New Mexico Weather: 8/2/16

Yesterday, we had a brief rain in Socorro, and perhaps one here in Rio Rancho as well. The skies were overcast throughout my entire commute home from Socorro.

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was mild, humid, still and mostly cloudy. There are plenty of M3 Altocumulus clouds around, as shown by this photo from the train this morning.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a partly sunny day, with a high temperature of 88 F and a 20% chance of rain and thunderstorms. Winds will be from the northeast at 5 mph, shifting to the south. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 66 F and a 70% chance of showers and thunderstorms. The winds will be from the southeast at 5-10 mph, shifting to the northeast. The NWS has issued a Flash Flood Watch due to the heavy rains that we can expect today across much of the state. They’ve also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the heavy rainfall.

The visible satellite imagery shows quite a few clouds over the state today.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that none of the clouds are very thick, though there is one path of slightly thicker clouds over the southeastern part of the state.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is still broad, deep moisture above most of the state this morning.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows the humid atmosphere this morning, with low dewpoint depressions and 1.28 inches of precipitable water present in the column. There was 727 J/kg of skinny Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -108 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH). There was no strong thermal inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.7 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 6 kts, and the low-level shear was 10 kts. Shear at all levels was due largely to directional changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show clear skies, still winds, high dewpoints and mild temperatures so far this morning. The surface dewpoint depressions are quite low, making the humidity high.

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 little to no flow over the state today.

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 rapidly-rising air along the I-40 corridor by this afternoon.

The 850 mb NAM chart does not show any strong thermal advection over the state today, but do notice that the temperatures are slightly cooler than they’ve been for several days.

The Precipitation chart shows that much of the state can expect some rain today, with heavy rains possible in many areas.

Overall, I expect a rainy day here in Albuquerque. Looking forward through this week, I see rain almost every day. It’s about time our monsoon season included some precipitation. I will likely walk 1.7 miles home in the rain this evening though, due to poor planning on my part…

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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