National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

 Weather Forecast Office in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The National Weather Service Forecast Office (NWSFO) in Albuquerque employs nearly 30 meteorologists, hydrometeorological technicians (HMT's), electronics technicians, and an administrative assistant to serve the meteorological needs of the people of New Mexico. This office is part of the Southern Region of the NWS, which serves New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The scope of the programs and services of the Albuquerque office are exceeded nowhere in the Southern Region.


Watches and Warnings: We provide the public with severe thunderstorm, tornado, flash flood, and high wind warnings, as well as winter weather watches, warnings and advisories. Additionally, specialized watches and warnings highlighting windy and dry conditions are provided to various land management agencies in support of the fire weather program. Locally, we provide airport weather warnings for the Albuquerque International Sunport when conditions become adverse for aviation partners.


Public Forecasts:  New Mexico is divided into 41 climatic zones.  NWS Albuquerque issues forecasts twice daily for  zones 201 through 241, roughly the northern two-thirds of the state, with updates as needed. These forecasts provide sky conditions and weather, temperature, probability of precipitation, and wind information. NWS offices in Midland and El Paso issue forecast products for the remainder of the state (see map).  


Aviation Forecasts Our meteorologists issue site-specific forecasts for eight airports four times daily. In addition to these site-specific forecasts, a routine aviation weather discussion is also issued four times daily. This technical discussion gives an overview of weather conditions pertinent to aviation, including 24-hour forecasts of surface winds, surface visibility, ceiling and clouds, low level wind shear, mountain wave activity, thunderstorms and precipitation. Our office also issues Airport Weather Warnings when weather conditions turn adverse for local aviation partners.


Fire Weather Forecasts and Support:    The Albuquerque, El Paso and Midland offices issue narrative and zone forecasts each day, as well as specialized forecasts in support of wildland fire management. A map of the state's fire weather zones is available here. Additionally, NWS Albuquerque has an Incident Response Meteorologist (IMET) to provide on-site forecasts for wildfires and meteorological training for land management agencies within the state. 


Hydrology:  Our hydrologist collects hydrologic data from around the state and works  with other federal and state agencies to provide stream flow forecasts during the spring snowmelt season, as well as during floods and other high water events. When drought conditions worsen, our hydrologist keeps agricultural, resource management and other partners up to date with drought outlooks.


Upper-air Observations:  Twice daily, weather balloons equipped with a radiosonde instrument are launched and tracked from the facility. The instruments collect and transmit weather data from as high as 20 miles above the ground back to the office. These data "feed" NWS supercomputers in Washington, D.C. that run the complex numerical models used in weather forecasting.


Surface Observations Surface weather observations are taken by the Automated Surface Observation System (ASOS) at this office every hour (more often during active weather) and transmitted worldwide. Hydrometeorological Technicians (HMT's) monitor, augment and quality control these observations around the clock.


Radar SurveillanceNWS Albuquerque maintains continuous radar surveillance with two separate Doppler radar systems, an NWS radar located on Albuquerque's West Mesa and a Department of Defense radar located northwest of Clovis in conjunction with Cannon Air Force Base.


Climatology/Public Service:  NWS Albuquerque maintains a network of nearly 200 cooperative observer weather stations across central and northern New Mexico, and works with the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network (CoCoRaHS) to help maintain a local network of nearly 500 volunteer precipitation observers. These networks help define the climate of New Mexico and are extremely important to a wide range of users, from lawyers and engineers to university researchers. The local networks also helps provide real-time data to forecasters during significant rainfall events. The office also helps those in need of weather information, either through assistance from within the office or referral to the appropriate climatic data center.


Tours/Other Services: Tours and outreach visits are available, when staffing, health restrictions and weather permit, for school groups 5th grade and older and for other various groups and educational organizations. Call (505)243-0702, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 p.m. to check on availability.


National Weather Service FAQ's