All bark and no bite here in Rio Rancho yesterday. There were no storms and no rain, though it did cloud up.
In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was hot, slightly breezy and mostly clear. the backyard weather station says the temperature is 93.9 F, the relative humidity is 21%, the relative pressure is 30.30 in Hg and steady, and the winds are 0.7 mph from the north.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 91 F, isolated showers and thunderstorms (10% chance of precipitation) and a southwest wind of 5-10 mph. This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 61 F, and isolated showers and thunderstorms (10% chance of precipitation again) and the winds will be from the southwest at 5-10 mph. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the storm potential this afternoon. Storms will be stronger and more likely in the northeastern part of the state, where gusty winds and small hail are possible. Skywarn Spotter activation is unlikely.
The visible satellite imagery shows a few cumulus clouds along the mountain ridges due to upslope flow.
The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows no thick clouds. This image has been excluded from today’s post.
The water vapor satellite imagery shows that moisture is nearly uniform across the state this morning.
The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a humid sounding, though I bet it is becoming less humid throughout the day. There were low dewpoint depressions below 475 mb, and the precipitable water was 0.87 inches. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and only a slight thermal inversion near the surface. The 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.9 C/km.
The deep-layer shear was 22 kts, and the low-level shear was 14 kts. We are starting to see some speed shear returning to the area as a trough approaches from the west.
The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show clear skies, warm temperatures, light winds, and a dryline separating the eastern third of the state (humid side) from the rest of the state (dry side).
The surface pressure map shows that there are no strong pressure gradients over the state this morning.
The RAP shows that a thermal low pressure system is expected to develop over the northeastern part of the state over the next six hours. This is part of the reason stronger storms are expected in this area.
Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the trough will dig into northern Mexico by this evening and will give us some upper level winds from the southwest.
The 500 mb NAM chart shows no strong vorticity advection over the state today. This chart is excluded from today’s post.
The 700 mb NAM chart shows some rising air over the northwestern part of the state this afternoon, though not nearly as strong as it has been over the past few days.
The 850 mb NAM chart shows some Cold Air Advection (CAA) moving eastward from Arizona into the western part of the state this afternoon. This is just ahead of the trough.
Overall, I expect showers and thunderstorms will be sparse this afternoon, based on the position of the low and the 700 mb NAM chart. However, it is hot, and the atmosphere is still plenty humid, based on the precipitable water from the morning sounding, so showers and thunderstorms are certainly possible.
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