New Mexico Weather: 8/24/15

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was cool, the skies mostly clear with a few high cirrocumulus clouds and the winds light. I had to sprint to get to the train on time, and I could feel the humidity. Here is a photo from the train as it passed through the South Valley, looking southeast.

The visible satellite imagery shows the light clouds, mostly south and east of the Albuquerque Metro area. Some of these are left over from convection yesterday evening.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that all of the clouds have low, warm tops, and are not developing explosively.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that New Mexico is still being supplied with rich moisture from the Pacific Ocean.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows the deep moisture present today. We had a surface dewpoint of 56 F, and the dewpoint depressions remain low throughout the entire column. There is still 0.98 inches of precipitable water as well. There was 123 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), but also 227 J/kg of Convective Inhibition, which is why morning convection is limited. The lapse rates were low; the 0-3 km is only 6.2 C/km, and the mid-level lapse rates were a modest 7.2 C/km.

In terms of shear, there was none to speak of. The deep-layer shear was 9 kts, and the low-level shear was 7 kts.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show that the winds are still throughout the state. The back door cold front that was present for several days has passed through the Albuquerque Metro area, and stalled from Quemado to Silver City to Las Cruces. It has begun mixing out, and will have less of an influence over the next few days. Surface dewpoints are generally higher than they were yesterday as well.

The surface pressure map shows that the pressure gradient has weakened since yesterday, decreasing the wind speeds statewide. There is a new area of high pressure (1022 mb) developing over the New Mexico and Colorado border.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows weak flow over New Mexico. We are in the middle of another developing ridge that is pushing north from Mexico.

The 500 mb NAM chart is showing no significant vorticity advections. This chart has been excluded from today’s blog post.

The 700 mb NAM chart is showing some rising air this afternoon, particularly along the I-40 corridor from Grants to Albuquerque.

The 850 mb NAM chart is showing some slight Cold Air Advection (CAA) from the south. The gradient is present, but the winds are not strong.

Overall, I expect today to be mostly stable. There may be a few scattered afternoon showers and thunderstorms, but with the low shear, they will not reach severe limits. Synoptically, I don’t see any reason for the shear to increase, and I think that the back door cold front will cease to provide any sort of lift as it weakens and mixes out. The rising air at 700 mb may indicate some afternoon showers and thunderstorms, but the synoptics are not there for widespread severe weather.

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

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