New Mexico Weather: 11/16/16

Yesterday was mostly sunny and clear.  The temperature remained mild, and the winds light.

This morning has been cool, still and mostly cloudy.  The backyard weather station needs a battery change, but it magically worked today.  The temperature is 66.7 F, the relative humidity is 26%, the relative pressure is 30.08 in Hg and falling, and the winds are 3.1 mph from the west-northwest.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a mostly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 69 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 5-10 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 43 F.  Winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph.  The NWS has issued a variety of products concerning the cold and the wind that is expected in the next few days.  Many areas will experience their first freeze, and the high wind and low humidity will lead to fire weather conditions.

The visible satellite imagery shows that much of the state is under some cloud cover today.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that the clouds are not very thick.  They have low, warm tops.

The water vapor imagery shows that there is some moisture, in the form of clouds, over the state today.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque was quite dry.  There was only 0.35 inches of precipitable water in the column this morning.  There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH) present this morning.  There was a large, deep thermal inversion near the surface.  The 0-3 km average lapse rate was 2.0 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 14 kts of low-level shear and 51 kts of deep-layer shear. Shear at all levels was due to speed  changes.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mild temperatures, low humidity (as shown by low dewpoints), light winds, and clear across the state so far this morning.  There are no major boundaries over the state.

The surface pressure map shows that a low pressure system has developed over eastern Colorado, and will begin to move northeast with the trough.  This low pressure has left a moderate gradient over the northeastern part of the state today.  The RAP shows that this low pressure will continue to deepen over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows southwesterly flow over the state today as a strong trough approaches.  This trough will be the focus of our weather threat for several days.

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 rapidly-rising air, followed by rapidly-sinking air.  This pattern is over the northern part of the central mountain chain.  When I see this, I know that there will be strong winds forcing up the mountain on one side, then down the mountain on the other side.

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

The Precipitation chart shows that there is little chance of precipitation today, statewide.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Overall, today is the first day of transition for our area.  Fire Weather Conditions are probable and freezing temperatures likely over vast areas of the state ahead of this trough and associated cold front.

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 TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from NASA – MSFC

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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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