New Mexico Weather: 8/10/16

Yesterday, there was a few sprinkles on the way home from Socorro near Belen, and then a few more as we drove through the northwestern part of Albuquerque.

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather has been warm, still and partly cloudy, with mostly high clouds in all directions. The backyard weather station says the temperature is 81.3 F, the relative humidity is 45%, the relative pressure is 30.30 in Hg and steady, and the winds are 3.8 mph from the northwest.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly cloudy day today, with a high temperature of 86 F and a 60% chance of showers and thunderstorms this afternoon. Winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph. Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 66 F and a 60% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Winds will be from the southwest at 5-10 mph. The NWS has issued a Flash Flood Watch for the area until 6 am Thursday evening. These are based on the tropical moisture that is flowing northeast ahead of the trough, as well as the saturated soil.

The visible satellite imagery shows that most of the state has some cloud cover this morning. A lot of the clouds are left-over anvils from yesterday’s storms and precipitation.

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

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that the moisture is being pushed to the southeast, and that the southwestern part of the state is much drier in the mid-levels than it was last week.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a nearly-saturated sounding above 600 mb, and there was 1.08 inches of precipitable water present in the column. There was 352 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -170 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) this morning as well. There was a strong and relatively thick thermal inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.6 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 18 kts, and the low-level shear was 0 kts. I’ve never seen 0 kts of shear before! The shear was due to a mix of speed and directional changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show that many stations in the central part of the state are reporting cloud cover. There are weak winds, mild temperatures and high dewpoints throughout the state. There are no major boundaries present over the state at this time.

The surface pressure map shows no strong pressure gradients over the state so far this morning.

The RAP shows a slight thermal low pressure system developing near the Arizona and New Mexico border, which will increase the pressure gradient through the state slightly over the next six hours. Winds speeds will increase slightly as a result of this pressure differential.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows the trough digging through the Four Corners area. There is also a split flow pattern that is merging at this location.

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 weakly-rising air over the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows no strong thermal advection, though it does show cooler temperatures over the state.

The precipitation chart shows that rainfall is possible over the entire state, with a few pockets of heavier rain possible.

Overall, it feels downright tropical outside today. It isn’t all that hot, but the humidity is climbing, feeling more like a VA summer than a NM summer. The lift is not strong, and we have no vorticity advection or frontal boundaries to help, but I believe we will have some rain tonight.

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

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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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