New Mexico Weather: 3/1/16

In Socorro this morning, the weather was cool, still and sunny. I have a jacket, but I will not need it after another hour or so.

For Socorro, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a sunny day today, with a high temperature of 74 F, and north winds of 5 mph. This evening will be mostly clear, with a low temperature of 41 F and southwest winds of 5 mph. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the Red Flag Warnings that exist and will persist over the eastern part of the state. Stronger winds and low humidity are prompting these Red Flag Warnings. The map of warnings is shown below.

The visible satellite imagery is not available at this time.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows a few thicker clouds drifting in from the Four Corners area.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows some deeper moisture associated with the incoming clouds, though otherwise the moisture is uniform across the state this morning.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry sounding with a few weakly humid peaks, particularly at 700 mb and 150 mb. Overall though, there was only 0.23 inches of precipitable water and no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) in the column this morning. There was a moderately strong and deep thermal inversion near the surface and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 3.9 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 49 kts, and the low-level shear was 22 kts, with a mix of directional and speed shear at all layers.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show clear skies, calm winds, cool temperatures and dry dewpoints across the state. There are no strong frontal boundaries over the state this morning.

The surface pressure map shows high pressure building over the Rocky Mountains and no strong pressure gradient across the state. The RAP shows that the pressure gradient will remain weak for at least the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that a new trough is trying to form over the state this afternoon. We will be at the tip of this trough, and our zonal winds will shift to a northwesterly wind (at the 300 mb level) this evening.

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 some strong Cold Air Advection (CAA) into the eastern and southeastern part of the state in the form of a backdoor cold front. This front will mix out, and will not penetrate deeply into the state.

Overall, I expect a pleasant day today. Spring may come early for us here in New Mexico, and I, for one, am okay with that!

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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