New Mexico Weather: 9/11/16

Yesterday, there was no rain and barely any clouds all day.  It was quite pleasant.  The evening was perfect for going to the state fair, and judging by the crowds and lines, I wasn’t the only one who thought so.

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather was cool, mostly sunny and still. The backyard weather station says the temperature if 83.7 F, the relative humidity is 37%, the relative pressure is 30.37 in Hg and steady, and the winds are 2.2 mph from the west.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 85 F, and a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms.  The winds will be from the west at 5-10 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 59 F and a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms before midnight.  The winds will be from the west wind of 5-10 mph, shifting to the southwest after midnight.

The visible satellite imagery and infrared satellite imagery show virtually no clouds over the state so far this morning.  These images have been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor imagery shows a weak moisture plume through New Mexico and Colorado.  Monsoon season is not yet over!

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a humid layer from 600 mb to 650 mb.  There was 0.88 inches of precipitable water in the column this morning.  There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH). There were several slight thermal inversion present, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.2 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 19 kts, and the low-level shear was 11 kts. Shear at all levels was due to mostly speed changes, with the exception of the lowest wind barb.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show sunny skies, warm temperatures, and light winds.  There are no major frontal boundaries present over the state, though there might be a dryline that runs east to west between Socorro and Albuquerque, as the dewpoint jumps six degrees along I-25.

The surface pressure map shows slightly higher pressure over the state this morning (1020 mb), with no strong pressure gradients present.  This gradient will fade to a slightly lower pressure (1008 mb) and no strong pressure gradients, due to diurnal heating over the next six hours, according to the RAP.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows a split-flow pattern developing, with a large, weak, broad jetstreak over the state by 0 Z this evening, with slightly stronger flow in the northern part of the state.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no significant vorticity advection over the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.  500 mb winds will be from the west.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows two pockets of rapidly-rising air, both of which are north of I-40.  The western-most one will be the area of initiation for showers and thunderstorms that will affect the Albuquerque and Santa Fe metro areas this evening.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows no strong thermal advection over the state today.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The Precipitation chart shows that rain is most likely in the northwestern corner of the state.

Overall, I expect that there will be a few storms and some precipitation today.  The nearly-saturated layer and the rapidly-rising air at 700 mb will both be contributing factors to these showers.  The sounding has an “inverted-v” shape, so I am a little surprised that there isn’t a higher threat of strong downburst winds.

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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