New Mexico Weather: 10/8/15

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was cool, under 50 F, with a relative humidity of 86% and a relative pressure of 30.01 in Hg. The skies were mostly clear with a few light clouds. In Socorro, there are quite a few mid-level cumulus clouds that may indicate some mid-level instability. There are also some high cirrocumulus that have a wintry feel to them.

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The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day for the Albuquerque Metro area, with a 10% chance of showers and thunderstorms towards the evening hours. However, as you move south, the chances of storms increase. Socorro transitions from 20% to 50% this evening. The NWS has a Flash Flood Watch for several southern counties, and Skywarn Spotters are encouraged to report flooding and rainfall amounts.

The visible satellite imagery shows a blanket of clouds over the eastern part of the state with clearing to the west. There are a few cloud streets along the US-550 corridor.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that none of the clouds over the state are thick or have high, cool tops.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is the same moisture plume lingering over the eastern part of the state.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a damp atmosphere through most of the lower levels, as the dewpoint depressions remain low. Albuquerque is on the edge of the moisture plume seen on water vapor imagery. The precipitable water was 0.64 inches. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present this morning.

The deep-layer shear was 9 kts, and the low-level shear was 6 kts. This is not enough to support strong, long-lived, rotating storms.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the relatively high surface dewpoints, cool temperatures, and still winds throughout the state.

The surface pressure map shows no strong pressure gradients over the state. The RAP is forecating no strong pressure gradients for the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the upper level low pressure system has moved southeast into northern Mexico.

There are no significant vorticity advections forecasted through this evening at the 500 mb level.

There is some rising air at the 700 mb level, but only at low vertical velocities. I have excluded this chart from this post.

At the 850 mb level, there is some cold air advection (CAA) creeping into the southeastern corner of the state. The gradient is not very strong, nor are the winds, but they do blow across the gradient.

Overall, I expect some showers and thunderstorms in the southern part of the state. I think the adequate moisture plus diurnal heating and perhaps mid-level instability already present, may lead to some convection. The lack of deep-layer shear will prevent these storms from becoming severe, but flash flooding will be an ongoing threat.

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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