Scientific Forecaster Discussion
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Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
512 PM MDT Tue Jun 19 2018
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a mainly dry backdoor front is poised to move into northeast nm
around 20/06z, surging southward overnight. This front will result
in gusty north and northeast winds at ktcc late tonight and then at
krow around sunrise. Low level moisture may increase enough behind
the front for LCL low clouds to produce MVFR and/or low VFR
conditions across far northeast nm late tonight into early Wednesday
morning. East to southeast winds may briefly squirt through Tijeras
Canyon and Glorieta Pass after sunrise but winds will likely remain
east or sely less than 10kt. Light to moderate northwest winds
return to all terminals west of the Central Mountain chain Wednesday
afternoon while winds across the east remain east or sely.
Previous discussion...325 PM MDT Tue Jun 19 2018...
in a typical June fashion, western New Mexico has dried out while the
eastern plains of the state remains more moist with higher dewpoints.
This moisture along with a weak cool front could initiate isolated to
scattered showers and thunderstorms, mainly across northeastern New
Mexico this overnight. Otherwise, mild to warm overnight
temperatures are expected. Into Wednesday temperatures will warm a
couple more degrees outside of the eastern plains. A few showers and
thunderstorms will again favor northeastern New Mexico Wednesday
afternoon, possibly extending into east central areas of the state
Wednesday night. One more day of storms is forecast over the eastern
half of New Mexico on Thursday, before a drier and warmer airmass
overtakes most of the state into Friday. Above normal temperatures
will be observed statewide with many locations reaching the 90's and
even triple digits Friday afternoon.
a slow-moving low has finally moved into Mt, remaining mostly
disjointed from the polar jet stream. This has dragged slightly
stronger westerly flow aloft into nm while the seemingly semi-
permanent Lee side surface cyclone remains intact. Breezy westerly
and southwesterly surface conditions have developed this afternoon,
and dewpoints continue to drop in the western half of nm. In
northeastern nm, a warm front briefly made an appearance igniting a
cumulus line along it earlier this afternoon. A few storms matured
along it as it drifted northward into co/KS. As convection expands, a
deepening cold pool is expected to develop with the outflow/front
sagging into northeastern nm this evening and overnight. A few
subsequent strong cells could develop as this boundary sags into our
forecast area. Other overnight concerns would be the potential for
low stratus clouds to develop after storms diminish in the northeast
and perhaps also in the far southeastern zones.
The front would continue advancing southward over the plains of nm
into the daytime Wednesday while the subtropical ridge aloft builds
stronger over the upper Gulf of California. Forecast models are not enthused
about convection developing during the daytime Wednesday, but this
will likely be dependent on the exact placement of where the front
will stall, as it will be more stable north of the boundary. The flow
will be turning increasingly easterly along the east slopes of the
Central Mountain chain by late Wednesday afternoon, and this could
yield some convective development, possibly under-forecast by the
models. As evening falls, a secondary frontal push could sag into the
northeast while the east central zones observe a more persistent
easterly upslope flow along with increasing destabilization, even
after daytime heating ends. Scattered pops have been built into the
forecast to account for this Wednesday night.
Convective prospects on Thursday will hinge on mesoscale cold pools
from Wednesday night's storms, but generally areas along and east of
the Central Mountain chain are expected to have at least isolated
storms. The western zones will observe a few to several degrees of
warming Thursday afternoon as pressure heights rise due to proximity
of the swelling subtropical dome of high pressure over southern Arizona.
By Friday, the subtropical high becomes elongated on a west-east axis
as another Pacific disturbance moves farther inland over the
northwestern states. This will spread stronger westerly winds across
a larger area of nm with temperatures boosting a few more degrees.
This will send the entire forecast area 5 to 12 degrees above average
with a few locales eclipsing the 100 degree mark, including the
Albuquerque area. The stronger westerly flow will mix the dryline
eastward with minimal chances for any convection due to the
The westerly flow will persist into Saturday and Sunday with the
aforementioned Pacific disturbance dropping over the central rockies.
Any direct precipitation associated with this feature will bypass nm
to the north, but pressure heights should lower and allow a bit of
temperature relief. Any storm chances would be reliant on ensuing
back door fronts, and while a couple look possible, none appear to
offer a deep, long-lasting surge of low layer moisture needed for a
healthy storm coverage.
..fire weather concerns to increase across north central and
eastern areas Friday...
A series of upper level low pressure systems will pass north of nm
today through the weekend with breezy to windy conditions developing
Friday and to a lesser extent Sunday. Each night tonight through
Saturday night will also feature a back door cold front entering the
eastern plains. Moisture with these fronts will cause humidities to
stay above 15 percent along and east of the Central Mountain chain
Wednesday and Thursday. However, Thursday night's front is expected
to be fairly weak, and some fairly strong southwest winds will
develop Friday, mixing out the moisture by afternoon and enabling
some widespread critical fire weather conditions to develop across
north central and eastern areas. A 992 mb surface low in southeast co, and
strengthening flow aloft should enable surface winds to gust near 40
mph in those areas Friday afternoon, as high temperatures climb up
to 12 degrees above normal and Haines 6 becomes widespread.
Friday night's front should enable minimum humidities to rise above
15 percent again across much of the northeast and far east Central
Plains on Saturday. However, humidities will fall across the plains
again on Sunday, and winds will become gusty again along and north
of I-40 as a more potent low pressure system passes eastward over
the central rockies. At this time, gusts are only expected to peak
around 25 mph on Sunday, except over 30 mph across northeast areas
where critical fire weather conditions may redevelop. High
temperatures should vary from a few to 8 degrees above normal on
Sunday as a 6 Haines index remains widespread.
A Pacific front crossing Sunday night, and a back door front
arriving Monday should allow temperatures to fall closer to normal
by Monday afternoon with relief from critically low humidities
across the east. Winds will also weaken Monday as sunday's upper low
shifts east northeastward onto the Great Plains.