Welcome to the New NWS' Forecast!
Most changes are behind the scenes, but click here for differences you might notice.

Area Forecast Discussion (AFD)

Issued by Albuquerque, NM (ABQ)

FXUS65 KABQ 191722 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1022 AM MST Mon Nov 19 2018

VFR with SKC for much of the state today and this evening. Northerly
drainage winds at KSAF are expected to calm over the next couple of
hours, shifting more SE this evening as a weak sfc backdoor bdry
works its way west around the southern extension of the Sangre de
Cristo Mtns. Winds will be light, becoming terrain dominated
overnight, with sct250 high cirrus moving in from the west Tuesday



.PREV DISCUSSION...336 AM MST Mon Nov 19 2018...
A slow warming trend is in play through mid week, with a gradual
increase in clouds late Tuesday into Wednesday as a weak disturbance
passes east across southern New Mexico. Breezy to locally windy 
conditions with a few showers are forecast Thanksgiving Day and 
night as a cold front pushes across the state. Windier conditions 
associated with a stronger cold front are forecast to develop 
Saturday. Showers are forecast Saturday through Sunday, especially 
across northern New Mexico where accumulating snow is likely. Colder 
conditions will follow the frontal passage Sunday into early next 


Very dry conditions will prevail today as a ridge shifts east from
over the Great Basin. PWATs are forecast to dip down to near 0.10" at
KABQ this morning, which is well below normal. Otherwise, today will
be sunny with daytime temperatures near normal west and below normal
east. Clouds will begin to increase Tuesday as an upper low, 
currently approaching southern California, fills then opens up and 
progresses east across the Desert Southwest. The shortwave trough 
will move across southern New Mexico Tuesday night into early 
Wednesday and will lack sufficient moisture to produce much in the 
way of wetting precipitation. Shortwave ridging will follow the 
departing trough Wednesday and daytime temperatures will climb above 
normal most areas. 

The 00Z operational runs of the GFS and ECMWF are in good agreement
with the timing and amplification of an upper level trough moving 
east across the southern Rockies and New Mexico late Thursday through
Thursday night. Sufficient moisture and forcing will be present for 
showers, focusing across northwest New Mexico. The west-facing slopes
of the northern mountains may pick up several inches of snow, 
especially in the Tusas and Jemez Mountains. A weak Pacific front
will accompany this trough, with breezy to locally windy conditions
forecast. Northwest flow behind the departing trough may bring 
stronger winds to the east slopes of the central mountain chain and
adjacent eastern highlands Friday morning. 

The medium range model solutions are still at-odds with the upper
level trough/low for next weekend. The GFS has shown good run-to- 
run consistency with a strong open wave featuring very windy and much
colder conditions, while the ECMWF has shown good run-to-run 
consistency with a potent upper low that strengthens to 535dam at 
500mb as it ejects out into southern plains on Sunday. For now, our 
forecast is closer to the GFS, but gives a nod to the ECMWF.



Widespread poor ventilation rates through today through Wednesday. 

High pressure at the surface and aloft will build across New Mexico 
from the west today through Tuesday. This weather system will bring 
light winds, poor ventilation rates and a warming trend to near 
normal across western and central New Mexico and to slightly below 
normal across eastern New Mexico by Tuesday. A weak upper level low 
will cross southern New Mexico Tuesday night and Wednesday morning, 
bringing slight chances of light shower activity to the southeast 
plains. This system will be followed by a strong ridge of high 
pressure aloft on Wednesday, and high temperatures will rise to 
above normal across most of the region, except slightly below normal 
in the southeast plains. Ventilation rates Wednesday will be poor 
across the entire area. 

As a trough of upper level low pressure approaches from the 
northwest on Thursday, winds aloft will strengthen and a lee surface 
trough will develop across eastern Colorado and eastern New Mexico. 
This weather pattern will generate breezy west to southwest winds 
across northern and central New Mexico with afternoon wind speeds 
between 15 and 25 mph. Downsloping winds across the eastern plains 
will result in drying of the lower levels of the atmosphere, but 
minimum relative humidity will only fall into the 20 to 25 percent 
range in the eastern plains and will be in the 30 to 45 percent 
range elsewhere. Ventilation on Thursday will improve to fair across 
the highlands of western New Mexico and the highlands east of the 
central mountains, but will remain poor across the rest of the 
region. The GFS and ECMWF are still differing in the strength and 
track of an upper low crossing New Mexico Thursday afternoon and 
Thursday night. The ECMWF solution continues to portray a deeper 
upper low on a track farther to the south. Right now, the northern 
quarter of the state appears to be the most likely to see rain and 
snow showers Thursday afternoon and overnight. A Pacific cold front 
will move across the region late Thursday night through Friday with 
cooler temperatures, breezy northwest winds and improving 
ventilation rates across central and eastern New Mexico. Ventilation 
rates across western New Mexico will remain poor Friday.