Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
1038 am MST Friday Dec 19 2014
18z taf cycle
IFR/LIFR ceilings will linger at kfmn and much of the northwest plateau until
around 19z before giving way to increasing VFR high cloudiness.
Elsewhere...small area of MVFR/IFR low clouds near ktcc and cvn
to quickly erode. Otherwise...expect VFR conditions to prevail
areawide with no major weather concerns for today. Possibility of
fog/low stratus returning kfmn and kgup late tonight into
Sat morning not quite as great as this past night but will include
vcfg as placeholder for now. 32
Previous discussion...330 am MST Friday Dec 19 2014...
after another cool day with high temperatures a few to 11 degrees
below normal today...readings will rebound through the weekend
with highs peaking around 3 to 10 degrees above normal on Monday.
An upper level trough and moist back door cold front should spawn
rain and snow showers across the northern mountains Sunday...then
across much of the eastern plains as well Monday and Monday
night. Temperatures behind the front will fall area wide on
Tuesday...only to rebound again Wednesday. Some computer models
suggest a chance for rain and snow showers mainly along and west
of the Central Mountain chain Christmas and Christmas night.
locations of patchy fog and freezing fog are a bit of a forecast
challenge this morning...since much of the expected fog has yet to
develop. Significant visibility restrictions should favor
locations with fresh snow on the ground or that have wet ground
from overnight precipitation. Models still like the northwest due to some
moisture trapped in the boundary layer from weather systems
earlier in the week. Also...satellite imagery depicts fog and low
clouds developing along new mexicos eastern border as an upper
level trough gradually exits eastward from the Texas/OK panhandles.
Northwest winds will become breezy to windy along and just east of
the western mountains and Central Mountain chain Sunday and
Monday as the nose of a polar jet streak moves over the area. Speeds
should peak Monday with the potential for gusts to 50 miles per hour from
Clines Corners to the Capitan Mountains.
The latest model runs dont make the upper level trough that will
clip NE parts of the forecast area out to be too well organized
late Sunday through Monday night. The main upper level low
pressure system is forecast to deepen over the upper Great Plains
through middle week before drifting eastward.
There is not much agreement in computer models on the potential
storm for Christmas. The European model (ecmwf) depicts a closed upper low sagging
southeastward across the central rockies...but the GFS maintains a
more progressive upper trough. The European model (ecmwf) has demonstrated a
tendency so far this cool season to overplay the depth of storm
systems beyond day 5 of the forecast...so we are taking its wet
and wintry solution with a grain of salt.
poor ventilation through Saturday will be the main fire weather
concern in the near-term...followed by stronger winds beginning
Sunday...and especially Monday.
Currently...low clouds and patchy fog have redeveloped over portions
of the region with moist soils still in place from recent rain/snow.
A weak ridge developing over the area today behind a departing storm
system will favor light winds and widespread poor vent rates. A weak
upper wave will cross Sunday but winds will remain light with poor
vent rates again. Temperatures will be warmer Sunday with highs near late
December normals. Low temperatures however will remain above normal.
An upper trough will begin carving out over the northern Great Plains
and increase winds aloft over the southern rockies. Ridge top winds
will increase early Sunday then spread across the High Plains during
the day. This will increase mixing and ventilation. Temperatures again will
stay above normal despite northwest flow...and overall humidities
will remain above 25 percent in the east. The trough will sharpen even
more by Monday and sag south...creating widespread windy conditions
in the high terrain and Central High plains. Vent rates will improve
to excellent just about all areas. Some light snow may develop over
the northern mts and the far northeast...however confidence on the
amount of available moisture is still in question. Temperatures will still
be above normal most areas Monday.
Finally by Monday night and Tuesday colder air advects southeast
through the region...trending temperatures 5 to 15f cooler. Vent rates are
expected once again to deteriorate behind this airmass with light
winds moving in aloft. Model guidance beyond Tuesday has fluctuated
widely with a potential strong storm system shifting across the
central or southern rockies through Christmas. At this time the
trend is for very windy conditions to develop with much drier and
colder air around Christmas. If the storm system develops farther
south then more significant snow and wind could impact the area.
Regardless...it finally looks like a much colder period of temperatures
would affect the area through at least next weekend.