New Mexico Weather: 7/14/15

This morning in Socorro has been pleasant. It hasn’t been hot, and it feels like perhaps the humidity has dropped as well. The winds are still and the sky is mostly cloudy to overcast, with a blanket of altostratus clouds covering most of the sky. Here is a photo from near my new office, looking west.

The visible satellite imagery shows clear skies in the eastern half of the state, but some left-over anvil material in the western half. There are also some cumulus clouds forming along the mountain ranges due to upslope flow.

The infrared satellite imagery shows that some of the clouds in the west are becoming thicker, with cooler tops.

The water vapor imagery shows the flow around a ridge centered over Texas Notice how there is a boundary of moist air and dry air through the southeastern corner of New Mexico.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows ample moisture available this morning, with 0.97 inches of precipitable water and a surface dewpoint on 57 F. There was 402 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) this morning, with 181 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CIN). There was only a slight capping inversion, and it will likely disappear by the afternoon.

In terms of shear, the deep-layer shear is low (17 kts) and the low-level shear is modest (11 kts). With the weak deep-layer shear, storms will have trouble ventilating their updrafts, and will rain near them, meaning individual storms will have trouble rotating, and will have short lifetimes.

The surface pressure map with base reflectivity radar overlay shows that there is a developing thermal low pressure system over the southeastern corner of the state behind the ridge of high pressure that is over Texas. Also, notice that there are some reflectivities along the tops of the mountains.

The surface observations show lower dewpoints than we have seen for several days; upper 40s and low 50s throughout much of the state. The winds are almost still, statewide.

The RAP 21Z forecasted sounding shows an inverted V type pattern, which may lead to strong, dry downbursts, where precipitation evaporates before reaching the ground.

Overall, I think there will be scattered showers and a few thunderstorms over the western half of the state today. I don’t expect many (or perhaps any) of them to reach severe limits, given the weak deep-layer shear. The only real question is, if storms form, how much precipitation will reach the ground versus evaporate in the drier layer near the surface? If a lot of precipitation evaporates, there could be some strong downbursts from the evaporative cooling process.

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, Practicing Concepts, Predictions, Satellite Imagery and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.