New Mexico Weather: 4/21/16

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather is cool, clear and some light winds. The backyard weather station says the temperature is 45.0 F, the relative humidity is 62% and the relative pressure is 30.23 in Hg and rising, with 0.7 mph southeast winds.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 76 F and a 5 mph northeast wind shifting south by this afternoon. This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 48 F and east winds of 5 to 10 mph. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for later this week concerning a Marginal Risk of severe storms in the Eastern Plains of New Mexico Saturday, as well as a risk of wildfire on Tuesday. Skywarn Spotter activation may be needed on Saturday.

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows no thick clouds over New Mexico. It has been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows nearly-uniform moisture over the state this morning, as the upper-level low over Iowa continues to track east.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque is unavailable at this time.

The deep-layer shear was, and the low-level shear was.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool surface temperatures, lower dewpoints (as compared to yesterday), clear skies and light winds across the entire state. There are no major boundaries present on the surface map this morning.

The surface pressure map shows only a slight pressure gradient between the 1020 mb high pressure in Colorado and the 1010 mb low pressure in El Paso. The winds are not very strong throughout this gradient. The RAP shows the gradient weakening over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows the upper-level low drifting over Lake Michigan by this evening. There will be little 300 mb flow over the state, and what there is will be from the northwest. A new trough is building over the eastern Pacific, so I will be watching that as it develops.

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 northern half of the state today. This will be the source of our partly cloudy skies this evening.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows a sharp thermal gradient near the border. There is off-and-on Cold Air Advection (CAA) and Warm Air Advection (WAA), both of which are weak, throughout the day in the eastern part of the state.

Overall, I expect another pleasant day today. Perhaps I will get to spend more of it outside than I did yesterday.

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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