New Mexico Weather: 12/8/15

In Socorro this morning, the weather was cool, still and mostly cloudy. As the morning progressed, the clouds have dissipated so that we are under partly cloudy to mostly sunny skies at this time.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today, with a high of 60 F. This evening, the forecast is mostly clear, with a low of 32 F. There is still a Hazardous Weather Outlook issued for windy conditions later this week.

The visible satellite imagery shows a distinct linear feature across the southeastern corner of the state. There are some scattered high clouds over most of the state.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that the clouds are not very thick.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that deeper moisture has arrived in New Mexico, with dry air pushing into the tropics.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows that the layer of dry air around 700 mb has advected out of the area. If you compare today’s sounding with yesterday’s, you’ll see that the mid-levels are much more humid today. The precipitable water has only risen to 0.18 inches thus far, but I expect it to continue to climb. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present this morning, but there was a thick radiational inversion. This inversion dropped the 0-3 km lapse rate to 1.0 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 36 kts, and largely speed shear. The the low-level shear was 27 kts and a mix of speed and directional shear.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the low dewpoints and moderate temperatures, though there were no strong frontal boundaries or drylines present.

The surface pressure map shows 1024 mb high pressure over the Four Corners area. There is a relatively strong pressure gradient along the I-25 corridor, though I did not notice strong winds when I was in Socorro. The gradient is stronger in the northern part of the state. The RAP shows the gradient decreasing over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows New Mexico on the back side of a steep trough that extends through the center of the country. Because of this trough, we have a northern flow pattern through this evening at the 300 mb level.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no significant vorticity advection over the state today.

The 700 mb chart shows no significant rising air over the state today.

The 850 mb chart shows no significant thermal advection over the state today.

Overall, I expect a calm day today, with some continued clearing throughout the evening.

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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