New Mexico Weather: 2/12/16

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather is shaping up to be quite pleasant. There is not a cloud in the sky. The backyard weather station says the temperature is 49.5 F, the relative humidity is 34%, the relative pressure is 30.45 inches and rising, and the winds are 3.1 mph from the west.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts an absolutely glorious day today- sunny, with a high of 71 F. Sorry about your bad luck, east coast friends! This evening will be clear, with a low temperature of 35 F.

The visible satellite and enhanced infrared satellite imagery confirm clear skies, statewide. They have been excluded from this post.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that New Mexico is still quite dry. There is a little more moisture north of I-40, but not much more.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows another day of dry atmosphere. There was high dewpoint depressions and only 0.22 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE). There was a large, thick thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 2.7 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 30 kts, and the low-level shear was 22 kts. The low-level shear was mixed mode (directional and speed), though the upper-level shear was dominated by speed changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the light winds, clear skies, and cool morning temperatures. The winds are light, so it is hard to tell if there is some circulation developing over the southeastern corner of the state or not. I’ll watch this over the next few hours.

The surface pressure map shows that we are still under the influence of high pressure. We have no sharp pressure gradients this morning. The RAP shows that we will remain under high pressure throughout the next six hours, and perhaps a slight pressure gradient will develop near the Colorado border.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that we have very little flow aloft. With the exception of the very northeastern corner of the state, we are in the ridge.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no significant vorticity advection- a little bit of Negative Vorticity Advection (NVA) moving over the southern part of the state, but all it will do is act to clear our already-clear skies. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

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

The 850 mb NAM chart shows no significant thermal advection over the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Overall, I expect a pleasant day today. When I get off work, I may go for a bike ride, or work in the garden or something outdoors. I am looking forward to a three-day weekend of this weather!

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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