Yesterday was cool, still and mostly sunny. Last night was cool, still and partly cloudy.
This morning in Rio Rancho, the weather has been cool, still and mostly cloudy. The backyard weather station says the temperature is 57.2 F, with a relative humidity of 43%, relative pressure of 30.15 in Hg and rising, and 2.2 mph west winds.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts a partly sunny day today, with a high temperature of 56 F. The winds will be from the northwest at 15 mph. This evening will be mostly clear, with a low temperature of 33 F. Winds will be from the northwest at 5-10 mph, becoming northeast after midnight. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning a back door cold front that will bring cooler temperatures and gusty winds through to the central mountain chain late this evening and early tomorrow morning.
The visible satellite imagery shows some cloud cover over much of the state, though the southwest and central parts of the state are clear.
The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that a few thick clouds are exiting the state to the east.
The water vapor satellite imagery shows deep moisture over the entire state.
The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows that there is a moderate amount of moisture in the column, and that the moisture is well mixed throughout. There was 0.48 inches of precipitable water present. There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH). There was a moderate thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 3.7 C/km.
The hodograph shows 18 kts of low-level shear (mostly directional changes) and 54 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly speed changes).
The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cold temperatures, a few cloudy skies, low to moderate dew points and light, variable winds. There are no major frontal boundaries present over the state so far this morning.
The surface pressure chart shows a weak lee-side low that had developed just east of the central mountain chain. This has created a moderate pressure gradient through the state. However, the RAP shows that this low will weaken over the next six hours and reduce the pressure gradient.
Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows weak northwesterly to zonal flow over the state today.
The 500 mb NAM chart shows no major vorticity advection over the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.
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 that the back door cold front is beginning to affect the northeastern corner of the state by 0Z. This shows up as Cold Air Advection (CAA) on this chart.
The Precipitation chart shows some precipitation over the northwestern corner of the state. Currently, the critical thickness contours and the temperature point to rain over snow.
Today will be partly sunny, cool and breezy for most of the state. The temperatures will begin to drop this evening as the back door cold front approaches from the northeast and the north. We are headed into a flat pattern with nearly-zonal flow for a few days.
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