New Mexico Weather: 6/9/16

In Socorro this morning, the weather is warm, still, and mostly sunny.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issues a Marginal Risk for severe weather over the eastern part of the state. There is less than a 2% tornado threat for the state today.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today with a high of 96 F and 10-15 mph northwest winds. Tonight will be partly cloudy with a few isolated showers and thunderstorms (10% chance of precipitation), a low temperature of 64 F and a 5-15 mph north wind. The NWS has also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for the thunderstorm potential in the Marginal Risk area. The primary threat will be gusty downdraft winds.

The visible satellite imagery shows only a few light clouds. I did not catch them at all until I looked at the infrared imagery.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows a few specks of clouds throughout the state, though none of them are very thick.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is still plenty of moisture at the mid levels over the state today. The few clouds are visible on this image as well.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows humid mid-levels, as we saw on the water vapor imagery. There was nearly 100% relative humidity between 550 mb and 450 mb, and there was 0.79 inches of precipitable water. However, the boundary layer was dry, and there was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present in the column this morning. There was no strong thermal inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 7.1 C/km

The deep-layer shear was 28 kts, and the low-level shear was 16 kts. All of the shear is a mix of speed and directional changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show warm temperatures, clear skies and still winds. I will point out that it is nearly 20 degrees warmer in Socorro than in Albuquerque, which leads me to believe that the Albuquerque station missed a report, as most of the area stations report higher temperatures as well.

The surface pressure map shows that the pressure is slightly low due to building thermal low pressure. There are no strong pressure gradients present this morning, and the RAP shows none developing over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that there is an upper-level low off the Pacific Northwest. We are still in a ridge, but perhaps that will change over the next few days. For now, upper-level winds are still over New Mexico.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows some Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA) over the northeastern corner of the state. The vorticity does not look strong in this image, but it is expected to intensify. This image shows its advection, however, with the winds blowing it over Clayton.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows two separate pockets of rapidly-rising air; one is associated with the afternoon thermal low, and the other is amplified by the PVA at 500 mb.

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

Overall, I expect that there will be some storms throughout the Albuquerque Metro area, based on the deepening of the thermal low and the available moisture. I am not expecting tornadoes, but if I was going to find the area of strongest storms, I would target somewhere between Clayton and Tucumcari, just inside the Marginal Risk area, thanks to that PVA.

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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