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Area forecast discussion...updated
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
449 am MST sun Dec 8 2013
12z taf cycle
IFR/LIFR ceilings and visibilities in br and fzfg continue across the eastern
plains this morning...though this should continue to erode from
west to east as SW winds increase this morning. Will likely hang on
the longest at krow. Meanwhile...snow continues across the north
and west...with the heaviest snow band occurring along a cold
front. Strong and gusty SW to west winds will also arrive with the
front and last for 1 to 3 hours. Though the band of snow will
struggle to make it east of the Central Mountain chain... the
wind will not. Gusts near 45kt will be possible...especially
along and just east of the Central Mountain chain from middle morning
through early afternoon. Winds will diminish late this afternoon. May
see some low cloud development in the vicinity of krow after 06z
Previous discussion...338 am MST sun Dec 8 2013...
..stronger winds and frigid temperatures today/Monday will make
for the coldest days of the Arctic stretch...
Middle-level speed maximum of 60-80 knots within base of a
potent upper level shortwave trough to translate eastward over
the area today. Very cold air aloft contributing to a beautiful
satellite presentation early this morning. Cooling cloud tops
evident over far northwest/NC areas where convective snow bursts likely
producing short-duration intense snow over the higher terrain from
just east-northeast of Farmington to Chama and areas just south.
Chama had 4 inches of snow as of middle-evening Saturday prior to
these more favorable conditions that will shift toward the sangres.
Otherwise...transition to increasingly orographic snows expected as
the morning progresses with banded snow structure expected along a
surface to middle- level frontal zone that will continue to press
east- southeast and favor wc areas especially near The Divide.
Could see the remnants of this band reach the abq area by middle- to
late morning per the latest hrrr but not expecting much impact. Of
greater impact for most areas will be increasing wind and combined
with frigid temperatures will make it brutal for much of the north
and west. Downsloping winds for the first time in many days should
actually help improve conditions across the eastern plains where
low clouds...freezing fog/drizzle will continue through the
morning across roughly the southeast quarter. Blowing snow impacts
could be significant for areas that received heavy snow this past
Thursday and are well removed from where the snow actually falls
Another very interesting/challenging forecast tonight into Monday.
As the next reinforcing and coldest chunk of Arctic air plunges
south. And it will do so very similar to how the initial blast
played out last Thursday. That is breaking down both sides of The
Divide. There will be a backdoor segment that will push south and
west a little faster than the reinforcing surge of Arctic air
across western New Mexico. At the same time...a positively tilted
upper trough will be sagging south-southeast over the area. The
GFS has been targeting a mesoscale band of snow ahead of the upper
trough and along the southward- moving Arctic reinforcement much
farther west and north compared to its counterparts. European model (ecmwf) and
especially the NAM are considerably drier and focus most their quantitative precipitation forecast
from east- central into south- central New Mexico. Where this
bands set up will likely mean the difference between a high-end
advisory for several inches of snow or no advisory. For now have
kept with previous strong trend toward the GFS. Bottom line...we
are not done with snow impacts.
Thereafter...a brutally cold pattern Monday night especially with
fresh snow cover and clearing skies for some areas. Otherwise a
quiet pattern finally indicated into Tuesday with any lingering
snow ending from east to west. We will finally begin to make the
turn by the middle part of the week but still uncertainty
regarding how a low latitude low may evolve for the late week
now has begun across the north and west this morning as an upper
level trough swings over nm. Very high snow ratios expected with
this cold airmass...and several inches of snow has already been
reported across the San Juan Mountains. Cold front is marching into
northwest nm and is currently through Farmington and Gallup. This
front will continue to sweep eastward today creating windy
conditions behind it...especially across the Central Mountain chain
and adjacent Highlands to the east. The increase in wind speed will
result in very good to excellent ventilation for all but the
southern portions of the Rio Grande Valley and the east Central
Plains. Also because of the winds...specifically the downslope
component across the east...temperatures are expected to warm above
the freezing mark for the first time in several days...though most
areas will remain 10 to 20 degrees below normal.
The warm-up today will be short-lived as much colder air filters
into the area tonight...and most areas on Monday will struggle to
reach the freezing mark. A secondary trough will swing over the
state on Monday as well...and operational models are still at odds
with precipitation potential. However...GFS ensemble guidance
increases confidence that there will be a band of snow developing
along a front stretching from the SW mountains toward the Sandia/Manzano
Mountains. Additionally...convergence due to the back door segment
of the front may enhance snowfall potential over the central and
south Central Highlands. Should this occur a couple inches of snow
are possible...though it should be mentioned that the NAM and European model (ecmwf)
models show very little quantitative precipitation forecast...if any.
Winds due to the front will keep vent rates in the good to very good
category Monday across the central and west...with poor ventilation
prevailing across the east.
Cool northwest flow will be in store for Tuesday and Wednesday...and
temperatures will remain up to 20 degrees below normal. Generally
light winds and poor mixing will result in poor ventilation
areawide. However...a back door cold front will slide down the
plains on Wednesday.
Models show a disturbance moving across the area on
Thursday...though it is unclear where...if any...precipitation
occurs with this system. Mixing will remain poor...thus so will
ventilation. The upper air pattern looks to remain active beyond
Thursday...though models diverge on placement and timing of storm
Wind Advisory until 4 PM MST this afternoon for the following
Winter Weather Advisory until 4 PM MST this afternoon for the
Winter Storm Warning until 4 PM MST this afternoon for the
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