New Mexico Weather: 9/23/15

The big story has been the heavy rains and flooding throughout the state. KOAT has more.

In Socorro this morning, the weather is cool, still, and mostly sunny. The ground is still wet from yesterday’s rain. Here is a photo from my drive around town this morning:

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a drier day today as the remnants of Tropical Depression 16-E move on across the Great Plains. They have issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook as a few storms may develop this evening over the northern mountains. These storms may produce gusty winds, hail and heavy rain, which, given our saturated ground, could quickly lead to flash floods. Skywarn Spotters are encouraged to report rainfall amounts to the NWS.

The visible satellite imagery shows cumulus clouds east of the I-25 corridor as the remnants of this tropical system continue northeast.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that most of the thicker clouds have moved out of the state.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that the tropical system has moved northeast, and there is a feature that is bringing dry air across New Mexico today. This will help dry out our saturated land.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a damp atmosphere today. Dewpoint depressions were low throughout the column, and there was 0.84 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning. The Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) was low this morning (29 J/kg), and the 0-3 km lapse rate was low as well (6.1 C/km).

The deep-layer shear was 38 kts, the low-level shear was 10 kts. This was almost enough shear to support well-ventilated, rotating storms, which is why the NWS has issued their Hazarous Weather Outlook.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show higher dewpoints than a few days ago, with most of them being in the 50’s. It also shows the still winds and clearing skies. There are no major frontal boundaries visible on this chart.

The surface pressure map shows only a slight high pressure (1018 mb) northeast of Farmington, but no sharp pressure gradients anywhere in the state.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows a trough over Florida in the lower branch of the jetstream, but we will have zonal flow over New Mexico by this evening.

The 500 mb chart shows no significant vorticity advection across the state, and has been excluded from this post.

The 700 mb chart shows some weakly rising air along the US-550 corridor.

The 850 mb chart shows no significant thermal advection across the state, and has been excluded from this post.

Overall, I expect today to be a great day for drying out. I think that the clouds will continue to move out of the area, and the diurnal heating will raise the temperature and increase evaporation. If storms form today, there is a threat of some marginally severe weather, based on the shear and ample moisture, so I will watch the area with rising air at 700 mb. Synoptically, there are no advections to boost storm development, however.

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 TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from NASA – MSFC

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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.
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