Scientific Forecaster Discussion
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Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
1042 am MST Thu Feb 23 2017
18z taf cycle
winds have already increased significantly across the County Warning Area this
morning, and will continue to increase through the early afternoon
hours. Gusts between 35kt and 40kt are likely west of the central Mt
chain, while gusts up to 55kt will be possible along/east of the
central Mt chain. Winds will shift toward the northwest around
sunset then taper off thru the evening. After a quiet overnight
period, winds will ramp back up Friday morning across central and
Previous discussion...1012 am MST Thu Feb 23 2017...
will send out a quick update to the forecast package to include
blowing dust and also to convert the high elevation Sangre de Cristo
zones to high wind warnings. Taos Ski Valley obs have already
exceeded gusts of 60 mph and should continue to do so through much of
the afternoon. Otherwise temperatures seem to be on track today, but
it is a tricky temperature forecast today with cold air advection
aloft and the relatively deep mixing. New zone forecast package will
be sent momentarily.
Previous discussion...301 am MST Thu Feb 23 2017...
..very strong winds and critical fire weather conditions today east
of the Continental Divide...
an upper level low pressure system will pass just north of New Mexico
today, steering the jet stream overhead with very strong southwest
winds. Gusts will reach over 60 mph at times from the Central
Mountain chain eastward, and up to 50 mph as far west as the
Continental Divide. There will be widespread fire weather concerns
across the east this afternoon, and as far west as the middle Rio
Grande Valley. A Pacific cold front will also cross triggering some
showers over the northern mountains and causing high temperatures to
plummet 7 to 17 degrees below wednesday's readings. In the wake of
the exiting system temperatures will drop another 3 to 21 degrees on
Friday, and wind gusts in the 40 to 50 mph range will linger across
the east with more fire weather concern. After warmer and less windy
weather Saturday, an upper level trough will cross New Mexico from
the west during the latter half of the weekend, and another one will
do the same early next week. This will keep a chance for showers in
the forecast mainly along and west of the Central Mountain chain,
with periods of breezy to windy conditions and more fire weather
hazards across the east.
the 700 mb flow is forecast to bring a broad swath of 45-70 kt winds
across the southeastern 2/3 of the forecast area today, where surface
winds are expected to be the strongest. Surface winds at the lowest
elevations will decouple from the stronger flow aloft around sunset,
but breezy to windy conditions will return to much of the east on
Friday as the tail end of the jet stream lingers overhead.
Another couple of upper level troughs will cross from the west late
this weekend and early next week keeping brisk flow aloft over New
Mexico. Daily rounds of breezy to windy conditions are expected.
Since periods of accumulating precipitation are also expected along
and west of the Central Mountain chain, the main area for critical
fire weather potential will be across the east each day. The heaviest
and most widespread precipitation will probably occur Monday night
and Tuesday, when 700 mb temperatures in the -6 to -10 may result in
a few to several inches of snow in the northern and western
an active pattern will continue the next couple days with widespread
critical fire wx conditions expected today for central and eastern
nm. An upper wave moving quickly east through the central rockies
will force a potent dry slot and associated jet streak over nm. A
deepening surface low over southeastern Colorado will develop a strong
pressure gradient beneath the dry slot and generate widespread gusts
of 50 to 60 mph. An area of extreme critical conditions is expected
over eastern nm with moderate instability and above normal temps.
Critical conditions will also develop within the Rio Grande Valley.
Flow aloft will become northwest tonight behind the departing wave
and usher in much cooler air compared to the past several days. The
airmass will remain very dry however due to cold advection and less
instability the main area of critical conditions will focus over the
east Central Plains Friday. Hoisted a Fire Weather Watch for Friday
over parts of eastern nm. Windy conditions and low humidities will
occur across much of the remainder of central and eastern nm however
temps will be below normal and instability too limited. Nonetheless,
these areas should still be considered for a Fire Weather Watch from
later forecast shifts.
A weak northeast to easterly wind shift will move into the eastern
plains Saturday morning but quickly mix out Saturday afternoon. Very
dry conditions will persist and marginal critical conditions are
possible again by late day across eastern nm. High temps will trend
several degrees warmer but still remain slightly below normal while
Haines generally remain low.
The next upper wave is shown to cross northern nm Sunday with more
wind for central and southern areas and perhaps increasing precip
chances across the north. This overall progressive pattern is likely
to continue through early next week with daily rounds of wind and
potential for critical conditions across eastern nm. High temps in
this pattern will remain near to below normal across central and
western nm. Guyer
Wind Advisory until 5 PM MST this afternoon for the following
High Wind Warning until 5 PM MST this afternoon for the following
Red flag warning until 7 PM MST this evening for the following
Fire Weather Watch from Friday morning through Friday afternoon for
the following zones... nmz108.