New Mexico Weather: 9/27/15

Late post today, I know. In Rio Rancho this morning, I don’t know what the weather was like, as I opted to sleep in. However, it is currently sunny and clear. The backyard weather station says that the temperature is 94.6 F, the relative humidity is 14%, the relative pressure is 29.91 in Hg and steady, and the winds are 4.5 mph from the south. Here is another photo of my “gas can barometer:”

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today for the Albuquerque Metro area. There are no hazardous weather threats today, and Skywarn Spotter activation will not be needed today.

The visible satellite imagery shows a few very fine clouds over the mountain tops from upslope flow. Otherwise, it is a clear day, statewide.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows nothing new; the clouds on the mountain tops are near the resolution of the infrared satellite imagery, so there is nothing to show.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows plenty of moisture circulating around the low pressure system that is over eastern Texas. There is some moisture flow over New Mexico, but the dominant feature is that low to our east.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry atmosphere, though there is a layer of high relative humidity near 300 mb. There was 0.58 inches of precipitable water present in the column today and high dewpoint depressions throughout most of the atmosphere above Albuquerque. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), and the 0-3 km lapse rate was a meager 5.4 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 15 kts, the low-level shear was 7 kts. This was not enough to support well-ventilated, rotating storms.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the slow wind speeds, clear skies and low dewpoints. There are no major frontal boundaries present, but there might be a dryline between Lincoln County and Roswell, NM, as the dewpoint changes from 34 F in Lincoln County to 51 F in Roswell.

The surface pressure map shows that most of the state is under a slightly lower pressure: 1010 mb to 1012 mb. There are no steep pressure gradients in the state this afternoon.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the upper level flow switches direction over Colorado. The flow is not very fast, however, over New Mexico, which is contributing to our low shear values.

The 500 mb chart shows negative vorticity over the state, but it is not advecting anywhere. I have excluded it from today’s post.

The 700 mb chart shows some rising air in the Albuquerque Metro area, and a little ways west.

The 850 mb chart shows a temperature gradient to our east, and winds blowing across it, but the Cold Air Advection (CAA) is not yet happening in New Mexico. The gradient ends near the state line, and the 850 mb winds diminish by then as well. Perhaps we will have a back door cold front in a few days.

Overall, I expect a pleasant day today again. Enjoy it!

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.
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