New Mexico Weather: 1/12/16

In Socorro this morning, the weather was cold, sunny and still.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a sunny day today, with a high temperature of 40 F in Rio Rancho. This evening will be clear with a low temperature of 15 F. The NWS has issues a Hazardous Weather Outlook for bitter cold temperatures today and tonight, as well as some wind later this week.

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows no clouds over the state, so it has been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that a dry feature has moved over the state today.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows some light moisture near the surface, but otherwise, a dry sounding, with large dewpoint depressions. There was only 0.10 inches of precipitable water present in the column today and no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE). There was a large, thick thermal inversion near the surface that lowered the 0-3 km average lapse rate to 1.7 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 21 kts, and the low-level shear was 9 kts, almost all of the shear from directional differences.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show still, clear and cold conditions, statewide.

The surface pressure map shows that the state is dominated by high pressure, with a 1036 mb high pressure system located over the Colorado and Utah border. It will diminish slightly through diurnal heating, but still remains a major player in the New Mexico today. The northern part of the state has a tight pressure gradient, so I expect it to be breezy in this region.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows shortwaves in both jetstreams in our split-flow pattern. New Mexico is currently between both jetstreams, which is why our deep-layer shear is much lower than yesterday or the day before.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no significant vorticity advection above the state today, and thus has been excluded from this post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows no rapidly-rising air above the state today, and thus has been excluded from this post.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows no significant thermal advection above the state today, and thus has been excluded from this post.

Overall, I expect a sunny, clear, cool day today, with increasing breeziness towards 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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