38 29 41 / 90 100 80 50
Quemado......................... 36 42 32 44 / 90 90 80 60
Glenwood........................ 43 48 37 48 / 90 100 90 70
Chama........................... 21 40 23 37 / 90 90 90 70
Los Alamos...................... 29 34 28 36 / 90 100 80 60
Pecos........................... 27 33 24 33 / 100 100 100 60
Cerro/Questa.................... 21 36 23 35 / 60 80 80 60
Red River....................... 20 34 22 32 / 50 80 80 90
Angel Fire...................... 20 35 23 33 / 70 80 80 60
Taos............................ 26 38 28 37 / 70 80 80 60
Mora............................ 27 35 25 36 / 100 90 90 60
Espanola........................ 30 38 30 42 / 90 90 80 50
Santa Fe........................ 29 35 27 34 / 90 100 90 60
Santa Fe Airport................ 29 35 26 36 / 90 90 80 50
Albuquerque foothills........... 32 38 29 39 / 90 100 90 50
Albuquerque heights............. 34 38 32 42 / 90 100 80 50
Albuquerque valley.............. 34 38 32 43 / 90 90 90 50
Albuquerque West Mesa........... 34 38 32 41 / 90 100 90 50
Los Lunas....................... 34 38 31 44 / 90 90 80 50
Rio Rancho...................... 34 38 32 41 / 90 100 90 50
Socorro......................... 35 39 33 46 / 90 100 90 50
Sandia Park/Cedar Crest......... 28 34 27 36 / 100 100 90 50
Tijeras......................... 30 38 28 39 / 100 100 90 50
Moriarty/Estancia............... 27 34 24 37 / 100 100 100 50
Clines Corners.................. 28 31 23 30 / 90 100 100 60
Gran Quivira.................... 30 34 28 37 / 100 100 100 50
Carrizozo....................... 33 39 32 43 / 90 100 100 50
Ruidoso......................... 26 37 27 38 / 100 100 100 60
Capulin......................... 27 37 27 36 / 20 60 70 40
Raton........................... 27 39 28 40 / 40 60 70 40
Springer........................ 30 37 26 39 / 70 70 70 40
Las Vegas....................... 26 33 22 33 / 100 90 100 60
Clayton......................... 30 39 29 40 / 10 60 70 40
Roy............................. 29 33 26 36 / 60 80 80 60
Conchas......................... 33 37 31 38 / 50 80 80 60
Santa Rosa...................... 32 36 29 36 / 60 90 100 60
Tucumcari....................... 31 38 31 37 / 50 80 90 60
Clovis.......................... 31 35 32 37 / 50 80 90 60
Portales........................ 32 36 32 37 / 50 80 90 60
Fort Sumner..................... 32 35 31 36 / 50 90 100 60
Roswell......................... 35 37 34 41 / 80 90 100 60
Picacho......................... 31 34 28 38 / 80 90 100 60
Elk............................. 26 33 28 37 / 100 100 90 60

&&

Abq watches/warnings/advisories...
Winter Storm Warning until 5 PM MST Saturday for the following
zones...nmz502-506-508-524>526-539.

Winter Storm Warning from midnight tonight to 5 PM MST Saturday for
the following zones...nmz504-510>515-521>523-529-533.

Winter Weather Advisory from midnight tonight to 5 PM MST Saturday
for the following zones...nmz503-507-516-518-519-527-528-530>532.

Winter Weather Advisory until 5 PM MST Saturday for the following
zones...nmz540.

&&

$$

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