New Mexico Weather: 10/6/15

…a lot of this information is old. I did not finish a forecast this morning, but I am watching the local conditions.

In Rio Rancho this morning, there have been off-and-on showers and thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts isolated thunderstorms (10% chance) until the morning. The risk increases through the morning (20%), and peaking this evening (50%) chance. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the central and southern parts of the state, with the primary threat being large hail, and small hail that accumulates.

This corresponds to a Slight Risk area that has been issued by the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) for today.

…as well as a 2% Tornado Threat ring.

The visible satellite imagery shows the overcast skies and scattered cumuloform clouds.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that none of the clouds have high tops, meaning there is no strong morning convection.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is a deep moisture plume passing through the eastern half of the state, including the Albuquerque Metro area.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a damp atmosphere at the low levels, followed by dry air aloft. This led to 0.67 inches of precipitable water, and several hundred J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE).

The 12Z upper air sounding from El Paso, TX, shows:

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show…old information.

The surface pressure map shows no strong pressure gradients this morning. I also looked at the RAP model, and there are no strong pressure gradients expected to develop in the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the upper level low is moving eastward across the southwest, and New Mexico will be in the leading edge of the trough. There is a jetstreak that will be over the Slight Risk area by this evening.

This trough is bringing Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA) into the western and southern parts of the state, creeping towards the center. Notice how the winds blow across the vorticity gradient from higher vorticity to lower on the 500 mb chart.

The 700 mb chart shows some rising air, though perhaps not as strong as I would have expected. I am watching the southernmost pocket in particular, as I will be in Socorro today.

There are no significant thermal advections at the 850 mb level.

Overall, I expect that there is a chance of severe weather. I will be in Socorro with my storm chase vehicle, though I am teaching class until 6 pm. There is a slight chance that I will go chasing after class, depending on the weather. Hopefully, the weather will allow for it, as my current target area is east of Socorro in open plains where there is no damage to be done.

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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