New Mexico Weather: 10/4/15

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather is cool, still and mostly cloudy. The backyard weather station is freaking out, but currently showing the temperature is 64.6 F, the relative humidity is 66%, the relative pressure is 29.91 in Hg and rising, and the winds are 1.6 mph from the south.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly cloudy day for the Albuquerque Metro area, with a 50% chance of scattered storms this evening. They have issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook because of the storm potential. The largest threats are gusty winds and small hail. Skywarn Spotter activation is not anticipated at this time.

The visible satellite imagery shows the overcast skies for most of the state. In the west, there are lighter clouds.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that the clouds over New Mexico have low, warm tops.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows the plume of moisture moving through the state into the Great Plains. The western part of the state is spared the moisture.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows that moisture has mixed into the lower levels, as compared to yesterday. We had damp air with low dewpoint depressions until around 550 mb. There was 0.79 inches of precipitable water present in the column. There was 268 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present this morning as well, and the 0-3 km lapse rate is still 7.0 C/km, which will be enough for some convection later today.

The deep-layer shear was 49 kts, and the low-level shear was 20 kts. This is enough to support rotating, long-lasting storms, if all other parameters are in place.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the cloudy skies and higher dewpoints, statewide. In the very northwestern corner, we see a dryline near Farmington, as the dewpoint drops rapidly towards the west.

The surface pressure map shows that there is a pressure gradient due to the 1018 mb high pressure over the Panhandles Region and the 1000 mb thermal low over Arizona, Nevada and California. It is not a steep gradient, but there is some cause for winds.

Later this afternoon, the thermal low will intensify, and a deeper low form over the Colorado Rockies, intensifying the pressure gradient. This will increase wind speeds, particularly in the northeastern corner of the state.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows a deep trough and upper level low pressure system over southern California. The jetstreak associated with this trough is still to our west, but will be worth watching later this week.

The 500 mb chart shows some weak Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA) over the southwestern part of the state as a weak local maxima moves northeast.

The 700 mb chart does not show much rising air over New Mexico, but at the Arizona border, we can see some rising air is forecasted. This may extend into New Mexico, and it may creep into it by tomorrow.

The 850 mb chart shows the Cold Air Convection (CAA) punching into the northeastern corner of the state. I felt it last night, as the temperature dropped quite a bit.

Overall, I expect a cool, rainy day today. There will be off-and-on showers all day and a few scattered thunderstorms. Winds will increase in the northeastern corner of the state, as the thermal low intensifies over Colorado.

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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