New Mexico Weather – 7/8/15

Last night, we received 1″ of precipitation here in Rio Rancho. We also had some pea sized hail, and Rio Rancho was under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning, so I guess I missed that in the forecast.

This morning, conditions are pleasant in Rio Rancho. The temperature is F, the relative humidity is, the relative pressure is, and the winds are. There are some ill-defined cumulus clouds about, none of which are developing vertically at the moment. Here is a photo of the clouds from my back yard.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Slight Risk for the Texas Panhandle and for the northeastern corner of the state.

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

The visible satellite imagery shows that most of the state is under clear skies. The clouds that do exist are smaller than the satellite resolution. There are some clouds and visible cloud streets over the northeastern corner of the state.

The infrared satellite imagery shows that the existing clouds are very thin, with warm tops. Once again, the heaviest (thickest) cloud cover is over the northeastern corner of the state.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is some moisture in the column today, statewide. The most intense moisture is over the northeastern corner (I’m starting to sound like a broken record), but there is ample moisture statewide.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque confirms the presence of moisture. The surface dewpoint was 57F, and there is 0.91 inches of precipitable water present in the column today. There is also a little bit of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) as well (464 J/kg).

In terms of shear, there was plenty of low-level shear (19 kts), but the deep-layer shear is weak, and will most likely not support rotating storms (28 kts).

The surface observations show the comfortable temperatures and calm winds. With the calm winds, it is hard to identify any frontal boundaries.

The surface pressure map shows that the thermal low over southern California and Arizona has intensified to 1006 mb. The high pressure over the southern Rockies has weakened, so there is a smaller pressure gradient across the state this morning, as compared to yesterday morning. has not finished running their most recent model run, so I have forecasted soundings through 19Z. The 19Z sounding shows some drying, and there is starting to be evidence of an “inverted-V” type sounding.

I was surprised yesterday that the storms fired as strongly as they did. I am anticipating a few more storms today, given the higher CAPE and high moisture. However, the surface may dry out a little more than yesterday, increasing the chances for gusty winds. I think that there will be a few storms that pop over severe limits, particularly for the severe wind threat.

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The New Mexico Watches and Warnings weather graphic is from the Albuquerque NWS website.
The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from NASA – MSFC


About highplainschasing

This blog is about my tales in storm chasing. My name is Seth Price and I am an instrumentation instructor at New Mexico Tech. My amateur radio call sign is N3MRA.
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