FXUS65 KABQ 242326 AAA
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
526 PM MDT Thu May 24 2018
00Z TAF CYCLE
A ridge of high pressure aloft will continue to slowly build over
the American Southwest through Friday, keeping mostly clear and
tranquil conditions over northern and central New Mexico. VFR
condtions expected at all TAF sites through the next 24 hours.
.PREV DISCUSSION...256 PM MDT Thu May 24 2018...
A few thunderstorms remain possible through mid evening near and just
east of the Sacramento mountains. If storms shift eastward off the
higher terrain, they will have the potential to become strong or
severe with hail and gusty winds. Otherwise, smoke from the Buzzard
fire will be the main concern through the evening from areas near
Aragon toward Pie Town. After this evening, the next potential for
storms exists on Sunday afternoon and evening along the Texas border
where a dryline will sharpen. Otherwise, near to above normal
temperatures are expected for the next week. Breezy afternoon
southwest winds will become common Saturday through at least Monday.
This will cause critical fire weather concerns, especially for
portions of northeast New Mexico.
A few thunderstorms have developed over the Sacramento Mountains this
afternoon, but are struggling to make it off the higher terrain. If
they do manage to shift eastward into the higher dewpoints and better
instability, we could see a severe storm or two. The HRRR has been
suggesting that one or two storms move into eastern Lincoln County
this afternoon. Shear is lacking today as the upper level ridge
builds overhead so no storms should last for very long. Otherwise,
the moisture across the plains is slowing mixing out this afternoon,
though it will likely slosh back, mainly south of I-40, overnight.
On Friday, the upper level ridge will remain over NM, though the
moisture over eastern NM will mix out even further eastward. As a
result, the potential for additional storms on Friday aftn/eve is
next to nil. Instead, look for temperatures to continue to rise, with
most areas around 5 to 15 degrees above normal.
By Saturday, the ridge will slide eastward and southwest flow will
increase over western NM as an upper level low pressure system slowly
shifts over the Great Basin. This low will very slowly meander toward
the northeast through Monday. This will mean continue dry, southwest
flow over much of NM. One exception may be near the Texas border on
Sunday aftn/eve where the dryline will sharpen and a few storms may
develop. However, these storms will quickly move into Texas if they
form. Otherwise, Saturday through Monday will feature near to above
normal temperatures, and increasingly breezy conditions (at least
Generally quiet conditions will persist through the mid and latter
half of next week. Temperatures will soar though as height rises
continue to increase. In fact, high temperatures in Roswell may reach
or break the century mark starting tomorrow through the end of next
...RETURN OF CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS THIS WEEKEND...
As is typical for late May, western NM remains quite dry with
surface level moisture sloshing around eastern NM. Currently, the
higher dewpoints are struggling to hold their ground over east
central to northeastern parts of the state, but should see some
short-lived recovery overnight. Into the daytime Friday, the
moisture will abruptly scour out and the entire forecast area will
be plagued by RH less than 10 percent by late afternoon with
temperatures rising a few more degrees. Fortunately, through this
time frame wind speeds will remain relatively light due to an
absence of stronger flow aloft.
Into Saturday, the Pacific trough will be moving inland as an upper
low, bringing a bit of stronger momentum aloft toward NM. To
complement this, the lee side surface trough will also deepen,
imposing a slightly stronger surface gradient with breezy to windy
surface/20ft winds by Saturday afternoon, mostly in northwestern and
northeastern areas of the state. While not overly strong, marginally
critical wind speeds in these northwestern and northeastern areas
will be juxtaposed over single digit RH, high Haines indices, and
well above average temperatures. The coverage of these stronger
winds is just persuasive enough that a Fire Weather Watch will be
issued for the northeast highlands for Saturday with winds being the
lower confidence element.
The pattern will be slow to evolve into Sunday with the upper low
slowly working from NV to UT while lee side surface troughing
persists. This would steer breezy to windy conditions over the
eastern half of NM with the strongest speeds over the northeast
corner where another round of critical conditions is expected.
Winds could slacken a bit into Monday as the low weakens over
northern UT, and should drop off much more into Tuesday as the low
is sheared out. This will limit critical conditions in the mid week
period, but no precipitation is foreseen through this time either.
Fire Weather Watch from Saturday afternoon through Saturday evening
for the following zones... NMZ103.
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