New Mexico Weather: 8/14/15

In Rio Rancho this morning, conditions are warming up quickly. My backyard weather station says that the temperature is 91.0 F, the relative humidity is 29%, the relative pressure is 30.14 in Hg, and there is a slight breeze from the southwest. There are no clouds visible from my back window, but there is a haze near the horizon.

The visible satellite imagery shows that there are few clouds over the Albuquerque Metro area. However, in the northeastern and southwestern corners of the state, there are a few cumulus clouds.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that these cumulus clouds are not very thick, and have low, warm tops.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is no longer a distinct moisture plume, but that the entire southwest has moisture aloft. There are no sharp moisture gradients over New Mexico.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry column, with the exception of a moist layer from 550 mb to 500 mb. The precipitable water was 0.74 inches. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) this morning. The mid-level lapse rates are a little steep (8.8 C/km), and there was a large thermal inversion in place this morning.

In terms of shear,I don’t know if I have seen so little shear before. There are 7 kts low-level shear and 6 kts deep-layer shear.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show that the clear skies and calm winds, statewide. The dewpoints are much higher on the eastern side of the state, but there is no distinct dryline, just rising moisture as you travel east. There are no significant frontal boundaries present in the state today.

The surface pressure map shows that the high pressure system that was over the Four Corners region has moved east over north-central New Mexico, and has also weakened to 1020 mb. The winds may be slightly higher over the northwestern corner of the state, but even then, the pressure gradient is not very strong.

Synoptically speaking, the NAM (from Unisys) shows that we are in the middle of a ridge; it is keeping the temperatures high, the dynamics away and the skies clear. Here is the ridge, as seen on the 300 mb chart.

However, the 700 mb chart shows that there will be some rising air this afternoon.

The 500 mb chart shows no significant vorticity advection and the 850 mb chart shows hot temperatures, but no significant thermal advection in the state today.

Overall, I expect the day to remain mostly precipitation free. I do wonder where and how the rising air (shown on the 700 mb chart) will pan out. There is more moisture today as compared to yesterday, but it is higher in the column than yesterday. Also, the surface is drier than yesterday, so any precipitation that falls may evaporate before reaching the surface, if there are clouds to precipitate in the first place.

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
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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