New Mexico Weather: 4/6/16

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was chilly, clear and still. Even with the chill, however, it feels like it will warm up once the sun comes up.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a sunny day today, with a high temperature of 73 F and north winds of 5-15 mph becoming northwest by the afternoon. This evening will be partly cloudy with a low temperature of 42 F, with winds decreasing to 5 to 10 mph after midnight. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning potential severe weather on Sunday. I will be watching this closely over the next few days.

The visible satellite imagery and the enhanced infrared satellite imagery show no clouds over the state this morning. Both of these images have been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that New Mexico is in a dry pocket of air.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows an incredibly dry atmosphere this morning. Notice how far left the dewpoint trace is located, compared to the temperature trace. Overall, there was only 0.06 inches of precipitable water and no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present in the column this morning. There was no strong inversion, but the 0-3 km average lapse rate was only 3.8 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 29 kts, and the low-level shear was 18 kts. All layers were a mix of directional and speed shear.

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

The surface pressure map shows a sharp pressure gradient across the northern border of the state this morning. There is a strong high pressure system over northwestern Colorado that is partially responsible for this gradient. The RAP shows this gradient decreasing over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that we are on the backside of trough that has dipped south through Texas. We have nearly zonal flow, with a slight southeasterly component.

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. There was some Cold Air Advection (CAA) early this morning, but that cold front has moved south through the state. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Overall, I expect a pleasant day today. I will enjoy the good weather when I can today, as I will be indoors for most of the day.

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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