New Mexico Weather: 9/9/16

Yesterday, the skies cleared up by the afternoon, with only a few light clouds about.  The day turned out to be hot, humid and still.

In Socorro this morning, the weather was cool, still and clear.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a sunny day today, with a high temperature of 90 F and a north wind of around 10 mph.  This evening will be mostly clear, with a low temperature of 60 F and a north wind of 5-15 mph.  The NWS has also issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning a strong cold front that is expected to push into the state by this evening.  This cold front will generate gusty winds and the potential for severe thunderstorms, with strong winds and hail as the primary threats.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Marginal Risk for severe weather this afternoon and evening, as shown in the graphic below.


The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

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

The water vapor satellite imagery shows that the trough scoured much of the moisture from the area.  However, it is not entirely dry aloft.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a significantly drier day today, with large dewpoint depressions (except for the surface layer), and 0.43 inches of precipitable water present in the column.  There was 46 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -475 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH).  There was a slight, thick temperature inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.0 C/km.


The deep-layer shear was 17 kts, and the low-level shear was 23 kts. Shear at all levels was due to a mix of speed and directional changes.


The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool temperatures, high humidity (as expressed by low surface dewpoint depressions), and light winds over much of the state this morning. Cloud cover varies, but skies are mostly clear.  There are no major frontal boundaries over the state at this time.

The surface pressure map shows the trough digging into Colorado. There are no major pressure gradients over the state so far this morning.

Over the next six hours, a thermal low will develop over the eastern plains of New Mexico.  The pressure gradient is not expected to increase initially, but notice the sharp gradient in Colorado.  As the cold front pushes in from the east, we will see a sharper pressure gradient, much like what exists in Colorado at this time.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the trough has attenuated and is no longer over New Mexico.  Instead, we have a weak, zonal flow pattern again.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows that we have a large arear of negative vorticity.  The winds are not blowing it far to advect it.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows a weak pocket of rising air near the Albuquerque Metro area by this afternoon.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows strong Cold Air Advection (CAA) moving into the northeastern corner of the state from Kansas later this evening.   Notice the strong arrows directed across the theral gradient from cold to warm.

The Precipitation chart does not show much precipitation by this afternoon.

Overall, I will be watching the cold front.  I didn’t quite expect that when I looked at long term models earlier this week.  However, the moisture has decreased significantly in the Albuquerque Metro area, so I expect showers and thunderstorms will be unlikely.

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, Satellite Imagery and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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