In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was overcast, cool, humid and there was a slight breeze. The backyard weather station says the temperature is 83.3 F, the relative humidity is 36%, the relative pressure is 30.26 in Hg and steady, and the winds are 2.2 mph from the southwest.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a partly sunny day today with a high temperature of 92 F and a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Calm winds will become north winds at 5 mph by this afternoon. This evening will be mostly cloudy with a low temperature of 67 F and a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms. There will be a southeast wind of 10 mph this evening as well. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning strong to severe thunderstorms this afternoon, particularly in the northeastern part of the state. Hail and strong winds will be the primary threat associated with these storms. In addition, storms throughout the region may have heavy rainfall, which can lead to flash flooding. Skywarn Spotters are encouraged to report severe weather and rainfall amounts to the NWS.
The visible satellite imagery shows a long, broad band of clouds stretching from southwest to northeast through the state.
The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that these clouds are not very thick, and all have warm, low tops.
The water vapor satellite imagery shows that we are in the western edge of the moisture drawn by the low pressure system that is over northern Mexico this morning.
The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows another humid day today, with low dewpoint depressions above 650 mb and 0.99 inches of precipitable water present in the column. There was 123 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -305 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH). There was only a small, weak capping inversion near the surface. The 0-3 km average lapse rate was 7.4 C/km.
The deep-layer shear was 10 kts, and the low-level shear was 7 kts. Shear at all levels was largely due to directional changes.
The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show still winds, mild temperatures, relatively high dewpoints, and still winds. There is a weak dryline that runs through the eastern third of the state.
The surface pressure map shows no strong pressure gradients over the state today. The RAP shows that none are expected to develop over the next six hours.
Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the polar jet is far to our north, and the tropical jet is far to our south. This leaves us in the middle with only very weak zonal flow.
The 500 mb NAM chart shows no strong vorticity advection over the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post. This is expected, given the 300 mb pattern.
The 700 mb NAM chart shows some rapidly-rising air extending southwest from the Albuquerque metro area.
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 that there will be a few showers throughout the area. The overcast skies this morning threaten rain, but they are more bark than bite, so I expect the 20% is accurate. However, given the ample moisture, inverted-v sounding and rising air at 700 mb, storms that form may have strong downdraft winds.
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