New Mexico Weather: 2/27/16

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather has been cool, still and clear. The backyard weather station says the temperatures is 59.0 F, the relative humidity is 24%, the relative pressure is 30.30 in Hg and steady, and the winds are 0.7 mph from the southeast. There aren’t many clouds, if any at all.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a partly sunny morning, turning sunny by the afternoon. The high temperature will be 71 F and there will be 5-10 mph west winds. This evening will be increasingly cloudy, with a low temperature of 36 F and a 5-10 mph northwest wind. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning high winds and Fire Weather; a lesser extent today, but several times throughout the next week.

The visible satellite imagery and enhanced infrared satellite imagery show no clouds in the skies over New Mexico today. They have been excluded fro today’s post.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows slightly deeper moisture approaching the state from the west.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry sounding today, with high dewpoint depressions throughout the entire column. There was only 0.22 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning, and no Convective Available Potential Energy. There was a strong thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 3.8 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 14 kts, and the low-level shear was 16 kts, both of which were a combination of directional and speed shear. It’s one of those strange days where the upper-level shear is lower than the low-level shear.

The surface observations map (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) shows the cool temperatures, still winds, clear skies and low dewpoints across the state. Notice that even though the moisture increases in the water vapor satellite imagery, the dewpoints aren’t changing; the moisture is hanging out aloft, and not mixing towards the surface.

The surface pressure map show a 1024 mb high pressure system over the Four Corners area this morning. There is a noticeable pressure gradient over the northern border of the state.

However, the RAP shows this high pressure system weakening considerably over the next six hours due to daytime heating, as well as a lee-side low forming on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. This will strengthen the pressure gradient and perhaps supplying some cloud cover.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows mostly zonal flow for the state today. Perhaps we are at the very early stages of trough formation, but even if it does intensify, it will have moved out of our area before doing so.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no significant vorticity advection over the state today. 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. I will go for a run here in a few minutes, and will do some yardwork this afternoon. It’s a good day to enjoy the good 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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