New Mexico Weather: 6/25/17

Yesterday was a day of transition.  It was quite warm in the morning, but then cooled off and rained along my road trip to Datil.  I camped out in my car overnight and it was chilly, and I had to run the heat in the car at one point near sunrise.

This morning has been still, sunny, and mild so far this morning.  There are a few high cirrus clouds in the sky, as seen through the antenna at our amateur radio Field Day site:

National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a partly sunny day, with a 40% chance of showers and (potentially severe) storms, and a high temperature of 89 F. The winds will be from the south at 10-15 mph, becoming southwest in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 50% chance of isolated showers and (potentially severe) thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 63 F. Winds will be from the southwest at 10-15 mph, becoming south after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a partly sunny day, with a 60% chance of showers and (potentially severe) storms, and a high temperature of 83 F. The winds will be from the south at 10-15 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 60% chance of isolated showers and (potentially severe) thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 58 F. Winds will be from the south at 5-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a partly sunny day, with a 40% chance of showers and (potentially severe) storms, and a high temperature of 87 F. The winds will be from the east at 10 mph, becoming south in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 40% chance of isolated showers and (potentially severe) thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 62 F. Winds will be from the south at 5-15 mph.

The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the possibility of severe thunderstorms through most of the state this afternoon and evening.  Storms are expected to develop over the Continental divide and the Central Mountain chain, and trek southeast.  Heavy rains, gusty winds, large hail, and even a brief tornado are possible with these storms.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Enhanced Risk for the central mountain chain and east, where gusty winds and large hail are the primary threats.

Associated with the Enhanced Risk is a 2%  Tornado Threat Ring.

The visible satellite imagery shows continuous cloud cover east of the central mountain chain.

The infrared satellite imagery shows very few thick clouds at this time.  The big blanket of clouds in the east is very thin.

The water vapor imagery shows a plume of moisture over the western half of the state that does not correspond to the  cloud cover.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows that some moisture has returned to the area.    There was 0.82 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was 426 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -286 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.9 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 20 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 24 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to speed changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mild temperatures, and moderately-high humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are clear in the west and cloudy in the east.  We have southeasterly (backing) winds into the Enhanced Risk area.

The surface pressure chart shows a moderate pressure gradient across the state this morning as a back door cold front washes  up  in the central part of the state.  The RAP shows that a thermal low will intensify along the Arizona border, intensifying the pressure gradient over the next six hours.

CAPE is looking to climb to 4000 J/kg, according to the RAP, and there are some southerly helicity swaths moving across I-40, according to the HRRR.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows light zonal to northwesterly flow aloft.  There is a trough to our north, but it will not punch south into New Mexico.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows that there is no strong vorticity advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows a few pockets of rapidly-rising air over much of the western part of the state by 18 Z.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows that the Cold Air Advection (CAA) is not as strong today.

The Precipitation chart shows that rain will be possible for much of the central part of New Mexico by 00 Z.

We are planning on heading east to US-84 and chasing storms later today.  I will post later depending on how we do.  Wish us luck!

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from College of DuPage – SATRAD

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Satellite Image of the Week #25

This week’s satellite image shows Tropical Storm Cindy as its first precipitation bands made landfall.  While it was not the most impressive tropical storm I’ve seen, it did show up nicely on the satellite imagery.

Thank you for reading this post!

Source:  College of DuPage – SATRAD

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New Mexico Weather: 6/24/17

Yesterday was another hot day.  I expected it to become windy, but it did not.  Perhaps the cold front stalled?

This morning has been still, sunny, hazy and mild.  Here is a view of the backyard again today, with hazy skies and milder temperatures.

National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a partly sunny day, with a 30% chance of showers and (potentially severe) storms, and a high temperature of 94 F. The winds will be from the east at 10-15 mph, becoming west in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 50% chance of isolated showers and (potentially severe) thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 67 F. Winds will be from the west at 10-15 mph, becoming south after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a partly sunny day, with a 50% chance of showers and (potentially severe) storms, and a high temperature of 86 F. The winds will be from the east at 10-15 mph, becoming southwest in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 50% chance of isolated showers and (potentially severe) thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 60 F. Winds will be from the south at 10-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a partly sunny day, with a 30% chance of showers and (potentially severe) storms, and a high temperature of 90 F. The winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph, becoming south in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 40% chance of isolated showers and (potentially severe) thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 68 F. Winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph, becoming east.

The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the possibility of severe thunderstorms through most of the state this afternoon and evening.  Storms are expected to develop over the Continental divide and the Central Mountain chain, and trek southeast.  Heavy rains, gusty winds, large hail, and even a brief tornado are possible with these storms.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Marginal Risk for the central mountain chain and east, where gusty winds and large hail are the primary threats.

