Scientific Forecaster Discussion

Return to Local Conditions & Forecast

Without Abbreviations
With Abbreviations

FXUS65 KABQ 060552 AAB

Area Forecast Discussion...UPDATED
National Weather Service Albuquerque NM
1052 PM MST Thu Dec 5 2019

An area of low clouds and fog is expected to produce MVFR and IFR 
conditions across the northwest highlands from around Cuba and Chama 
westward to around Navajo Lake for the remainder of tonight until
late morning on Friday. There may also be a few patches of low 
clouds and fog in the west central valleys, perhaps impacting Gallup
and Grants toward morning. In addition, northeast and east central 
areas may have a few patches of low clouds and fog, potentially 
impacting Clayton and Tucumcari. High clouds will increase in 
coverage across most of the forecast area for the remainder of 
tonight through Friday morning, and will probably linger along and 
south of I-40 through Friday afternoon. For the remainder of tonight,
these should limit radiational cooling some with a resultant 
reduction of some of the low cloud and fog development. Low clouds 
and fog will gradually burn off Friday morning, lingering longest 
around Dulce and Cuba.



.PREV DISCUSSION...235 PM MST Thu Dec 5 2019...
The storm system that brought mountain snow as well as windy
conditions to the eastern plains will exit later tonight. A dry
backdoor cold front will then move across the eastern plains 
overnight, but an overall quiet night is expected. Temperatures will
be cool on Friday, especially in the east in the wake of the 
backdoor cold front. The next storm system to impact the state will 
arrive Sunday, bringing another round of rain and mountain snow to 
western and northern New Mexico through Monday. Quiet conditions then
continue again through mid-week as temperatures warm to near normal.


Water vapor imagery today shows the core of the upper level low 
pressure system ejecting eastward across the Front Range of the 
Rockies. A well-defined dry slot within the base of the upper low 
along with deepening surface low pressure over northeastern NM has 
allowed for widespread windy conditions across the plains. The 
current Wind Advisory will continue as planned through 5 pm. Cold 
advection with moist and unstable orographics over the northern 
mts will allow snow to continue along west slopes for a couple more 
hours. The latest HREF and RAP guidance shows snow tapering off 
quickly by late day. The Winter Wx Advisory will be cancelled once 
radar indicates precip exiting the area.

12Z/18Z near-term BUFKIT profiles indicate potential for patchy fog 
overnight around northern and western valleys. Meanwhile, a back 
door cold front will slide thru eastern NM in the wake of the 
departing upper wave tonight. This front will trend temps several 
degrees cooler for Friday across the plains. Winds will however be 
lighter statewide on Friday as a weak shortwave ridge crests over 
the state. A thick band of high clouds will move east over the state 
Friday afternoon which will lead to filtered sunshine and make it 
feel even cooler. High clouds will continue sliding overhead Friday 

A weak surface low will develop over southeastern CO Saturday, and as
a result, winds will increase across eastern NM, particularly the
I-40 corridor from CQC to TCC. Did increase winds with this package,
but speeds remain below advisory thresholds. Otherwise, temperatures
across the east should warm about 10 to 15 degrees compared to 
Friday due to downsloping winds. It should be a gorgeous Saturday 
though with warmer temperatures and dry weather.

The next storm system that will impact portions of the state will
move into the Great Basin area on Sunday. Ahead of this upper-level
trough, subtropical moisture will stream into western NM. This will
help generate showers across the west early Sunday before the main
trough passes over northern NM on Monday. With 700mb temperatures 
around -1 to -3C Sunday, snow levels will start high, keeping snow 
primarily over the Chuska and northern mountains. As 700mb
temperatures fall to -4 to -6C early Monday behind a cold front, 
some lower elevation areas could see light snow has snow levels fall 
between 5500 and 6500 feet. Accumulating snow is expected to remain
in the high terrain though where the northern mountains could pick 
up a few inches of snow. This system will move through too quickly 
for anything significant, however.

That system exits Monday night, and then quiet weather conditions are
anticipated through Wednesday as a weak ridge builds over the area.
Another weak disturbance could then clip northern NM Thursday. This 
system looks to be drier, but it could bring cooler temperatures and 
breezy conditions toward the end of the week.



Strong west winds across parts of eastern NM and light snow over the 
northern mountains will exit the area tonight. Poor ventilation with
lighter winds and cooler temperatures are on tap Friday. West winds 
will increase again Saturday ahead of the next storm system. Another 
round of valley rain and mountain snow will develop across northern 
and western NM Sunday and Sunday night. Cooler and drier conditions 
will arrive in the wake of this system with periodic breezy winds 
over eastern NM through Tuesday. Ventilation will be poor to fair 
most days except Sunday and Monday when temporary improvement is 




National Weather Service Glossary of Abbreviations