Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
608 PM MDT Tuesday Mar 11 2014
a ferocious cold frontal boundary blazing south across the eastern
plains is bringing with it an impressive punch of strong winds and
blowing dust. The latest suite of satellite images including NASA
sport dust rgb shows a widespread area of dust moving south through
the region. Issued Special Weather Statement to highlight impact. Twitter pics and nmroads
web cams also verify a wall of dust slamming into many areas...
especially around Clovis. Also expanded wind advisories for regions
around the high wind with impressive speeds noted on latest observation.
Included area around Carrizozo for strong gap winds.
Previous discussion...552 PM MDT Tuesday Mar 11 2014...
00z taf cycle
VFR conditions for majority of taf sites through 00z Thursday. However
a band or two of MVFR or briefly IFR ceilings and Montana obscurations may
well develop along east slopes of the central mts into the
central and NE Highlands after roughly 06z as result of the back
door cold front pushing across the central Montana chain later this
evening...also some patches of ceilings as low as MVFR category eastward
from there across some sections of the eastern plains. Expect
enough bldu to significantly reduce visibility at taf sites tcc and
row...and to a lesser degree at abq and perhaps even aeg. Using
few to briefly broken at 025-040 to indicate the dust layer at
impacted taf sites. Peak gusts primarily between 00z and 07z in
the east will range between 40 and 55 kts...highest near Texas state
line. Aww possible for kabq as early as between 05z and 07z as gap
winds peak between 33 and 40 kts. Frontal passage and windshift at
abq most likely between 03z and 0430z.
Previous discussion...341 PM MDT Tuesday Mar 11 2014...
a strong cold front will sweep southwest across the state overnight...
with very strong winds and much colder temperatures moving in
behind it. Some light precipitation is possible from the peaks of
the northern sangre Delaware cristo mountains east along the Raton
ridge to near the Texas border overnight...but any snow
accumulation will generally be less than two inches. Cooler
conditions are forecast Wednesday into Thursday as a storm system
gathers over Arizona and begins to move east toward New Mexico.
Chances for precipitation will increase late Thursday and continue
into Friday as the storm system moves over the area. Expect mostly
valley rain with mountain/Highland snow...and perhaps a few claps
of thunder. Any significant snowfall accumulations will be over
the western and northern higher terrain. Another cold front to
push through late Saturday into early Sunday...with precipitation
favoring the Central Mountain chain. Look for a warming and drying
trend early next week.
the wind event is underway...with strong northwesterlies ahead of
the cold front which is currently barreling south across the
northeast plains and Highlands. Ahead of the front...temperatures
are approaching forecast highs and range from 5 to 11 degrees
above normal. Behind the front...winds are gusting to near 40 miles per hour
and forecast to continue to increase. In addition...the visibility
is down to 2 1/2 miles in haze (blowing dust) in Clayton and will
likely be representative of what can be expected behind the front
across the eastern plains through this evening. No changes have
been made to the current set of advisories/warnings...but some
additions are possible early this evening. Locally in the middle
Rio Grande Valley the 12z numerical guidance has trended down with
forecast wind speeds at kabq...with the NAM MOS showing values
below advisory criteria and the GFS MOS showing one hour of 28kts.
Will hold off on a Wind Advisory for now given the lower speeds
and the likelihood of these stronger winds impacting only a very
small portion of the forecast zone.
Winds will subside most areas on Wednesday except for some
breeziness out west. Highs will be below normal Wednesday...
generally 10-15 degrees below normal east of the Central Mountain
chain and 5-10 degrees below west. Thursday will be warmer as
winds turn to the south in the lower boundary layer with the
approach of the upper level low over Arizona. This is the point in
the forecast where the 12z model suite separates into two
camps...the NAM/GFS and the ECMWF/CMC. The 12z NAM and GFS
solutions are stronger and more progressive with the upper low
moving east across the state Thursday night than the slower/weaker
European model (ecmwf) and CMC. The NAM is most bullish with a wetting precipitation event
for much of northern and central New Mexico...of course favoring
the mountains...late Thursday into Friday. In fact...the 12z and
18z nam12 runs show the precipitable water at kabq rising to between 0.47-0.49
inch...which is approaching +2 Standard deviations of normal. The
GFS is more modest...but still shows ample atmospheric moisture
with the precipitable water rising to near 0.40 inch. Our forecast will be
closer to the more precipitation-friendly NAM/GFS solutions with the idea
of an upper low moving south of kabq late Thursday night and precipitation
lingering into Friday...especially across the northern mountains
and Highlands as a shortwave trough drops southeast out of
Colorado behind the departing low.
Look for a short-lived break late Friday night into Saturday prior
to the next weather-maker...a cold front and upper level trough
forecast to drop south-southeast across nm late Saturday into Sunday. Lower
forecast confidence with this system...but the models seem to have
converged on this unsettled scenario after several cycles of
flip-flopping. A warming trend with tranquil weather forecast for
early next week as a big ridge dominates the desert SW.
raised humidity values Thursday/Friday due to increased confidence for a
wave passage. Wetting moisture is also looking a little more
promising for western and central portions of the area during that
same time frame. At least looking for some measurable moisture.
Critical fire weather concerns rest of today across the east Central
Plains due to a more unstable airmass there accompanied with strong
wind and low relative humidity.
Strong wind and low relative humidity will persist the rest of the afternoon across
central and eastern areas. This is prior to the strong back door
cold front and the sun setting. Strong cold front will swing across
the east tonight. Abrupt wind shift...lower temperatures and higher relative humidity will
accompany this frontal passage. Perhaps some light showers near the
Colorado border. Some strong gap winds will be found along the
central mountains i40 southward during most of the overnight. Look for
this wind to start up middle to late evening.
Cooler than normal temperatures expected on Wednesday due to back
door cold front finishing its sweep across the area. Ventilation
rates will lower but poor ratings only show up across portions of
the north central mountains humidity values will trend up areawide due
to the cooling. Still looking at some middle teen readings across the
northeast plains. Some gusty easterly winds will continue across
portions of the west as a result of the frontal boundary.
Upper wave still projected to swing over the area thur/Fri. This
wave is looking a little stronger in the models. The chance of
precipitation was increased during this period...especially Thursday night.
Cant rule out some stronger downdrafts in relationship to the
showers...especially across the west on Thursday and central areas Friday.
Humidity values will trend up during most of the period but far
western areas should see a decrease later in the afternoon Friday.
Wetting precipitation is looking more and more likely in areas. Hard
to pint point at this time but probably northern mountains looking at
some snow Thursday night middle/upper elevations.
Drier and warmer for the weekend. Northwest breezes possible
Saturday with another weaker back door cold front across the east on
Sunday. Enhanced wind and low humidity still expected for Monday.
Vent rates should be higher on this day.
Wind Advisory until 6 am MDT Wednesday for the following zones...
High Wind Warning until 6 am MDT Wednesday for the following