Weather Service Report

FXUS65 KABQ 241751 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1051 AM MST Fri Feb 24 2017


VFR conditions for all TAF sites today, with scattered low to mid
cloud coverage over the NW and northern mountains. Westerly winds 
have already started picking up for most TAF sites, with TCC being 
the lone hold out this morning. TCC will shift westerly between 
1800-2000Z. Decoupling will occur again overnight allowing winds to 
calm after sunset with drainage winds being the main driver. Eastern 
TAF sites will see winds shift easterly again after midnight as a 
surface boundary pushes back west. Westerly winds pick up again 
towards the end of the TAF cycle. 



.PREV DISCUSSION...330 AM MST Fri Feb 24 2017...

Breezy to windy conditions will return today as an upper level 
trough gradually passes north of New Mexico funneling more cool air
into our state. High temperatures will fall 5 to 20 degrees below 
Thursday's readings. After a cool start Saturday, a general warming
trend is expected this weekend with weaker winds but still breezy
conditions. A weak upper level trough will cross New Mexico from the
west during the latter half of the weekend with a chance of rain and
snow showers mainly across the western and northern mountains, but 
any accumulation will be spotty and light. Another upper level trough
will cross from the northwest late Monday through Tuesday with a 
better chance of precipitation over northern and western areas. 
Breezy to windy conditions are expected both days with cooler 
temperatures on Tuesday.


The tail end of a jet streak will linger overhead today, and there
will be a fairly tight surface pressure gradient as additional cold
fronts cross from the northwest and north. This will yield another
round of breezy to windy conditions. The strongest northwest winds 
are expected from the east central and northeast highlands eastward
across the plains of Guadalupe County, where gusts should reach 50
mph this afternoon and a Wind Advisory will be issued.

The upper trough crossing late this weekend looks fairly weak and is
not expected to bring much cold air with it. There could be some
cooling by monday over southwest and south central areas.

The late Monday/Tuesday system looks a bit stronger and models depict
it bringing some better moisture. Westerly upslope flow with 700 mb
temperatures in the -6 to -10 range should enable the west central 
and northern mountains to squeeze out a few to locally several inches
of snow. High temperatures should fall a few to 4 degrees on 
Tuesday, then a few to several more degrees across central and 
eastern areas Wednesday.

Drier and warmer weather is expected for the latter half of the
coming work week




A progressive pattern through early next week will enhance potential 
for critical fire weather conditions on several days. A few notable 
features in this pattern will make for challenging decision making. 
For today, a back door frontal boundary has made it farther south 
and west than indicated yesterday so there are some concerns about 
how long it will take for winds to mix and focus surface humidities 
into the 10 to 15% range over the east central plains. The greatest 
confidence area for critical conditions will be along and south of 
I-40 east of Santa Rosa where high temps are expected to be near 
normal with moderate haines values. Farther north and west temps are 
almost 10F below normal and haines are low. Decided to upgrade to a 
red flag for the East Central Plains based on collaborative effort 
with surrounding offices.

A similar challenge exists for Saturday as winds are shown to veer 
around to the southwest over much of eastern NM toward mid day. The 
placement of the surface low center around the TX/OK panhandles is 
still a question. Temps will moderate closer to normal and haines 
values trend up to moderate for much of northeastern NM during the 
afternoon. Confidence is not high enough just yet to hoist a watch 
for Saturday since duration may be limited.

Winds will remain elevated into Sunday as an upper wave moves very
quickly east across northern NM. A thick batch of cloud cover will
likely impact mixing and some top-down moistening may mitigate the
duration of critical humidity values across eastern NM. Yet another
upper wave approaches from the west Monday with a deepening surface 
low over southeastern CO. Winds trended up much higher for Monday 
and minimum surface humidities remain below 20%. This will focus the 
next period for potential critical fire conditions over eastern NM.
Models drag a decent batch of rain/snow over the northern/central
high terrain with this wave Monday night. Another blast of colder
air on strong northwest winds is possible for Tuesday.

Beyond Tuesday, guidance diverges considerably on the upper level 
pattern over the southern Rockies. Trends had indicated weaker flow 
aloft would develop over NM Wednesday through Friday however more 
recent guidance is showing a progressive northwest flow pattern 
continuing through the end of the week.



Red Flag Warning until 6 PM MST this evening for the following 
zones... NMZ108.

Wind Advisory until 5 PM MST this afternoon for the following 
zones... NMZ523-529-532-533.



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