New Mexico Weather: 4/4/16

In Socorro this morning, the weather has been sunny, warm, still and generally awesome.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a sunny day today, with a high temperature of 79 F and 5 to 10 mph south winds by this afternoon. This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low of 44 F and south winds of 10 to 15 mph, decreasing to 5 to 10 mph by morning. The NWS has issued a Red Flag Warning for tomorrow, due to the high winds that are expected tomorrow. I will likely post about the fire weather conditions tomorrow.

The visible satellite imagery and the enhanced infrared satellite imagery show no clouds. These images have been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows nearly-uniform moisture across the state this morning. The air is dry over the state.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows dry atmosphere throughout the entire column, though particularly dry around 500 mb. There was 0.24 inches of precipitable water present, and no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE). The morning started out with a slight thermal inversion near the surface, and a 0-3 km average lapse rate of 5.4 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 14 kts, and the low-level shear was 5 kts. Most of the shear was due to speed changes at all levels.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the still winds, mild temperatures and low dewpoints across the state this morning. There are no strong frontal boundaries, though there might be a slight dryline running through the eastern 1/3 of the state. I’ll watch this throughout the day.

The surface pressure map shows that the dominant features of this morning is the 1022 mb high pressure system near the Four Corners region. However, the RAP shows this diminishing throughout the next six hours, probably due to the diurnal heating lowering the pressure under the cloudless skies.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows zonal flow over the state, though there is a trough beginning to form to our northwest. The NAM has it developing southward, forming a closed low over the next few days. Its biggest impact will be a zonal jetstreak over the state later this week.

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 some rapidly-rising air over the western part of the state by this afternoon. This will manifest itself as partly cloudy skies this evening, as predicted by the NWS.

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 another pleasant day here in Socorro. There might be some clouds this evening. I am more concerned about the Red Flag Warning tomorrow than I am about conditions today.

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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