FXUS65 KABQ 181723 AAB
Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1123 AM MDT Mon Mar 18 2019
18Z TAF CYCLE
VFR conditions will prevail through the forecast period, with south
to southeast flow at the surface across much of New Mexico today.
Another round of light showers, maybe even an isold ts will occur
over the western and northern high terrain where a field of cu is
already forming. High clouds will skirt across far southeast NM where
a weak upper trough is moving through. Winds calm again tonight
becoming mostly terrain driven with a N/NE wind shift occurring
across far northeast NM Tuesday morning through KCAO, KRTN, and just
reaching KTCC by or just after 18Z.
.PREV DISCUSSION...254 AM MDT Mon Mar 18 2019...
A weak low pressure area will cross southern New Mexico today with
isolated rain and elevation snow showers across the higher terrain
of western and north central portions of the state. A few isolated
thunderstorms will develop across these areas this afternoon and
evening. Strong low pressure will move southward across the northern
plains on Tuesday, and isolated to scattered rain and elevation snow
showers will form across northern New Mexico. A backdoor cold front
will sweep westward across the eastern plains Tuesday afternoon and
Tuesday night. The cold front will lift moisture in place from the
northeast plains to the north central mountains and produce light to
moderate rain and snow Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday morning.
A large Pacific storm system will bring rain and elevation snow to
northern and central New Mexico Wednesday through Friday with
thunderstorms likely across western portions of the state Wednesday
afternoon, across central and eastern New Mexico Thursday afternoon
and evening and in far eastern New Mexico Friday afternoon and
A relatively quiet start to the week weatherwise today will become
more active Tuesday through Friday. A weak and broad upper level
trough will move eastward along the New Mexico and Mexico border
today with limited dynamics and moisture. Mid level moisture will
move northward across western and north central New Mexico today, and
low level moisture will tick upward as light south winds develop
across these areas. Instability across western and north central New
Mexico will be modest with lifted indices in the zero to minus 2
Celsius range and small CAPE values between 100 and 200 J/kg. Though
a couple stray showers will pop up across the Gila region this
morning, wider coverage of isolated rain and elevation snow showers
will occur this afternoon and evening with isolated thunderstorms,
mainly in the higher terrain. High temperatures today will be near
normal across western and northern New Mexico and 3 to 12 degrees
below normal south of I-40 and east of I-25.
The center of strong upper level low pressure will press southward
from the Northern Plains to Nebraska on Tuesday. On the southwest
periphery of this system, vorticity maxima will move across northern
New Mexico on Tuesday. This dynamic forcing will cause isolated to
scattered rain and elevation snow showers to develop across northern
New Mexico Tuesday morning and afternoon. A backdoor cold front will
press westward across the eastern plains late Tuesday afternoon and
Tuesday night. Northeast to east upslope flow along and behind the
cold front will enhance rain and snow showers across northeast and
north central New Mexico late Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday
morning. Light to moderate precipitation will fall across these areas
with 0.5 to 2 inches of snow across the northeast plains and
adjacent highlands and 3 to 5 inches of snow in the Sangre de Cristos
and the nearby eastern foothills. High temperatures Tuesday will be
5 to 10 degrees below normal from the northeast plains to the Sangre
de Cristos and 2 to 5 degrees below normal from the east central and
southeast plains to the highlands to the west. The rest of New Mexico
will have daytime temperatures near normal on Tuesday.
The GFS and ECMWF synoptic patterns have become more similar over
the past 24 hours. A large upper level low just off the central
coast of California on Wednesday morning is projected to track across
northern Arizona on Thursday and northern and central New Mexico on
Friday. The slow progression of this system from west to east will be
due in part to a high amplitude upper level ridge extending
northward from eastern New Mexico and Texas to the southern Canadian
Plains late Wednesday through Friday. Surface high pressure across
Texas and the Southern Plains Wednesday and Thursday and deepening
surface low pressure across the Desert Southwest will set up a moist
east to southeast flow in the low levels across New Mexico.
Widespread precipitation will begin across western New Mexico
Wednesday afternoon and spread eastward across central New Mexico
Wednesday evening. By midday on Thursday, precipitation will cover
the entire state. Snow levels with this storm system will be fairly
high on Wednesday and Thursday and will generally be above 8500 feet.
Upslope east to southeast flow in the low levels of the atmosphere
and a good tap of subtropical moisture in south to southwest flow
aloft will favor the mountains and higher elevations of western and
central New Mexico for the highest precipitation amounts. Modest
instability Wednesday afternoon and evening combined with increasing
dynamic lift and moisture will bring chances of thunderstorms to
western New Mexico. As this axis of instability shifts to the east on
Thursday, chances of thunderstorms Thursday and Thursday evening
will exist across central and eastern New Mexico. Some of these
storms will have the potential to become strong to severe. Wednesday
will feature daytime temperatures which will be well below normal
east of the central mountains and slightly below normal to the west.
Temperatures will be well below normal areawide on Thursday.
As the upper low lifts northward on Friday over Colorado, wrap around
moisture and upslope flow will keep areas of precipitation in the
forecast west of the central mountains. A Pacific cold front will
bring a band of precipitation to western New Mexico in the late
morning hours. A dry slot of drier mid level air will move across
south central and eastern New Mexico during the late morning and
early afternoon hours Friday. This will bring clearing and warming
temperatures to these areas Friday afternoon and evening. As the cold
front crosses these areas Friday evening, there will be a risk for
strong to severe thunderstorms, especially from the eastern plains to
the Texas border.
A weak upper trough will drift across New Mexico today. A short wave
trough in northwest flow will impact the state Tuesday. In addition,
a cold front will slip into eastern New Mexico Tuesday then progress
to the east slopes of the central mountain chain Tuesday night,
resulting in a moderate east wind through canyons into the Rio
Isolated to scattered showers as well as a few thunderstorms are
possible this afternoon mainly over the higher terrain of the west
and north, however the central mountain chain could see isolated
activity as well. The focus for showers and isolated thunderstorms
Tuesday will shift to north central and northeast New Mexico with
the cold front. Showers and isolated storms will spread west and
southward into eastern and central New Mexico Tuesday night as the
frontal boundary pushes south and westward.
Temperatures will be near to below normal today through Tuesday.
Ventilation today and Tuesday will be fair to good although an area
of poor rates is possible Tuesday in the wake of the frontal
boundary over northeast New Mexico. Southerly breezes expected over
the east this afternoon then gusty northeast to east winds are
anticipated with the frontal boundary Tuesday and Tuesday night.
Variable gusty winds are possible with any convection today through
A large and slow moving upper low will drift across Arizona and New
Mexico Wednesday through Friday night. A mixed bag of showers, high
mountain wet snow, thunderstorms and strong winds could result.
Forecast models are in better agreement early this morning that
wetting precipitation will be more likely than the drier, windy
conditions advertised yesterday by the GFS. Isolated strong to
severe storms could erupt Thursday afternoon and evening east of the
central mountain chain. High temperatures Wednesday through Friday
will be about 5 to 15 degrees below normal.
The upcoming weekend will be mostly dry but another slow moving
upper low could impact the region early next week.
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