New Mexico Weather: 2/28/16

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather has been pleasant, still and partly cloudy. The backyard weather station says the temperature is 64.9 F, the relative humidity is 21%, the relative pressure is 30.23 in Hg and rising, and the winds are 1.6 mph from the south.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a partly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 68 F and northwest winds 5-10 mph. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 35 F and northwest winds 5-10 mph.

The visible satellite imagery shows a few clouds in the sky. Many of the clouds are visible on this image as just a faint, light tint, as the clouds themselves are not very thick.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows the thin clouds over the state today.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows deeper moisture over the state as compared to yesterday.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry sounding, with a pronounced moisture peak at 550 mb. The precipitable water was 0.22 inches this morning, and there was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present in the column. There was a strong thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 4.4 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 28 kts, and the low-level shear was 20 kts. With the exception of the lowest layer, most of the shear comes from speed changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the mild temperatures, dry dewpoints, and still winds. The skies appear clear, as the clouds are so thin.

The surface pressure map shows pressure near the middle of the spectrum, with no sharp pressure gradients over the state today. The RAP says this trend will continue for at least the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows mostly zonal flow over the state today. There is the early formation of a trough, but we are far west of this feature.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows that there is some slight Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA) moving in from the Four Corners area. It is not very strong, but will perhaps cause cloudier skies.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows some rapidly-rising air just ahead of the PVA. This will enhance cloudiness as well.

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 partly cloudy to mostly cloudy day today. I am stuck indoors for most of the day, but it would be a good day to take care of some outdoor activities, as the temperature will be pleasant.

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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