The visible satellite imagery shows continuous cloud cover east of the central mountain chain.

The infrared satellite imagery shows very few thick clouds at this time.  The big blanket of clouds in the east is very thin.

The water vapor imagery shows that there is some moisture aloft, and that is is moving zonally across the state today.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows that some moisture has returned to the area.  The sounding has a weak inverted-v type shape, with a moisture peak at around 700 mb.  There was 0.90 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was 38 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -580 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.6 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 22 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 35 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to speed changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mild temperatures, and moderately-high humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are clear in the west and cloudy in the east.  There is a wind direction shift that corresponds to the line where the cloudy skies begin; this is our cold front.

The surface pressure chart shows a moderate pressure gradient across the state this morning as a back door cold front treks southwest through the state.  The RAP shows that a thermal low will intensify along the Arizona border, and that the high pressure will weaken, yet advance southwest, intensifying the pressure gradient over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows light zonal to northwesterly flow aloft.  There is a trough to our north, but it will not punch south into New Mexico.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows that there is no strong vorticity advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows a few pockets of rapidly-rising air over much of the western part of the state by 00 Z.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows that there is strong Cold Air Advection (CAA) as a back door cold front pushing southwest from the northeastern corner of the state.  Notice the strong winds perpendicular to the thermal gradient.

The Precipitation chart shows that rain will be possible for much of the central part of New Mexico by 00 Z.

Today is a day of transition for New Mexico.  This back door cold front will cool things down a bit, but it will bring potentially severe storms.  JoAnna and I were planning on camping out for Field Day, an amateur radio event, but we’ll see.  Given the chances of rain, we may not sleep in the back of the pickup as we had originally planned.

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from College of DuPage – SATRAD

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Tropical Update: 6/23/17

It is time for another tropical update.  The highlight of this week has been Tropical Storm Cindy, which has become a post-tropical depression.  It is currently centered over West Virginia and Pennsylvania, with a central low pressure of 1004 mb and sustained 20 mph winds.

The infrared imagery shows that the precipitation is largely to the northeast of the center of low pressure.

In the Eastern Pacific, the NHC is watching one area of potential development over the open waters south of Mexico.  Currently, this area has a 80% chance of development in the next two days, and 90% chance of development in the next five days.  I will be keeping an eye on this system.

The infrared imagery shows a disorganized mess at this time, but it wouldn’t take much for this to become organized.

There are no tropical systems expected over the Central Pacific in the next few days.

Thank you for reading my post.

References:
Satellite Imagery: NASA MSFC Earth Sciences Office
Hurricane Data:  National Hurricane Center  and Central Pacific Hurricane Center

 

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New Mexico Weather: 6/23/17

Yesterday was another hot day.  I avoided all outdoor activity until around sundown, when JoAnna and I took a walk around the neighborhood.  It had cooled off a bit and there was a slight breeze.  There was a nice sunset to see:

This morning has been still, sunny, hazy and hot.  Here is a view of the backyard again today, with hazy skies and high temperatures.  It is actually hazier today than yesterday.

National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 101 F. The winds will be from the north at 10-15 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 67 F. Winds will be from the northeast at 10-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 95 F. The winds will be from the north at 10 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms and a low temperature of 60 F. Winds will be from the east at 10-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 99 F. The winds will be from the north 10-15 mph, becoming east in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 63 F. Winds will be from the east at 15-20 mph.

The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the widespread heatwave that will occur over New Mexico over the next few days.  Today, there is a Heat Advisory in place over the western part of the state, including Albuquerque, Socorro, Magdalena and Rio Rancho.  This evening, a cold front will move in from the northeast, bringing lower temperatures and high winds.  The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Marginal Risk for the central mountain chain and east, where gusty winds and large hail are the primary threats.

The visible satellite imagery shows some pre-frontal clouds over the northeastern corner of the state, as well as haze over most of the state.

The infrared satellite imagery shows very few thick clouds at this time.

The water vapor imagery shows that there is some moisture aloft, and that is is moving zonally across the state today.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a drier atmosphere this morning than we’ve seen for several days.  There was 0.44 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was a small thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.4 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 6 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 29 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to speed changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show hot temperatures, and moderately-low humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are clear, for the most part.  There are strong northeasterly breezes in the northeastern corner of the state as the back door cold front progresses southwest.

