New Mexico Weather: 12/9/15

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was cool, still and partly cloudy. The clouds are all high clouds, and there is currently no threat of precipitation.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today with a high of 61 F. This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low of 34 F. There is a Hazardous Weather Outlook in place for some high winds starting tomorrow and a chance of snow this weekend, but no hazardous weather is expected today.

It is too early for visible satellite imagery this morning.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows a few clouds in the southeastern part of the state. They are not very thick, but they will block some of the sunlight this morning.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that New Mexico has some moisture this morning. I do find the dry feature to the south interesting; it extends from Cocoa Beach, FL all the way into the Pacific, in an almost-perfectly straight line.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows that the air has become more humid over the city today. The dewpoint trace (green) has moved much closer to the temperature trace (red), as compared to yesterday or the day before. We now have 0.34 inches of precipitable water, and moisture has now advected through the dry layer that was at 700 mb for several days. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) this morning. There was a weak, but thick radiational inversion, which lowered the 0-3 km average lapse rate to 3.0 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 30 kts, and the low-level shear was 23 kts, all of which was largely speed shear.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool temperatures, low surface dewpoints, light winds, and clear skies in the state this morning. There were no strong fronts or drylines present.

The surface pressure map shows a 1028 mb high pressure system over the Four Corners region, with a sharp pressure gradient across northern New Mexico. Diurnal heating will lower the pressure and decrease the gradient throughout the next six hours, according to the RAP.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the trough has moved farther east, leaving New Mexico under a light northwesterly flow regime. To the northwest, there is a powerful jetstreak that beginnings of a new trough that may be what brings us some light snow this weekend.

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

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

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

Overall, I expect a mostly sunny day. The weather is changing, however, starting tomorrow. Enjoy the sunny and relatively warm day today, New Mexico!

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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