New Mexico Weather: 2/16/16

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather has been cool, partly cloudy and still. I attempted to take a photo of the sunrise with all of the cirrocumulus, but they didn’t turn out.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 68 F and northwest winds 5 to 15 mph. This evening will be clear with a low temperature of 35 F and 5 to 15 mph northwest winds. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for fire weather later this week.

The visible satellite imagery is not available at this time.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows a few clusters of slightly thicker clouds.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows variable, but little moisture over the state today.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows some moisture above 350 mb. There was 0.28 inches of precipitable water and no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present in the column today. There was no significant thermal advection present this morning, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 4.3 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 49 kts, and the low-level shear was 23 kts. Most of the shear was due to speed changes, though there is some directional shear near the surface.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show still winds, clear skies and low temperatures and dewpoints throughout the state. The clear skies are an indication of the thin clouds; the sensors can see through them.

The surface pressure map shows that the dominant system is high pressure moving in from the Four Corners area. There is a slight pressure gradient crossing over the northern and eastern borders of the state, but the RAP shows this diminishing over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the trough has moved east, causing severe storms over the south and snow over the Mid-Atlantic region. Our 300 mb winds will become more zonal over the next day or so.

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

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

The 850 mb NAM chart shows some Cold Air Advection (CAA) in the southern and eastern parts of the state this morning. By this evening, the back door cold front that marks this CAA will have mixed out.

Overall, I expect a few clouds today, but warm temperatures. I don’t expect as much wind today as yesterday, but I do expect a few more clouds, based on the higher humidity aloft. Otherwise, it should be a pleasant day.

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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