New Mexico Weather: 1/20/16

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was cool, still and mostly cloudy. There are a few lenticular clouds over the mountains, and there is even some Kelvin-Helmholtz wave pattern clouds visible near the mountains as well.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 50 F. This evening will be mostly clear, with a low temperature of 26 F. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for high wind near the Texas state line, later this week. Skywarn Spotter activation is not anticipated.

It is too early for visible satellite imagery.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows a few thicker, cooler-topped clouds over Northern New Mexico, though they are moving east out of the state.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows some moisture, as well as a moisture boundary near the thicker clouds.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a relatively humid sounding this morning. There is a dry layer around 500 mb, but otherwise, the dewpoint depressions are low. There was 0.34 inches of precipitable water and no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present in the column this morning. There was no thermal inversion present, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.2 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 39 kts (speed shear dominant), and the low-level shear was 28 kts (directional shear dominant).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the cloudy skies over the middle and upper Rio Grande Valleys, but clear skies over the rest of the state.

The surface pressure map shows a strong pressure gradient in the northern part of the state. The low pressure over the Great Plains and the high pressure over the Four Corners Area are responsible for this gradient, and the RAP says that this will continue for the next six hours, at least.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows the same deep trough extending through Texas. A jetstreak will begin to pass through the state this evening.

At the 500 mb level, the NAM is showing some strong Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA), especially over the northern half of the state this evening.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows no rapidly-rising air. It has been excluded from this post.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows some Cold Air Advection (CAA) moving into southern New Mexico from the northwest.

Overall, I expect a few clouds today. Given the moisture and the PVA, it wouldn’t surprise me to see some extremely scattered showers, particularly ahead of the PVA. Otherwise, I expect a sunny day today, with perhaps a little wind in the north.

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 TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from NASA – MSFC

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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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