New Mexico Weather: 6/1/16

In Socorro this morning, the weather was of a pleasant temperature and still, but mostly cloudy. Even though there was the constant threat of precipitation, I don’t think any fell yesterday evening.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a partly sunny day, with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, a high temperature of 75 F, and a southeast wind of 10 mph. This evening, the skies will be mostly cloudy, with a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms, a low temperature of 52 F and east winds 5-15 mph. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the storm potential, particularly east of the central mountain chain where large hail, gusty winds and torrential downpours are possible.

The visible satellite imagery shows that the skies are clearing in the west, though much of the state is still under some cloud cover.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that the thickest clouds have moved out of the state, though a few patches of clouds remain.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows a moisture feature extending from the Pacific Ocean, through New Mexico into the Great Lakes area, swirling into the strong surface low pressure system over northern Minnesota.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a damp atmosphere. There were only small dewpoint depressions from around 700 mb up, 0.66 inches of precipitable water and a 8 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present in the column this morning. There was a small thermal inversion near the surface and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 7.1 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 5 kts, and the low-level shear was 7 kts. The weak shear is due to directional changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the still winds, moderate dewpoints and cloudy skies in the eastern half of the state.

The surface pressure map shows a thermal low near the four corners area, creating a slight pressure gradient to the east, as a 1018 mb high pressure system weakens and moves east.

Over the next six hours, the RAP has the pressure gradient tightening along the northern border of the state as the thermal low deepens and moves northeast.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows the still winds aloft, as an upper-level low hangs out to our south, putting us in the middle of a small trough.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows that some Negative Vorticity Advection (NVA) will move south into the southern part of the state, which may help to mix out the remaining cloud cover.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows some rapidly-rising air west of Albuquerque this afternoon. This is evidence of the convection that may occur.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows no strong thermal advection over the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Overall, I expect some scattered showers. I’m trying to pick a day to drive an open pickup truck from Socorro to Albuquerque, and today may be the day, in spite of the rain potential. I don’t think it gets better throughout the week.

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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