New Mexico Weather: 7/16/15

We received no precipitation last night, and this morning, I awoke to clear, sunny skies. The fact that it was sunny when I woke up indicates that I slept in until 8:00 AM this morning. According to my backyard weather station in Rio Rancho, the temperature is 88.9 F, the relative humidity is 26%, the relative pressure is 30.01 in Hg, and the winds are. The skies are a little hazy near the horizon.

The visible satellite imagery shows clear skies over most of New Mexico this morning. There are a few clouds to the south, including some cumulus clouds near El Paso, TX.

Because the skies are clear, I am excluding infrared imagery from this post.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that, in spite of the lack of clouds, there is a strong moisture plume extending through the entire state.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows that there is a much stronger capping inversion in place this morning. There was only 32 J/kg Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) this morning, but there was 220 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CIN). There is still plenty of moisture present, with 0.90 inches of precipitable water this morning.

The shear was weak this morning, with only 16 kts of deep-layer shear available. This will limit rotating storms. Low-level shear was at 11 kts, which is more adequate for storms, but without the upper level support, rotating storms are unlikely.

The surface pressure map shows that there is a small thermal low pressure system (1010 mb) forming over the eastern edge of the state. To the northwest, there is a slight high pressure system (1016 mb). Between them, there is some pressure gradient, but I am not expecting really strong winds between them, as the gradient it not very steep.

The surface observations map shows the still winds, statewide. Also, notice that the dewpoints are slightly higher than yesterday, climbing into the upper 40s and low 50s.

The RAP at 0Z is showing less than 100% relative humidity and an “inverted v” type sounding. We do not need 100% relative humidity to start forming clouds.

Overall, I think that showers are possible this afternoon, but they will be widely scattered and spotty. Showers that form will likely be below severe limits, and with the dry atmosphere, much of the precipitation will evaporate before reaching the surface. Gusty winds will be possible with these storms. Also, because events may not “rain out,” be wary of lightning, as it can strike even in areas where it is not yet raining.

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.

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