Scientific Forecaster Discussion

Return to Local Conditions & Forecast

Without Abbreviations
With Abbreviations

fxus65 kabq 211131 aaa 

Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
531 am MDT Sat Oct 21 2017

12z taf cycle

An upper level trough and associated cold front are currently
encroaching upon The Rockies. Winds will turn breezy to windy on a
more widespread basis through the day today with areas stretching
from the northwestern corner of New Mexico into the Central Highlands
of the state observing the strongest and most periodic gusts of 30
to 40 kt. Otherwise, just a few fair weather clouds are expected with
VFR conditions prevailing. Winds will diminish around sunset.



Previous discussion...241 am MDT Sat Oct 21 2017...
a dry Pacific cold front will push from northwest to southeast
across New Mexico today. Temperatures will be 5 to 10 degrees cooler
than Friday across the northwest half of the state with several
degrees of cooling expected elsewhere. Temperatures rebound Sunday,
ahead of a backdoor cold front forecast to bring slight cooling to
eastern New Mexico Monday night and across central and western areas
Tuesday. Dry and warmer weather results Wednesday. Weather prediction
models continue to forecast a much stronger cold front for Thursday
night and Friday.


Pacific surface front near The Four Corners as of this writing. This
feature will slide sewd through the day with most cooling occurring
across the northwest half of the state. Breezy to locally windy
conditons will result this afternoon behind the frontal passage. A cool night
is in store tonight as winds weaken after sunset and a very dry
airmass allows temps to plummet. High temperatures across the
northwest half rebound by 5 to 10 degrees Sunday while the eastern
plains cool off several degrees. Models remain on track bringing in a
dry backdoor front across the east Monday afternoon, sending it wwd
Tuesday. Cooler temps result all areas Tuesday, especially east.

GFS and European model (ecmwf) continue with a warm up under dry northwest flow aloft
for Wednesday. Then the model solutions/forecasts become markedly
different Thursday and Friday. Both models sticking to their
respective GUNS for the end of next week with the GFS progressive
and much weaker with regard to an upper level trough sliding sewd
through the northern rockies and inland northwest. European model (ecmwf) on the
other hand is farther north with the parent closed low, progging it
to be over far northwest North Dakota at noon on Thursday whereas the
GFS has it well to the northeast over Hudson Bay. The sensible
weather differences would be very significant over nm both Thursday
and Friday. European model (ecmwf) solution would result in much colder temperatures
and quite the snow storm for portions of northern and central nm
Thursday night into Friday. In fact, the European model (ecmwf) is progging -16c (3f)
at 700mb (~10k ft) across northeast nm Saturday morning. Expect these
forecast temps to modify some in the coming days with no snow cover
to speak of across the lower elevations of ern Mt/WY. The cold air
for this system to tap, however, is certainly over eastern Alaska
with much of the area below zero this morning. The GFS solution would
result in colder temperatures and some light snow for the sangres
and northeast Highlands Thursday night and Friday but not much else.
At any rate, started the trend of raising precipitation chances for
the end of next week given the run to run consistency by both models.
Still a good deal of uncertainty as to how the upper trough/low will
evolve as it moves south through the eastern Great Basin Thursday
night into Friday but it's starting to look like nm will get at least
a taste of winter toward the end of next week.



Fire weather...
as the Pacific trough and attendant cold front continue to overtake
nm this morning, a brisk day is in store for most of the forecast
area with the cooler air mass also ushering in lower dewpoints. The
cooler than average temperatures should offset any low humidity
concerns amidst the breezy to windy conditions, but technically a
few localized areas stretching from northwestern to central nm will
briefly meet critical fire weather thresholds this afternoon.
However, the lack of deep layer instability and the presence of
cooler than average temperatures certainly don't fit the mold for a
critical pattern today. The strongest gusts will be found stretched
from the northwest plateau of nm into the Central Highlands of the
state. These winds will keep smoke dispersion/ventilation rates
quite high today. As alluded to yesterday morning, chilly
temperatures will fall over nm tonight in the wake of the front with
clearing skies and calmer winds. Interests in the middle Rio Grande
Valley area could observe freezing temperatures immediately along
the river where sheltered cold pockets will develop.

On Sunday, the more tranquil conditions will yield lower mixing
heights, less boundary layer winds, and consequently lower
ventilation rates. Areas of poor ventilation will be most prevalent
over the northern nm mountains and the upper Rio Grande Valley
through Sunday afternoon. While some dewpoint rises are forecast by
the models on Sunday, the warmer temperatures that will be observed
in most zones will still allow the relative humidity to plummet to the 10 to 20
percent range Sunday afternoon.

The next cold front, coming in phases, on Monday and Monday night
will not be much more than a wind direction shift during the daytime
Monday, but the reinforcing push Monday night will host the cooler
temperatures. Monday afternoon's above normal temperatures will
still not boost the mixing heights enough to increase ventilation
much, and therefore more areas of poor mixing/ventilation are
forecast. As the reinforcing second push of the cold front rolls
through Monday night it will advance far enough west that it might
accelerate through the gaps and canyons within the Central Mountain
chain to give brief-lived moderate gusts from the east.

The effects of Monday night's front will be noticed in tuesday's
highs in the eastern plains as they fall short of normalcy by 5 to 8
degrees. A subsequent warm-up is still expected Wednesday, and the
next front slated to arrive late Thursday into Thursday night is now
gaining more attention. Model forecast solutions now range from a
dry frontal passage accompanying a glancing blow from an open wave
trough to a much more prolific and colder closed low solution that
would be a wet to snowy scenario.


Abq watches/warnings/advisories...

National Weather Service Glossary of Abbreviations