New Mexico Weather: 2/4/16

In Rio Rancho this morning, he weather was bitter cold, clear and still. When I left the house, the temperature was 9.1 F.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 41 F and west winds of 5 mph. This evening will be clear and cold, with northwest wind of 5-10 mph and a low temperature of 17 F.

The visible satellite imagery is not available at this time.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows a few thicker clouds in the northwestern corner of the state.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that New Mexico has very little moisture this morning. There is a large dry feature to our east, but an approaching disturbance may bring some more moisture to the area.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry sounding this morning, particularly between 750 mb and 650 mb. There was only 0.08 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning, and no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE). The temperature fluctuates heavily with altitude in the boundary layer of the atmosphere this morning. The 0-3 km average lapse rate was 1.6 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 58 kts, and the low-level shear was 19 kts. There was a good mix of speed and directional shear at all layers.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the extremely low temperatures, still winds, and clear skies over the state this morning.

The surface pressure map shows that the state is dominated by high pressure. There is a 1040 mb high pressure system over western Colorado and eastern Utah. There is no steep pressure gradients across New Mexico, though I bet the wind is strong across the Colorado Rockies. The RAP shows that this will continue for at last the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that a large trough has moved out of the area, though there is an approaching shortwave trough that is much smaller in amplitude that will impact the Four Corners Area this evening.

The 500 mb level chart is showing some Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA) ahead of the shortwave this afternoon. This impulse may enhance some cloud cover in this region later today.

The 700 mb level chart shows no rapidly-rising air across the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 850 mb level chart shows no significant thermal advection across the state today. No advection is better than Cold Air Advection, with the temperature already at 9 F. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Overall, I expect a cold, clear day today. I am bundling up and trying to stay warm; you should probably do the same. Leave your faucet drippin to keep the pipes from freezing.

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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