New Mexico Weather: 1/11/17

Yesterday was mild, still and mostly sunny.  The talk of the town in Rio Rancho, Albuquerque, Socorro and Magdalena yesterday morning was the wind on Monday night and early yesterday morning.

Currently, it is partly cloudy, cool and still.  Here are a few photos of the sunrise over Albuquerque:



The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 65 F.  The winds will be from the south at 10-15 mph.  This evening will be mostly clear, with a low temperature of 34 F, and winds will be from the southwest at 5-10 mph, becoming north after midnight.  The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning gusty winds over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and a possible wintry mix for the upcoming weekend.  They have issued several High Wind Advisories and High Wind Warnings as well.  The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below.

The visible satellite imagery shows several bands of clouds stretching southwest to northeast over the state today.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that there are a few clouds over the state this morning.   They are not very thick, with warm, low tops.

The water vapor satellite imagery shows several bands of moisture that represent the bands of clouds.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry layer near the surface, followed by a nearly-saturated layer above 750 mb.  There was 0.32 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH).  There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 4.9 C/km.

The hodograph shows 21 kts of low-level shear (mostly directional changes) and 88 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly speed changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cold temperatures, low humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions), light winds, and mostly clear skies.   Notice how the surface dewpoints are lower today than they were yesterday; there is less moisture available at the surface.  This is backed by the 12Z sounding as well.  There are no major frontal boundaries present on this chart so far this morning.

The surface pressure chart shows that the central mountain chain and the northeastern corner of the state are still under a moderate pressure gradient.  The RAP shows that this gradient will decrease throughout the day, but breezy conditions are still expected over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows zonal flow over the state today. There is a weak jetstreak passing through the northern part of the state, and this weak jetstreak has several embedded shortwaves.  I hesitate to call this pattern a trough, more like a split-flow pattern around an upper-level low over Oregon.

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

The 700 mb NAM chart shows a strong wind pattern over the state today, with rapidly-rising air on the windward sides of the mountains, and rapidly sinking air on the lee sides.

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 no precipitation over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Socorro will be mostly sunny and precipitation-free today.  The RAP shows breezy conditions, statewide, though the pressure gradient is not very strong, and we are under average relative air pressure this morning.

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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