New Mexico Weather: 8/21/16

Yesterday, we had some rain off and on in Rio Rancho. To our east, there was a brief Severe Thunderstorm Warning, though the storm weakened quickly after the warning was issued. Here is a radar image of that storm:

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was mild, sunny and still. The backyard weather station says the temperature is 82.4 F, the relative humidity is 36%, the relative pressure is 30.31 in Hg and rising, and the winds are 4.5 mph from the northwest.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a partly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 82 F and scattered showers and thunderstorms. There is a 40% chance of precipitation and winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 59 F and scattered showers and thunderstorms. There is a 40% chance of precipitation and winds will be from the southeast at 5-10 mph. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the showers and thunderstorms that will form this evening. Storm initiation is expected over Lincoln and Chavez counties, with storm motion to the west and north. Because of the slow storm motion and heavy rainfall, localized flooding is the primary threat.

The visible satellite imagery shows that the southeastern quadrant of the state still has cloud cover left over from yesterday’s showers and thunderstorms. Skies are clear throughout the rest of the state.

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

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that the same cold front stretches through the middle of the country, though there has been significant moisture return into New Mexico behind the frontal boundary.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a humid sounding, with 0.86 inches of precipitable water and low dewpoint depressions throughout the column. There was 42 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -247 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) present this morning. There was no strong thermal inversion and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.5 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 10 kts, and the low-level shear was 4 kts. Shear aloft was due largely to speed changes, and low-level shear was due largely to directional changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mild temperatures, light winds, and moderate dew points, statewide. A few lingering showers remain over the southeastern part of the state, according to the radar overlay. Dewpoints and cloud cover are higher in the eastern part of the state, placing a diffuse dryline somewhere between Tucumcari and Albuquerque. It would be nice to have a station in Santa Rose and Clines Corners for better reference.

The surface pressure map shows no major pressure gradients over the state thus far this morning.

However, the RAP shows that a deepening thermal low over the Colorado Rockies and the stubbornness of the relative high pressure (not really, high, 1014 mb, just higher than everything else), will set up a pressure gradient in the northern part of the state this afternoon. Winds will pick up in this area over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows nearly zonal flow across the state this afternoon, with stronger velocities in the south.

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 in a few pockets, though not as strong as yesterday’s ascent.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows some Cold Air Advection (CAA) into the eastern part of the state, but notice the cooler air aloft in a small pocket over Roswell. I’m not 100% sure what this is- is it a cold pool due to the limited diurnal heating (due to the cloud cover)? Is it that there is enough precipitation expected in this area that temperatures will be lower overall? I need to refresh my numerical modeling knowledge!

The Precipitation chart shows most of the state could see rainfall tonight, particularly in the southeastern corner of the state.

Overall, I expect that there will be some rain today, though I really want to follow the weather today. I don’t see the rising air at 700 mb, and I’m not sure what is happening at the 850 mb level.

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.
This entry was posted in Local WX, Practicing Concepts, Predictions, Radar Imagery, Satellite Imagery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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