New Mexico Weather: 7/10/15

There was 0.2 inches of rain at my house in Rio Rancho yesterday. There was also a Tornado Warning for northeastern Socorro county. I tried to get down to it, but it was around rush hour in Albuquerque, and many of the roads were restricted due to the heavy rain. The Storm Prediction Center does not show that there was an actual touchdown, however.

Today, the temperature is 78.3 F, the relative humidity is 53%, the relative pressure is 30.03 in Hg, and the winds are still. The skies are partly cloudy with developing cumulus, including some that are vertically developing, such as the one in this photo from my street.

The visible satellite imagery shows that there are developing cumulus clouds, mostly along the mountain ridges.

The infrared satellite imagery shows thicker (cooler-topped clouds to the southwest), but lighter clouds over most of the state, thus far in the day.

The water vapor imagery shows that there is a shortwave trough pushing through New Mexico. It is visible as an area of dry air, stretching from northeast to southwest.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows that there is already ample moisture and some energy present. Precipitable water is at 1.06 inches, and Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) is a 706 J/kg. There was a slight capping inversion near the surface this morning that held off morning convection. The lapse rate is weak at only 6.0 C/km, from the surface to 3 km.

In terms of shear, there is 14 kts of low-level shear and 63 kts of deep-layer shear. Storms that form today will have the opportunity to rotate, given the high shear.

The surface observations map shows that temperatures are cool and the winds are still.

The surface pressure map with radar overlay shows that there is a 1018 mb high pressure system over northern New Mexico, and a new 1010 mb thermal low pressure system developing over Northern Mexico. The radar imagery shows that a few cells have fired in the southwestern corner of the state.

By 21Z, the RAP forecasted sounding shows an area of high relative humidity (low dewpoint depression) at around 675 mb, just like yesterday. The sounding is taking on an inverted V type shape as well, with drier air near the surface than aloft.

By 0Z, there is an area of 100% relative humidity aloft, and the surface has dampened as well. This could be due to heavy rains in the model.

Overall, I am expecting storms, some of which will exceed severe limits for wind and possibly hail. I am a little concerned about the fact that we have a convective environment in an area with 63 kts deep layer shear and 14 kts low-level shear. I start thinking about severe weather when conditions are 35 kts deep layer shear and 15 kts low-level shear. However, with the surface winds are so still. It doesn’t “feel” like a tornado day, though I would keep an ear on the NOAA weather radio this afternoon.

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.
This entry was posted in Local WX, Photography, Practicing Concepts, Predictions, Satellite Imagery and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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