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Area forecast discussion...updated 
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
1101 am MST Sat Dec 20 2014

18z taf cycle
local areas of low clouds and fog have been slow to erode this
morning and will persist until around 20z near but not currently
impacting fkmn...kgup and ktcc. Otherwise...VFR conditions to
dominate through around 06z as a band of high clouds moves across
the forecast area. By Sunday morning...low clouds will likely
spread into the extreme eastern plains from the east...possibly
impacting kcvs but less sure about ktcc where current taf carries
tempo MVFR ceilings and visibilities. Cant rule out another round of
fog and low clouds with LIFR to IFR ceilings and visibilities at kgup
but less confident at kfmn. Spotty snow and mountain obscurations
are possible over the extreme north Central High terrain
overnight. Northwest flow aloft to steadily increase through
period thus expect gusty Ridgetop winds after 06z...especially
over the Central High terrain...and expanding in area to the
Central Highlands in the morning hours.



Previous discussion...857 am MST Sat Dec 20 2014...
a quick update to this morning's forecast period was made...mostly
to tweak sky coverage to reflect latest satellite trends.
Visibilities are improving in both the west central and east
central ends of the state as fog lifts...but some of the low
stratus clouds will take another couple hours to dissipate.
Otherwise no changes were made to the forecast.



Previous discussion...334 am MST Sat Dec 20 2014...
a warming trend will commence today through Monday when highs
should peak near normal to as much as 11 degrees above normal. A
strong cold front will plunge southward into the state Monday with
falling temperatures during the afternoon north of Interstate 40.
An upper level trough will also deepen as it crosses Monday and
Monday night...producing easterly upslope flow that will favor the
east slopes of the sangre Delaware cristo mountains...northeast areas
and possibly east central areas for a few inches of snow
accumulation. Further...northwest winds will become breezy to
windy in many areas Sunday and Monday.


the Canadian model is a little behind...but the GFS and European model (ecmwf)
models are in good agreement on a deepening trough bringing some
accumulating snow to the northern mountains...NE areas and
possibly east central areas Monday and Monday night. Around the base
of the trough a speed maximum in the polar jet stream will cross
from our northwest corner to our southeast corner. It should arrive as early as
Sunday with 45-55 knots winds at 700 mb. The 700 mb flow is expected
to peak Monday afternoon with speeds in the 50-70 knots range.
Buoyant mixing ahead of the front and mechanical mixing with the
cold front could enable some potentially damaging wind gusts to
reach the surface Monday...especially along and just east of the
central mountains. Also...strong north winds will be possible behind a
back door cold front Monday night across the NE and east Central Plains.

Winds should weaken Tuesday and Wednesday...only to strengthen
again on Christmas day as west winds aloft strengthen and a sharp
Lee trough develops ahead of another upper level trough that may
cross the central and possibly the southern rockies Thursday night
and Friday. Models are not in good agreement on the depth and
timing of the system. It could produce a wintry mix of showers
across western and northern areas as early as Christmas
day...before spreading precipitation into central areas Christmas night
and Friday. Much colder temperatures will also be possible at the
end of the week.



Fire weather...
a potent middle level dry airmass shifting over the area Friday into
early this morning has trended ridge top humidity recoveries below
35 percent. Thick high cloud cover approaching from the west will
help top down moistening...and trend values upward through today.
Otherwise...a weakening surface pressure gradient and lighter winds
aloft will favor widespread poor vent rates today. Temperatures will be
similar to Friday. Stronger winds will approach the state tonight
and help increase winds along ridge tops and immediate eastern
slopes. Excellent relative humidity recoveries are expected again tonight for the
west and northwest plateau.

Sunday will trend breezier all areas and windy from the Central
Mountain chain across the High Plains. Vent rates will improve to
good from Farmington to abq and the High Plains. Downslope flow will
trend temperatures the warmest on Sunday...with readings 5 to 10f above
normal for the plains. Min relative humidity values will still remain above 35 percent.

The nose of a powerful upper level jet will then approach from the
central rockies Sunday night and crank up the winds through Monday.
Just about everywhere will see breezy to windy conditions...with
very windy conditions along the High Plains...focusing around
Torrance and Guadalupe counties. Cold advection with this jet will
begin trending temperatures down closer to normal for the northern tier.

Model guidance is still not in great agreement with the amount of
moisture available for Monday night and Tuesday. However it does
appear things are trending a little wetter and colder with a farther
southward incursion of the potent upper jet. The best chances for
accumulating snowfall will be over the sangre Delaware cristos to the
Raton Mesa and northeast plains. Much colder air is shown to slide
into the state for Tuesday with breezy conditions continuing.

Confidence on the overall weather pattern through Christmas is
low...but there are some indications of the coldest air of this
season entering the state somewhere around Christmas or shortly



Abq watches/warnings/advisories...



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