New Mexico Weather: 3/10/16

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was cool, still and clear. There is not a cloud in the sky.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a sunny day today, with a high temperature of 66 F and a 5-10 mph north wind that will drift to the southeast by this evening. This evening will be clear with a low temperature of 36 F. The winds will drop to 5 mph from the north. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the potential for Critical Fire Weather this weekend, when the combination of low humidity and high winds are expected to occur in the south central mountains.

The visible satellite imagery and infrared satellite imagery show no clouds over the state this morning. They have been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that we are in the dry area west of the trough. This is part of the reason we have such cloudless skies today.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry atmosphere with only 0.14 inches of precipitable water present in the column. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and there was no strong thermal inversion in place this morning. The 0-3 km average lapse rate was 3.6 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 32 kts, and the low-level shear was 30 kts. Shear at all levels was a mix of speed and directional changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the low dewpoints, cool temperatures, still winds, and clear skies, statewide. There are no significant frontal boundaries present in the state this morning.

The surface pressure map shows a high pressure system over the northwestern corner of Colorado. There is a slight pressure gradient over the western border of the state, but this will fade throughout the morning. The RAP shows a thermal low developing near the Colorado and New Mexico border over the next six hours, though there will be no strong pressure gradient associated with this weak thermal low.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the trough will continue east and the closed low will remain south of the state. We will be entering into a weak ridge over the next few days.

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 significant 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. There might be some short-lived, weak Cold Air Advection (CAA) over the eastern border, as a weak back door cold front mixes out, but I wouldn’t call it “significant.” This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Overall, I expect a sunny, pleasant day today, statewide.

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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