New Mexico Weather: 7/27/16

Yesterday, the skies clouded up nicely, but I didn’t get any rain.

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather is hot, a bit humid, still and sunny. The backyard weather station says the temperatures is 91.8 F, the relative humidity is 35%, the relative pressure is 30.32 in Hg and steady, and the winds are 1.6 mph from the west. There are a few L1 cumulus clouds around.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 94 F and a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Wind will be from the north at 5-10 mph. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 68 F and a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning high rainfall rates (> 1 inch per hour) and the potential for flash flooding.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Marginal Risk for the Boot Heel area as well, with less than a 2% chance of tornadoes. The primary threat will be strong downdraft gusts.

The visible satellite imagery shows some cumulus clouds near the mountains. It looks like upslope flow is causing a few clouds to form.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that none of the clouds are thick. They have low, warm tops.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that the deep moisture has shifted a bit south, and now extends through the southwestern corner of the state through the northeastern corner as the trailing edge of the moisture, rather than the leading edge.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a humid sounding with low dewpoint depressions and 1.15 inches of precipitable water present in the column. There was 841 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -156 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) this morning. There was a weak, yet deep, thermal inversion this morning, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.5 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 16 kts, and the low-level shear was 4 kts. Most of the shear was due to directional changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show still winds, clear skies, and moderate dewpoints throughout the state. There are no major boundaries present over the state so far this morning.

The surface pressure map shows no strong pressure gradients over the state this morning. The RAP shows that none are expected to develop in the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows still air aloft again today. However, a small shortwave trough has started to dig into the Northern Great Plains. This will not have tremendous impact on New Mexico; it’s just nice to see the pattern disturbed for a change.

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 over the state today, though it is not very strong. I did exclude this chart from today’s post.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows slightly cooler temperatures this afternoon as a result of some weak Cold Air Advection (CAA) pushing in from the southeast.

The Precipitation chart shows that rain is expected over much of the state today, particularly in the southeastern half of the state.

Overall, I expect a few scattered showers and thunderstorms. As much as I’d like the rain to help my garden along, I don’t think I can count on it today.

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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