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Area forecast discussion...updated 
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
442 am MST Sat Dec 27 2014

12z taf cycle
generally VFR ceilings and viz next 24 hours...with local viz reductions
across the northern mts easing from 03z Onward tonight. Local fog
near lvs will ease by 17z this morning and redevelop from 08z
Onward at lvs and adjacent points on Interstate 25. Generally
light winds next 24 trough aloft moves south and east
across New Mexico into central Texas by 12z Monday morning.



Previous discussion...309 am MST Sat Dec 27 2014...
an increasingly active and sharply colder pattern shaping up for
the final days of 2014 into New Years Day. Until upper
trough will slowly move east over the area today with generally
quiet weather conditions expected for tonight through Monday
morning. Below average daytime temperatures will be the
norm. Even colder temperatures are expected next week with the
arrival Arctic air from the northeast Monday and Monday night. The
eastern plains may not rise above freezing for around 3 days next
week. Easterly up slope flow with the front should also lead to
some light snow along and east of the Central Mountain chain at
times. At the same area of deep low pressure will settle
into southwestern states by middle week with increasing wintry
impacts expected new years evening and New Years Day.


..increasingly active and sharply colder pattern shaping up for
the final days of 2014 into New Years Day...

Axis of cold and sharpening upper trough over western New Mexico to slowly
translate eastward today. Plenty of clouds continuing to stream
northeastward over ec/southeast sections of the state with areas of predominately
light snow southeast of a Clovis/Portales to Roswell to Dunken
line in region of best lift. Could be some minor impacts to travel
across portions of Roosevelt and southeast Chaves counties this
morning that we/ll handle on a short-term basis. Elsewhere...prudent
to hang onto very low probability of precipitation to account for areas of light snow
across mainly NC/NE New Mexico. Local satellite imagery showing an
extensive stratus/areas of freeze fog from the east slopes of the
sangre Delaware cristo mountains to the far NE plains extending south to
the Vaughn/Corona areas. Another area of expanding stratus over
the northwest Highlands/lower Rio Chama valley but T/deep spreads greater
here and thus more likely a low stratus scenario. As the day
progresses...expect very isolated -shsn to favor the the higher
terrain of northwest into wc/SW New Mexico beneath trough axis/steepest
lapse rates. However...coverage will be almost negligible. Maximum
temperatures remaining well below seasonal norms particularly locales
with fresh snow cover. No significant concerns tonight into weak high pressure aloft crests over the area tonight
giving way to increasing west-northwest flow aloft for the day Sunday. A
return of stratus/freezing fog possible for NC mountain valleys and northwest
areas. Down slope wind potential to Lee of the sangres...Sandia/Manzano
Mountains ramps up Sunday night with favorable parameters for
mountain wave development.

Focus beyond Sunday will be on a significant albeit modified
Arctic air mass that will plunge south and westward during the
Monday- Tuesday period and combines with a deepening low pressure
system aloft to the west of the state new years evening into New Years
Day. The leading edge of this Arctic air mass looks to arrive
across far NE New Mexico as early as late morning/midday
Monday...surging south and somewhat west Monday night into Tuesday. This
will accompanied by classic up slope conditions for eastern areas
with low clouds/light snow expanding in coverage. Impacts west of
the Central Mountain chain for Monday/Tuesday not too great given
initial shallow nature of the air mass. But this Arctic air mass
/1055+ mb surface mslp/ will be breaking down both sides of The
Divide by the time we get to Tuesday night-Wednesday. This will
set up a favorable pattern as models show a deep closed low
moving into a position over western Arizona by New Years
Day...with remarkable agreement between the GFS and European model (ecmwf) through 150
hours. Thereafter...the GFS is far more progressive than the
European model (ecmwf) lifting the low eastward. For now...most active period looks
to be new years evening into New Years Day. Kj

Fire weather...

