Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
440 PM MST Friday Nov 28 2014
00z taf cycle
VFR conditions will continue next 24 hours. Main aviation threat
will be gusty winds and mountain waves off the Central Mountain peaks.
Current satellite imagery showing a distinct wave formation with
cirrus to the Lee of the sangres. Models show strengthening middle
level flow tonight so the wave should intensify although may be
more upper level. Terminal sites are not expected to be impacted
tonight. Increasing wind flow for Saturday.
Previous discussion...315 PM MST Friday Nov 28 2014...
a transition to zonal flow this weekend will persist into the middle
of next week. Near record highs will be possible over portions of
the eastern plains Saturday afternoon as westerly breezes
increase...and critical fire weather conditions are possible in the
east Central Plains. Winds along the sangre Delaware cristo mountains will
strengthen even more Saturday night. A cold front will impact the
plains by Sunday night...leading to below average highs Monday.
Temperatures rebound in the east Tuesday. Chances for showers west
and central increase by the middle of next week...although no major
storm systems appear on the horizon until possibly the first weekend
thicker cirrus...along with light winds...have hindered temperature
warmup over portions of northeast nm this afternoon. Along the
fringes of the thicker cloud cover...gustier winds and much warmer
temperatures noted...at locales such as Las Vegas...Clayton...and
Tucumcari where afternoon temperatures close to record values.
Models indicate the cirrus over the northeast should start to thin
out a bit but minimums should remain rather warm for late November
especially in the east as a Lee trough persists. 12z models still
strengthen winds along the peaks and east slopes of the sangre Delaware
cristo mountains tonight and through Saturday night. However there
are some issues that result in low confidence for a high wind event.
Foremost...forecast soundings not really indicating an inversion
will develop at mountain top both tonight and Saturday night. While
models develop strongest downward motions Saturday night...the
stronger winds aren/T shown in cross sections to lower to the
surface...but remain aloft. With the limited areal coverage possible
decided against issuing a Wind Advisory for tonight though no doubt some
localized Wind Advisory criteria may be met. Also decided to pass on a
high wind watch for Saturday night...at least for the time
being...but situation will need to be monitored.
Some near record highs will be possible again in the eastern plains
Saturday and highlighted in grids. Still some variation when the
strong cold front will arrive in the far northeast Sunday afternoon
and didn/T make any drastic adjustments in highs up there...or
elsewhere in temperatures. Does appear to be some potential for
clouds along the east slopes of the Sandia/Manzano and sangre Delaware
cristo mts to develop Sunday night/Monday am but that/S forecast to
dissipate Monday afternoon. Not looking for the front to blast into
the rgv. A good warmup remains advertised for Tuesday in the east
after the cool down Monday...as the main high pressure center at the
surface ends up over Iowa. There is also now a weak front forecast to
back into the east Wednesday of next week. 12z European model (ecmwf) looks more like
the GFS now with showers possible west and central around the middle
of next week. GFS now has the big split flow storm for the first
weekend of December.
in some ways it is hard to believe it is the end of November.
Spring-like temperatures...winds...humidities and fire weather concerns
will continue for the next 48 hours or so. Then...a cold front will
drop US back into winter...just in time for December 1st.
Temperatures today have soared to better than 20 degrees above normal
across the eastern plains...and up to 15 degrees above normal across
the west. With dry conditions in place...humidities have dropped
into the single digits across the northeast as well as across a few
high elevation locales across western nm. 1 or 2 more hours of
critical fire weather conditions are likely this afternoon across
portions of east central and northeast nm. Mainly poor to fair
humidity recoveries are expected tonight. Strong winds may buffet
the peaks of the sangre Delaware cristo mountains overnight as well.
Better mixing...continued well above normal temperatures and dry
conditions will yield another day of critical fire weather concerns
Saturday. Winds look to be stronger...thus expect 3 to 5 hours of
critical conditions in the afternoon across the east Central
Plains...favoring the Interstate 40 corridor. Will go ahead and
upgrade the Fire Weather Watch to a red flag warning as confidence
is high...despite Haines values of 4 for most of the area. Temperatures
over 20 degrees above normal for the second day in a row should make
up for what is lacking in the Haines values. Could also see 1 to 3
hours of critical conditions across the southern portions of zones
103 and 104 as well as around Clines Corners. Additionally...up to 6
hours of single digit humidities are possible from a Las Vegas to
Clayton corridor in the afternoon.
Though 700 mb winds increase tonight...they will peak Saturday night
over northern nm. Models suggest 700 mb winds around 40 to
60kt...which would likely result in very strong winds across the
highest peaks of the sangre Delaware cristos. However...the lack of a
stable layer just above mountain top may mean that much of the
momentum will stay above mountain top...and not crash to the
surface. This feature will need to be monitored by later shifts and
adjust wind forecast for Saturday night accordingly.
Sunday may be breezy to locally windy early in the day...but winds
should relax middle to late afternoon. Temperatures will drop up to a dozen or
so degrees below saturdays readings...but will still remain 5 to 15
degrees above normal areawide. Very spotty critical conditions will
be possible along the I-40 corridor once again as humidities drop
near 15 percent. Areal coverage of critical conditions not large
enough to support a Fire Weather Watch.
A back door cold front will arrive Sunday night across the northeast
and plunge southward through the plains by sunrise Monday...abruptly
ending the Spring-like weather. High temperatures will drop 25 to 35
degrees across the plains compared to sundays readings. The front is
not expected to push through the gaps of the Central Mountain
chain...thus the cooling effects across western areas and the Rio
Grande Valley will be much less significant. The front looks to
quickly wash out on Tuesday as Lee side troughing returns...quickly
warming temperatures back up 15 to 25 degrees.
By middle week...precipitation chances look to return to at least
northwest New Mexico as a weakening storm system ejects
northeastward from California over the central rockies.
Elsewhere...however...stronger winds may return.
Ventilation still looks to improve Saturday across all but the
central valleys where ventilation will remain poor. Ventilation will
improve further on Sunday...but poor to fair values will return on
red flag warning from 11 am to 5 PM MST Saturday for the following