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Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
1205 PM MDT Tue Apr 25 2017

Aviation...
18z taf cycle
intermittent MVFR conditions for northwest taf sites as showers cover the
northwest corner of nm today. Shower coverage is expected to lessen
in the early afternoon hours for western taf sites, as well as abq
and aeg somewhat. Westerly winds will increase during the afternoon
and evening period, 20-30 kts with gusts as high as 35kts and up to
45kts towards srr. However, another round of increased shower
coverage is expected during the late afternoon and early evening
hours, with a focus north of I-40 and the possibility of an isolated
thunderstorm. Precipitation shifts to the NE plains, including lvs
and tcc overnight into Wednesday morning as a backdoor front is
expected to push south across the east plains. The passage of the
front will see a northerly wind shift and possibly MVFR ceilings.



&&

Previous discussion...316 am MDT Tue Apr 25 2017...
synopsis...
unsettled weather will continue through the rest of the week and last
into the weekend. A semi-stationary and potent jet stream will impact
the southern and central rockies during this period. Pacific
disturbances will ride along the jet and provide periods of strong
wind and precipitation. Another windy to very windy period is on tap
today. The wind will be combined with some precipitation, initially
favoring western and central areas but eventually transitioning to
the northeast half tonight into Wednesday. Some snow accumulations
will be found over the mountains and northeast Highlands. Wind speeds
look to be quite strong on Thursday before another round of
precipitation begins Friday and lasts into the weekend. Temperatures
will gradually cool and look for below normal readings during much of
the week.

&&

Discussion...
models remain in unison through much of the week and weekend. Near
term hazards appear to be wind today along and south of i40 as well
as snow tonight towards the Raton ridge/Johnson Mesa area. Hazards
continue on Thursday with wind and then another round of established
precipitation banding Fri/Sat.

Wind highlights were expanded to encompass most areas along and south
of i40. Cloud cover remains The Fly in the ointment but 700 mb winds
are depicted to be quite strong. Went a little above model guidance
across the far Southeast Lowlands as well as far southern portions of
Socorro County.

Will go ahead and issue a Winter Storm Watch for the Raton
ridge/Johnson Mesa area. Snow amount and impact will be somewhat of a
challenge for that area. Ground temps are quite warm after having
come out of an anonymously warm period. However, models are showing
very strong cooling aloft with minus 5 deg c 700 mb temps. Wet bulb
zero values also point towards some impactful whether. Main quantitative precipitation forecast event
for the NE will be later tonight and last into Wed morning. Models
show some strong convergence merging with the upper low translation.
Thus...some heavier quantitative precipitation forecast for multiple hours. Since winter weather
highlights havent happened in awhile and one our major travel
arteries is expected to be impacted...decided to throw out the watch.
Wsi graphics also suggest a possible flash freeze event. Wanted to
error on the safe side and allow the next shift one last look before
deciding the appropriate winter weather highlight. Models have shown
continuity with the heavier quantitative precipitation forecast event across the NE and they show
solidarity between the models

Wind speeds will drop on Wed as the jet loses some of its strength
but that will be short lived since it appears that the winds would be
screaming on thur. Speeds were increased accordingly. Fire weather
concerns have also expanded on thur. Weak ripple along the jet is
depicted to intensify by the NAM/GFS Wed night across northwest and NC
areas. Higher pops reflect that potential across that area. Residual
impacts would be found on thur across that same area. Once
again...models very similar in their depiction of the Wed/thur
weather regime.

A stronger Pacific longwave trough and jet streak is expected to
impact the forecast area Fri/Sat. The operational and ensemble runs
of the GFS/European model (ecmwf) and Canadian models are very...very similar. In
fact...the eps and European model (ecmwf) are nearly exact in terms of the 500 mb
pattern. There is some differences in terms of where the main
precipitation band would form on Friday but they are in unison with
significant precipitation banding across NE areas on Saturday. This
looks like a cold system so temps would be unusually cool and snow
impact is likely. The other main impact could be widespread freezing
temps Sunday morning. Will be watching that trend since the growing
season started so early this year.

Models still showing a drier and warmer early next week period before
another possible unsettled period. Gusty wind would also most likely
make an appearance.

50

&&

Fire weather...
..strong winds along and south of Interstate 40 today but cooler
with higher humidity overall...

A disturbance and associated cold front will push into New Mexico
today. Forecast models have the disturbance digging farther south
into the state, so forecast trends are for higher chances for
wetting precipitation, especially along the Interstate 40 corridor
from the Sandia/Manzano mts westward. Spotty strong winds have been
observed through the night over the Sangre de Cristo mts and at
Clines Corners, and indications are strong west winds gusting to 50
to 60 mph will Rake the area along and south of I-40 today, but some
of the stronger gusts may be due to the currently dry low levels as
showers and storms are initially generated. Winds to shift to the
northwest later this afternoon. Spotty critical conditions still
painted for several hours this afternoon over southern De Baca and
Roosevelt counties but high temperatures will be cooler, and close
to average, so not considering a red flag warning. Cell motion will
be more or less to the east today then to the southeast late
this afternoon and this evening.

The focus for showers and evening thunderstorms will shift to the
northeast and east central tonight. Northwest winds will slowly
diminish but the back door cold front will plunge into the eastern
plains, with northerly gusts to around 40 mph. It will be cold
enough for snow over the Sangre de Cristo mts and along the Raton
ridge/Johnson Mesa where 2-4 inches could accumulate overnight.
Overnight humidity recoveries will be good to excellent with the
exception of the southern portion of the middle rgv where fair
to poor recoveries forecast.

Winds and precipitation taper off Wednesday as the upper disturbance
exits nm, although northwest to northerly breezes persist. High
temperatures will be 5 to 15 degrees below average and minimum
humidities trend will trend drier.

Models are generating more widespread and stronger winds for
Thursday as the cyclonic flow aloft carves out a trough over nm and
a closed low develops over Colorado. Minimum humidities fall below 15
percent Thursday afternoon, combined with Haines of 5 and 6,
widespread critical conditions are now showing up along and south of
Interstate 40. Not issuing a watch for now as highs will be within a
few degrees of average and the trends have been for at least today's
system to track farther south than initially forecast. Otherwise,
there will be a chance for showers and thunderstorms northwest and
north central Thursday. For Friday and Saturday, the Colorado upper
low and cold front will sag over the state, with highs cooling to 10
to 25 degrees below average and more widespread chances for
precipitation.

&&

Abq watches/warnings/advisories...
Wind Advisory until 8 PM MDT this evening for the following zones...
nmz505>508-519>525-533>539.

Winter Storm Watch from 9 PM MDT this evening through Wednesday
morning for the following zones... nmz527.

High Wind Warning until 8 PM MDT this evening for the following
zones... nmz526-540.

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