The surface pressure chart shows that high pressure behind a back door cold front will move into the northeastern part of the state.  Currently, we have a moderate pressure gradient across that corner.  The RAP shows that a thermal low will intensify in the southwestern corner of the state, and that the high pressure will weaken, yet advance southwest, intensifying the pressure gradient over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows light zonal to northwesterly flow aloft.  There is a trough to our north, but it will not punch south into New Mexico.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows that there is no strong vorticity advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows a few pockets of rapidly-rising air by 18 Z in the northwestern corner of the state.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows really high temperatures over most of the state today. However, there is strong Cold Air Advection (CAA) as a back door cold front pushing southwest from the northeastern corner of the state.  Notice the strong winds perpendicular to the thermal gradient.

The Precipitation chart shows that there is virtually no chance of precipitation, statewide, today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Today will remain sunny, hot and clear for much of the state, clouding up in the evening.   However, we are in for a temporary change, as this back door cold front will bring cooler temperatures and strong winds as it approaches.  Perhaps this weekend will be cooler than this past week.

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from College of DuPage – SATRAD

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Appropriating the Weather: Part II and Part III

I have been reading Appropriating the Weather:  Vilhelm Bjerknes and The Construction of Modern Meteorology by Robert Mac Friedman.

The second part of this book was not quite as interesting, as it tracks Bjerknes life and different career options.  It does highlight how he pursued various funding and resource options and showed the importance of using absolute units for meteorological measurements.  We take for granted that absolute units are used in our calculations now, but back then, there was quite a bit of resistance to this concept.  He wanted to make sure that all weather data was collected or could be translated to the same system.

The third part shows how Bjerknes begins to pursue weather forecasting as a matter of necessity during the first World War.  During this time, food shortages were plaguing Norway, and so he spent time trying to figure out how to maximize crop yield during their short growing season.  He also developed a new cyclonic model based on some of the increased availability of data, due to wartime funding of meteorological research.

 

Thank you for reading my post.

Friedman, Robert Marc.  Appropriating the Weather:  Vilhelm Bjerknes and the Construction of a Modern Meteorology.   Cornell University Press, 1989.

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New Mexico Weather: 6/22/17

Yesterday was another hot day.  I avoided all outdoor activity until well after sundown.  In the late evening, I went for a walk around the UNM campus, just to do some outdoor physical activity.

This morning has been still, sunny, hazy and hot.  Here is a view of the backyard again today, with sunny skies and high temperatures.

National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 105 F. The winds will be from the north at 10 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 72 F. Winds will be from the northwest at 10 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 97 F. The winds will be from the north at 5-10 mph, becoming south in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 68 F. Winds will be from the northwest at 10-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 97 F. The winds will be from the north 10 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 68 F. Winds will be from the northwest at 10-15 mph.

The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the widespread heatwave that will occur over New Mexico over the next few days.  Today, there is a Heat Advisory in place over the western part of the state, including Albuquerque, Socorro, Magdalena and Rio Rancho.  The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Slight Risk for the very eastern edge of New Mexico, though the primary threats will be gusty winds and perhaps some large hail, as the shear is low enough that tornadoes are unlikely.

The SPC also points out that isolated dry thunderstorms are possible today, especially over the western part of the state, leading to an increased fire risk.  The SPC has put the western part of the state under an Elevated Fire Risk.

The visible satellite imagery shows no clouds over the state so far this morning.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The infrared satellite imagery shows no thick clouds at this time.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor imagery shows that there is some moisture aloft, perhaps matching the moisture peak that is shown on the sounding.  Even so, it is hardly what I would consider deep moisture.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows an inverted-v type sounding, meaning dry microbursts (virga bombs) are possible with any storms that form today.  There was 0.79 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was 6 J/kg Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -744 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was a tiny thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 7.0 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 8 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 24 kts of deep-layer shear (due to a mix of speed and directional changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show hot temperatures, and moderately-low humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are clear, and the winds are still.  There are no major frontal boundaries clearly defined over the state this morning.

The surface pressure chart shows that we are under slightly lower pressure, but with no strong pressure gradients present.  The RAP shows that a thermal low will develop over the state (dropping to 994 mb) over the next six hours.  No strong pressure gradients are expected to develop.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows light zonal flow aloft.  The high has become open, and more ridge-like than a closed high pressure system.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows that there is no strong vorticity advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows a few pockets of rapidly-rising air by 18 Z in the northwestern corner of the state.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows really high temperatures over most of the state today. Unlike other days this week, there is no Cold Air Advection (CAA) pushing in from the east.

The Precipitation chart shows that there is virtually no chance of precipitation, statewide, today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Today will remain sunny, hot and clear for much of the state, clouding up in the evening.   Today’s chances of precipitation will be lower, given the lower CAPE and moisture. In the eastern part of the state, the chances of severe weather are a little higher, but I’m certainly not rushing out to chase today.

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from College of DuPage – SATRAD

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