New Mexico Weather: 1/9/16

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was chilly, though it has warmed up considerably. The sun has been out, and the cloud cover is slowly decreasing. The backyard weather station says the temperature is 43.9 F, the relative humidity is 45%, the relative pressure is 30.15 in Hg and rising, and the winds are 3.8 mph from the west.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a partly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 38 F. This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 20 F. It looks like we will dodge the snow for a few more days.

The visible satellite imagery shows that the skies are clearing, statewide.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that none of the clouds are thick. I have excluded this image, as there is not much to report.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that the winter storm has moved on, and now we have almost uniform moisture at the 700 mb to 400 mb level across the state today.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows the drying mid-levels of the atmosphere, with the dewpoint depressions becoming larger from above the 650 mb level. There was only 0.24 inches of precipitable water and no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present this morning. There was also no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.7 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 33 kts (speed shear), and the low-level shear was 22 kts (directional shear).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show that the skies are clearing and the surface dewpoints are lower than they were this morning. As the atmosphere is mixing, it is drying out.

The surface pressure map shows weak high pressure (1018 mb to 1022 mb) dominates the state, with no strong pressure gradients. The RAP is unavailable at this time.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that we will have northwesterly flow aloft as a ridge builds to our west. This is why we will have little precipitation over the next few days. The trough that gave us so much trouble is now affecting the Mississippi River region and into the Midwest.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no significant vorticity advection over the state today. It has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows no significant rising air over the state today. It has been excluded from today’s post.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows that the Cold Air Advection (CAA) has been thwarted by the approaching ridge. There is plenty of CAA into Texas, but it is not creeping into New Mexico. In other words, the back door cold front has stalled. It may move again, but for this evening, it is remaining stationary.

Overall, I expect the skies to continue to clear. It will be cool, but not windy today in the Albuquerque Metro area. Perhaps today will be the day to replace the battery in my car and finally take down the Christmas lights that have been up since the middle of December.

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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