Scientific Forecaster Discussion
Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
1057 PM MST Friday Feb 12 2016
06z taf cycle
VFR conditions areawide through the next 24 hours with mostly
clear skies. There is now only a slight chance...too low to
mention in any Airport tafs...of MVFR or locally IFR category
ceilings...over portions of the eastern border counties between
roughly 11z and about 17z Sat. At locales in general
vicinity and a little ways north of Interstate 40...expect
wind gusts between 25 or 33kt after 18z Sat.
Previous discussion...311 PM MST Friday Feb 12 2016...
a ridge of high pressure remains the dominant weather feature over
the western U.S. Today. A weak front nudged into eastern New
Mexico earlier today...but temperatures have still managed to
rise above normal. Breezy to windy conditions will develop in
central to eastern New Mexico Saturday with dry weather and
relatively warm temperatures persisting. In fact...many areas will
approach record high temperatures Saturday afternoon. A weak
disturbance aloft will track to the northeast of New Mexico
Saturday night with breezes relaxing some into Sunday. A front
will also sag southward into New Mexico Sunday...setting
temperatures back a few degrees. Another ridge of high pressure
will then develop west of New Mexico to start out the next work
week...leading to a continuation of warmer temperatures with dry
and tranquil conditions.
a dry stretch of weather is still expected to prevail over nm the
next several days. Currently a Stout Ridge of high pressure has
swollen over the American southwest with impressive middle
tropospheric pressure heights...values that are actually rivaling
summertime values. This dome of high pressure has acted as an
extreme desiccant with hardly a cloud in nm. Look for above
normal temperatures overnight...likely a couple to a few degrees
warmer than this morning's readings. Winds will veer southerly in
the plains of far eastern nm. This will usher in some higher
dewpoints...low clouds...and potentially some patchy fog near the
West Texas border through late morning Saturday.
The ridge aloft abruptly flattens on Saturday and the flow will
respond by shifting more westerly. The flow aloft will also pick
up speed to about 30-35 knots at 700 mb along and east of the
Central Mountain chain of nm...and a Lee side surface trough will
also deepen...ultimately driving stronger winds across the central
to eastern zones. These downsloping winds will nudge temperatures
up again in the east. All locales within the forecast area should
exceed normal middle February values by 10 to 20 degrees...and several
record highs will be in jeopardy Saturday.
The flow aloft turns more northwesterly into Saturday night with a
short wave trough dropping over the northern rockies and into the
northern Great Plains. This will keep some stronger northwest flow aloft
over nm Saturday night and into Sunday...and hence some gusts will
likely be observed over ridge tops overnight. A frontal boundary
will invade nm on Sunday...and this dual-segmented boundary will
actually be oriented in such a way that it could offset some of
the stronger flow aloft Sunday afternoon. Temperatures will fall
back a few to several degrees.
Into the next work week the ridge of high pressure makes another
appearance...inducing a very dry...subsident...and tranquil
pattern. Look for temperatures to warm each day...rising well
above average again by Wednesday and Thursday. The ridge will
slowly break down due to the passage of a Pacific trough...and
this feature is forecast to track just north of nm on Thursday.
There will be very minimal chances for precipitation with this
trough...but an increase in wind appears to be a more likely
fire weather concerns include the potential for a few hours of near
critical fire weather conditions Saturday afternoon over the east
Central Plains...then again next Thursday over much of the east.
Widespread poor ventilation rates looks to be centered on Tuesday
of next week.
Well above normal temperatures and low relative humidity values with periodic
breeziness will be the theme through next week. Snowpack in the high
terrain will continue to erode from melting and sublimation.
An unseasonably strong upper high moving over New Mexico will
flatten to zonal flow Saturday. A weak northerly wind shift over
eastern nm today will move farther south tonight into Saturday.
Enough breezes and low relative humidity values will result in borderline critical
fire weather conditions for a few hours Saturday afternoon. Focus
looks to be from Conchas east to the Texas border. But with only a
moderate Haines forecast and the likelihood of no very high or
extreme fire danger we will not issue a red flag warning.
Zonal flow will transition to the northwest Sunday as an upper wave
moves southeast across the southern rockies. Winds will become
breezy beneath the upper wave...particularly over the high terrain
and on the east slopes. Another northerly wind shift will work into
the plains later Sunday followed by southerly winds again Monday.
Temperatures will fluctuate up and down over the east with these wind
shifts but overall remain above to well above normal.
Vent rates will jump around as well. Ventilation will trend to good
Saturday and Sunday then deteriorate to fair to poor again for most
areas early next week...with Tuesday being the worst day. Vent rates
will then increase again later next week as an upper level
disturbance approaches from the west.
Before we see any storm system though we will have another ridge of
high pressure build over nm through the first half of next week. This
means dry and warmer conditions once again.
Models trending the next storm system farther north...to the extent
we may receive little or no precipitation late next week. We will
continue with small probability of precipitation over the northwest and north central
mountains for Thursday night into Friday. A southerly tap of
moisture may...just may...bring much needed precipitation to the
forecast area next weekend.