New Mexico Weather: 10/22/15

I want to address the last few days by showing hail reports from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC) who compile the National Weather Service (NWS) data. If I’ve been slow to post, it has been in part because of the frequent storms across the state that have been occurring since Monday.

In Socorro this morning, the weather was cool, partly cloudy and still. I ran into some drizzle on my commute to Magdalena from Socorro.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly cloudy day with a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms. They have also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook, for the s-word. Not that s-word, but the one that falls from the sky. In normal situations. When it is cold. Accumulating snow is possible near 10,000 ft.

The visible satellite imagery shows some cumulus clouds at the mountain ridges. A few of these look like they may have formed discrete showers and storms. There are some nice cloud streets over the Eastern Plains as well.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows no thick, high-topped convective clouds as of yet.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that strongest moisture has moved northeast away from New Mexico, though there is still adequate moisture over the state. There is a strong, deep dryline over the Texas Panhandle, but some moisture return through New Mexico.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows that conditions were damp this morning the Albuquerque Metro area. There was 100% relative humidity at the surface, based on the 43 F dewpoint and 43 F air temperature. The dewpoint depressions were low until above 500 mb, which led to 0.59 inches of precipitable water. In terms of energy, there was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present this morning, and the cloud cover limited overnight radiative cooling. There was no inversion at the surface, but the 0-3 km lapse rate was only 5.3 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 36 kts, and the low-level shear was 7 kts. This would be enough to produce a few long-lived, well-ventilated storms.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the still winds, partially cloudy skies and lower temperatures. There are no well-defined frontal boundaries or drylines present over the state so far today.

The surface pressure map shows no sharp pressure gradients across the state today. The RAP shows that none are expected to develop over the next six hours, either.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that we are in the trough, which explains the cold air, and the storms yesterday as the leading edge of the trough passed through the state. We have a jetstreak over the southeastern corner of the state that will continue to move northeast into the Texas Panhandle.

The 500 mb level chart shows no significant vorticity advection in the state this evening. However, this is a very dynamic situation, so the next few days will feature some vorticity advection, according to the NAM.

The 700 mb level shows some rising air over the eastern part of the state, but sinking air over the north central part of the state. This is probably due to the jetstreak’s exit from the region and associated convergence at the 300 mb level.

The 850 mb level shows no significant thermal advection today. However, more cold air is inbound from the north after a few days.

Overall, I expect there to be a few lingering showers and thunderstorms. The cool temperatures will remain; I am not expecting any significant warming for several days. Winds will remain light.

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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