New Mexico Weather: 8/31/16

Yesterday remained partly cloudy in Socorro, and no rain fell.

In Socorro this morning, the weather was mild, still and partly cloudy.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly cloudy day, with a 60% chance of showers and thunderstorms and a high temperature of 76 F. The winds will be from the northwest at 5-10 mph shifting to the east in the afternoon. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms and a low temperature of 59 F. The winds will be from the southeast at 5-10 mph. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the potential for localized flooding. Storms will be slow-moving and will drop heavy rainfall, especially on and east of the central mountain chains.

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows no thick clouds over the state today. This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that we still have a strong dryline running from southwest to northeast through the state, with dry air on the northwestern side. Albuquerque sits right along this boundary this morning.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a humid atmosphere up to 500 mb, with low dewpoint depressions and 0.95 inches of precipitable water. There was 340 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and only -16 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH). There was no thermal inversion at all, 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 11 kts. Shear at all levels was a mix of speed and directional changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cloudy skies and still winds over most of the state this morning. The temperatures are mild in most locations, and moisture is heavily weighted on the eastern side of the state. The radar overlay shows some lingering showers and thunderstorms over the southeastern corner of the state this morning, though all are below severe limits.

The surface pressure map shows that there is still higher pressure over the NM/CO border. There are no strong pressure gradients over the state this morning, and the RAP shows that none are expected to develop in the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the trough has moved and weakened, though another one had dug south into California. However, we are now in the center of the ridge that exists between these troughs, with one stray jetstreak exiting the eastern part of the state today.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no strong vorticity advection over the state today. There is a vorticity maxima over the southeastern corner, and that will lead to some convective development.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows no rapidly-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, but those 850 mb temperatures are relatively cool for late summer.

The Precipitation chart shows that most of the state could have rainfall today, though the heaviest rain will be between Tucumcari and Lovington.

Overall, I expect a rainy, potentially stormy day over much of the state. The slightly elevated CAPE with little CINH and the fact that the dryline runs through the middle of the state will bring about some convection. The southeastern corner will receive even more rain, as they have some vorticity and an exiting jetstreak to work with as well.

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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