New Mexico Weather: 8/6/16

There was quite a bit of rain yesterday. I don’t have the amounts, but it started raining in the early afternoon, and rained all evening, off and on. My garden is still damp this morning, and plenty of the places I run were soggy. We did lose power briefly yesterday afternoon.

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather is quite mild and pleasant, with still winds and mostly sunny skies. There are a few H2 left over cirrus from yesterday’s showers. The backyard weather station says that the temperature is 81.1 F, the relative humidity is 45%, the relative pressure is 30.31 in Hg and steady, and the winds are 1.6 mph from the west.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Marginal Risk for the very northeastern corner of the state today. There is less than a 2% chance of tornadoes.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly cloudy day today, with a high temperature of 87 F and a 50% chance of afternoon showers and thunderstorms. Winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph, shifting to the northwest by this evening. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 65 F and a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Winds will be from the southwest at 5-10 mph, shifting to the north after midnight. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the potential for heavy rainfall and flash flooding.

The visible satellite imagery shows the few cirrus clouds scattered around the state this morning.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that none of the clouds are very thick. They all have low, warm tops. This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is still ample moisture in the 700 mb to 400 mb level.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows another humid day, with low dewpoint depressions and 1.08 inches of precipitable water present in the column. There was 1116 J/kg of skinny Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -87 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH). There was only a tiny thermal inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.7 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 27 kts, and the low-level shear was 14 kts. Shear was a mixture of directional and speed changes at all levels.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show no strong boundaries over the state today. Temperatures are mild, dewpoints high, winds strong, and skies becoming clear over most of the state this morning.

The surface pressure map shows that we are under slightly higher pressure (1018 mb), and the pressure gradient is not very strong. The RAP shows that the pressure everywhere will decrease due to diurnal heating, and that the gradient will disappear over the net six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows almost no flow aloft over the state today, again.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no strong vorticity advection over the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows only a few small pockets of rapidly-rising air today. One is just outside of New Mexico, but will likely affect the northeastern corner of the state.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows some weak Cold Air Advection (CAA) into the southeastern corner of the state.

The Precipitation chart shows that rain is possible for most of the state this afternoon, except for perhaps the southeastern corner.

Overall, I expect rain around the Albuquerque Metro area today. The rising air is not as strong as it has been previously this week, so this will be a limiting factor for development. The northeastern corner of the state will have a chance at a few stronger storms, given the high upward vertical velocities.

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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