Critical fire weather...not expected through Friday of next week. reasonable agreement through next weekend with
differences in pattern evolution emerging for the following Monday.
Western U.S. Trough extending from central Canada across Colorado
and northwest New Mexico into southern Arizona and northern Sonora
will drift eastward and sharpen up through Sunday
massive upstream ridge strengthens from the tropical east Pacific to
the deep alaskan and Canadian Arctic. Fast southbound flow on the
downstream limb of the trough will buckle over the Pacific northwest
early Monday and close off to a low over central California across
Nevada to Salt Lake City by Tuesday afternoon. Storm core will move
to the Colorado River valley on Thursday and invade western New
Mexico early Friday. Storm core will drift into The Heart of Texas
on upstream northwest flow works into New Mexico for
the last of the weekend. Model differences showing up early domestic GFS maintains modest but widespread trough over
much of the u... New Mexico near the trough base. European
colleagues at European model (ecmwf) amplify the next inbound system over the Pacific
northwest early Monday...and deepen and sharpen trough across
Arizona and Baja California California...and suggest continued active and
wintry pattern. Choice is between a modest continuation of spate of
winter weather for GFS...or a more intense amplification of winter
weather across New Mexico for European model (ecmwf). Forecast thinking will watch
the European model (ecmwf) solution carefully in future runs...with a broad story of
continued unsettled wintry weather remaining intact for the start of
the first full work week in the New Year.

For today...continued cold...with daytime highs running 15 to 25
degrees below late December normals. Trough aloft will line up with
axis from Raton to the New Mexico Boot Heel...and this will be
sufficient to support some isolated snow coverage across the
northern mountains...and southward along the eastern plains. Snow
amounts will be generally light with snow ending late in the
afternoon and skies clearing tonight. Daytime minimum humidities
running in the 40s and 50s percent west...and in the 50s and 60s percent
east with good to excellent humidity recovery overnight. Generally
poor ventilation conditions through the day today.

For Sunday...strengthening northwest flow surface trough
deepens across eastern New Mexico through the afternoon while high
pressure remains over The Four Corners. Some moderation of daytime
temperature patterns will bring Sunday high temperatures 5 to 15
degrees below late December normals. Snow showers will start to work
across the Colorado border into northern New Mexico Sunday night
with little accumulation. West winds increasing speed from the
sangre Delaware cristos and Central Mountain chain eastward...with
westerly gusts approaching 40 miles per hour over the eastern slopes and
adjacent plains of the Central Mountain chain by Sunday afternoon.
Humidity minimums running much dryer...with 20s and 30s percent
widespread across the state...driest south of Interstate 40.
Generally good humidity recoveries recoveries
across the northern tier. Some modest improvement in ventilation
along the Interstate 40 corridor...but remaining poor elsewhere.

For Monday...snow coverage expanding and shifting to the northeast
Highlands mainly north of a line form Las Vegas to southern Union
County...with coverage expanding rapidly Monday night to cover all
of eastern New Mexico. Heaviest snow accumulation will set up over
the San Juan...tusas...and sangre Delaware cristo mountains...and eastward
over Raton ridge and Johnson Mesa into northwest Union County. With
storm core moving into the Great Basin...and cold front penetrating
northeast New Mexico out of the northern plains states...brisk
northerly winds will set up over the northeast plains by Monday
afternoon. Daytime temperatures will return to double digits below
late December normals...10 to 20 below in the east...and 8 to 15
below normal in the west. Humidities across the northern half of the
state will receive a boost into the 30s and 40s percent...with 20s and
teens percent showing up across the southern half of the state. Good to
excellent recoveries overnight in the north...with fair to good
recoveries in the south. Much improved ventilation...with good to
excellent conditions over much of the northern half of the
state...and somewhat less impressive conditions to the south.

Outlook...Tuesday through Thursday...continued cold...with another
strong pulse of colder air roaring in from the northern plains
states across eastern New Mexico Tuesday bulging to the Continental
Divide and points west on Wednesday. Western storm system will
arrive over the Colorado River valley in western Arizona on Thursday
as dynamically energized surface low over eastern Arizona pushes
snow into western New Mexico Thursday afternoon. Winds shifting to
the east and southeast Tuesday as cold air rams westward...with the
southeast breezes setting up from the Continental Divide to the
Arizona border Wednesday afternoon. Much decreased southerly wind
speeds in play for Thursday. Steady humidity profile Tuesday and
Wednesday moistening up on Thursday as storm system approaches with
good to excellent recoveries overnight. Generally fair to good
ventilation conditions with lots of variance locally on all three



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