New Mexico Weather: 7/22/16

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather has been warm, humid, still and clear. The backyard weather station says the temperature is 88.9 F, the relative humidity is 27%, the relative pressure is 30.40 in Hg and steady, and the winds are still.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a sunny hot day today, with a high temperature of 98 F and calm winds becoming southwest at 5 mph by the afternoon. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 70 F and a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Winds will be from the southwest at 5-10 mph, shifting to the north by midnight. The NWS has also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the shower and thunderstorm potential today. Storms will be most likely in the western half of the state, with 1/2″ diameter hail, gusty downburst winds, heavy rains and brief flooding as the primary threats.

The visible satellite imagery and the enhanced infrared satellite imagery show no clouds over the state this morning. These images have been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that the moisture tongue has broadened, but there is still plenty of moisture aloft over the state this morning.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows another humid sounding, with 0.95 inches of precipitable water and moderate to low dewpoint depressions throughout the column. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) present, and a weak, thick thermal inversion near the surface. The 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.8 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 2 kts, and the low-level shear was 5 kts. The deep-layer shear is as low as I’ve ever personally witnessed. Most of the shear is due to directional changes, as there is virtually no “speed” to change.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show the warm temperatures, high dewpoints, clear skies and still winds. Many of the stations have no wind direction barbs at all. There are no major boundaries present on this image.

The surface pressure map shows a weak high pressure system over the Four Corners area and no strong thermal gradients over the state today. The RAP shows that diurnal heating will weaken the high pressure system, but no strong gradients will develop over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows virtually no flow aloft as we sit underneath an upper level high pressure ridge.

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 north of the Albuquerque Metro area by this afternoon.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows some weak Cold Air Advection (CAA) into the southeastern corner of the state, just as has been reported for the last few days.

The precipitation chart shows the possibility of rain for a large part of New Mexico again today.

Overall, I expect a few more showers and thunderstorms today. We haven’t gotten any of these so far, but perhaps we will today. My garden could use the rain.

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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