New Mexico Weather: 10/12/15

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was cool, clear and slightly breezy. This continued throughout my commute to Socorro.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly clear day today throughout the Albuquerque Metro area. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for gusty winds, particularly in the northern part of the state, though Skywarn Spotter activation is not anticipated.

The visible satellite imagery shows the clear skies, with the exception of the very southern part of the state. Clouds are moving in from the south, and are just reaching the I-10 corridor.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that these clouds are not very thick, and have low, warm tops.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows a large, upper level moisture feature at the Colorado/New Mexico border. This feature is pushing southeast, but seems to be stalling at the border.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry atmosphere again today. The dewpoint depressions are low throughout the entire column, though there is still 0.56 inches of precipitable water present. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present this morning, and there was a radiational inversion. This inversion brought the 0-3 km lapse rate to 4.3 C/km, once again, lower than the Moist Adiabatic Lapse Rate (MALR).

The deep-layer shear was 35 kts, and the low-level shear was 19 kts. This would have been enough to support well-ventilated storms, if there was any convection to form storms in the first place.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show no major frontal boundaries, but it does show the low dewpoints and clear skies, statewide.

The surface pressure map shows some breeze and a pressure gradient sloping from the 1020 mb high pressure over the Four Corners region to the 1010 mb low pressure over west Texas.

The pressure gradient will become steeper throughout the day, according to the RAP. Six hours from now, the pressure gradient will shift from to 1012 mb over the Four Corners and 998 mb over eastern Colorado.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that there is almost zonal flow over New Mexico, and that the low pressure system over the Pacific has moved northwest. The upper level winds are a little stronger in the northern part of the state.

There are no significant vorticity advections at the 500 mb level.

There are no areas of rapid vertical velocities at the 700 mb level.

The 850 mb chart shows that there is some Cold Air Advection (CAA) expected to make its way into the eastern part of the state by this evening. This is a back door cold front that is crossing through west Texas and will begin to affect the weather in New Mexico over the next few days.

Overall, I expect a breezy, clear day this afternoon. I expect the winds to increase in the northern and central parts of the state, and the air to get cooler, starting in the east this evening. There is virtually no chance of severe weather, though there may be some gusty winds.

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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