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Area forecast discussion
National Weather Service Albuquerque nm
559 PM MDT Tue Sep 17 2019

Aviation...
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a few showers and thunderstorms may linger into the early evening
across eastern areas. Otherwise, it should be a quiet night. Dry air
streaming over the state from the southwest will prevent showers and
thunderstorms most places on Wednesday. An exception will be across
southeast areas, and especially along the east slopes of the south
central mountains, where mainly isolated showers and thunderstorms
are expected due to better low level moisture.

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Previous discussion...318 PM MDT Tue Sep 17 2019...
synopsis...
while thunderstorms may not completely vanish, storm coverage will
be very limited on Wednesday with activity primarily confined to the
east central to southeastern plains. By Thursday, an uptick in storm
coverage is possible as a vast low pressure system dives into the
Great Basin, allowing moisture to creep ahead of it and northward
into New Mexico. The increase in moisture and the consequential storm
potential will quickly begin to fade on Friday, and even more-so into
the weekend as another swath of dry air approaches. Storms will
be most likely to develop across the east central to southeast
plains Friday and Saturday with remaining areas of the state
observing pleasant conditions.

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Discussion...
currently, the best and deepest moisture is found over the east
central to southeastern plains of nm, a theme that will recur
periodically through the end of the week. As one vigorous short wave
trough lifts northeastward over Wyoming and Mt, light southwesterlies
aloft continue to work into nm, and a thin axis of just enough
moisture has remained over northwestern zones where a few convective
cells have fired. This northwestern quadrant of the state and the far
eastern plains will host the best prospects for storms through the
evening, but nothing is expected to survive past midnight.

On Wednesday, southwesterly flow aloft will remain over nm in a weak
fashion with a subtle anticyclonic centroid poised over West Texas.
Meanwhile tropical storm Imelda will push into eastern parts of the
Lone Star state. The northwestern half of nm is expected to observe
drying with lower pwats, leaving the south central mountains east
northeastward into the plains with higher precipitable water readings of an inch or
better and hence the better storm chances. Temperatures will be
seasonable in the northwestern half of the County Warning Area whereas the eastern
plains will hover 5 to 10 degrees above normal Wednesday afternoon.

Into Thursday, a highly amplified trough/low will overtake the
intermountain western conus. While the southeastern half of nm looks
to retain, if not even increase, moisture in the resultant
southwesterly flow aloft, the northwestern half could observe some
faint ribbons of better moisture streaming in. The sufficient
moisture, and accompanying instability should lead to more storm
coverage Thursday, except in the very far northwestern zones.

The trough will lift northeastward with the axis overtaking the
ridges of The Rockies by Friday. Moisture will begin to vacate
western zones of nm and to some extent central zones also, ultimately
reducing storm coverage Friday. Some impressive dewpoints, lapse
rates, and hence lifted indices and cape appear along the eastern nm
and West Texas border early Friday, but could mix out by late
afternoon. This could be a potential concern for strong to severe
storms amidst the weak, but present, large scale ascent from the
trough.

Further drying is expected into Saturday with the southeastern-most 3
or 4 counties/zones of the forecast area retaining moisture and storm
chances. Beyond this time frame, the uncertainties compound as
another upper low drops over the Great Basin. This next low appears
to remain closed for a longer duration with lower pressure heights, a
colder core, and stiffer dynamics aloft. There appears to be an
inclination for the low to separate from the polar jet and
potentially become cut-off, a scenario that forecast models
notoriously struggle to capture, especially in the midst of tropical
season with a few notable features in both the Atlantic and Pacific
basins. Suffice it to say that the pop forecast from Sunday and
beyond grows highly uncertain in a hurry.

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Fire weather...
drier air will continue to move into the area from the west, and
chances for wetting precipitation will decrease on Wednesday. Most
places will remain dry aside from isolated showers and storms over
the south central mountains and southeast plains where the better
moisture will linger. Chances for wetting precipitation will trend
back up on Thursday as moisture streams in from the south. The usual
high terrain areas as well as the eastern plains will be the favored
spots for wetting storms Thursday and Thursday night. Storm chances
trend down again Friday and through the weekend as dry air once
again moves in from the west although a few storms could still be
possible across the east Friday and Saturday. Breezy to windy
conditions are forecast on Friday for the northeast, but are not
expected to reach critical thresholds. Chances for wetting storms
potentially trend back up early next week, but confidence remains
low regarding the details.

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