New Mexico Weather: 9/25/16

Yesterday, we received no rain in Rio Rancho or Albuquerque.  It was breezy and warm in the afternoon, and chilly at night.

In Rio Rancho this morning, the weather has been still, cool and mostly sunny.  The backyard weather station says the temperature is 63.3 F, the relative humidity is 31%, the relative pressure is 30.41 in Hg and rising, and the winds are 3.3 mph from the south.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a sunny day today, with a high temperature of 74 F.  The winds will be from the east at 15-20 mph, gusting as high as 30 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 46 F and a east wind at 15-20 mph, gusting as high as 30 mph.  The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the gusty winds, particularly in the eastern Plains and in canyon and gap areas.

The visible satellite imagery shows a few clouds, particularly over the eastern part of the state.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery show no thick clouds over the state this morning.

The water vapor imagery shows plenty of moisture in the 700 mb to 400 mb band.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a relatively dry sounding with low dewpoints and was 0.41 inches of precipitable water present in the column.  There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH) present this morning.  There was a moderate thermal inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.9 C/km.

The deep-layer shear was 15 kts, and the low-level shear was 9 kts.  Shear at all levels was due largely to a mix speed and directional changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show clear skies, light winds, cool temperatures and low humidity cover most of the the state this morning.  Notice that the eastern plains defies this trend- very windy conditions and some clouds linger this morning.  We will see more of this weather in the Albuquerque area by this evening.

The surface pressure map shows high pressure over the Rocky Mountains, leading to a tight pressure gradient across the state today.  The RAP shows that this will continue for at least the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that there is a closed, upper-level low to our southwest, placing us in an area of moderate, upper-level winds.  Depending on your location in the state, the winds will vary heavily in speed and direction.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no strong vorticity advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows only weak Upward Vertical Velocities (UVV) over the east-central part of the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows some strong Cold Air Advection (CAA) as a back door cold front moving into the eastern part of the state.

The Precipitation chart shows some rain is possible over the southeastern corner of the state where the cold front will interact with more humid boundary layer conditions.

I expected another day of transition as this backdoor cold front sweeps through this evening.  Winds will (once again) be much higher than I had predicted earlier this week.  However, I expect there will be no precipitation in the Albuquerque Metro area.

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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