New Mexico Weather: 8/14/16

There was a few sprinkles of rain yesterday afternoon. It was just enough to cause me to tape up my window. Spending the time taping up the window acted as insurance that the heavier rains would not come, however, and it was partly cloudy and windy the rest of the day.

In Rio Rancho this morning, the skies are mostly sunny. The backyard weather station says the temperature is 81.1 F, the relative humidity is 34%, the relative pressure is 30.39 in Hg and steady, and the winds are 0.7 mph from the south-southeast.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 86 F and a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph. This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 63 F and a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms. The southeast winds of 5-10 mph will shift to the northeast after midnight. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning heavy rainfall and localized flooding, particularly in the southwestern and central parts of the state, including the Albuquerque Metro area.

The visible satellite imagery shows the trough clearly. Notice the distinct line of clouds ahead of the trough.

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

The water vapor satellite imagery shows the trough as well. This trough has scoured most of the deep moisture from the western and central parts of the state.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a drying trend aloft, though there is some moisture in the boundary layer. There is still 0.77 inches of precipitable water present in the column. There was 29 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -414 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH). There are two small thermal inversions present in the column and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.1 C/km.

The hodograph is unavailable at this time.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mild temperatures, moderate surface dewpoints, clear skies and still winds. There is a wind shift from the eastern part of the state to the western part of the state. It might be the place where the back door cold front will form.

The surface pressure map shows that there is some high pressure in the eastern part of the state (1022 mb), though there are no strong pressure gradients across the state this morning. The RAP shows that the pressure will drop, but no strong pressure gradients are expected in the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the trough has continued east, and New Mexico is sitting in the stable air behind the leading edge. There may be another trough on its way, though I won’t know until I do a full model analysis later 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 no major pockets of rapidly-rising air today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows Cold Air Advection (CAA) in the form of a back door cold front pushing through the state from the east. Notice the winds blowing across the thermal gradient from cold to warm.

The NAM Precipitation chart shows that the I-25 corridor may get some rain today, but most of the state will remain dry.

Overall, I expect that some areas along the I-25 corridor will get some rain. The surface dewpoint here has dropped, along with the surface relative humidity. Perhaps the moisture is mixing out, and the chances of rain will drop. However, there is still that CAA moving in that may amp up a few afternoon showers. The biggest factor is that I have yet to fix my car window, but I have removed the plastic, so it will probably rain 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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