New Mexico Weather: 1/20/17

Yesterday was cool, partly cloudy and still from Magdalena to Rio Rancho.  I spent the majority of the day inside, so I can’t say much more about it.It did not get as windy as I had expected.

Currently, it is mostly cloudy, still and cold.  This is a photo from the train station at Isleta:

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a partly sunny day, with a 20% chance of rain, and a high temperature of 52 F.  The winds will be from the south at 10-15 mph, becoming west at 20-25 mph, gusting as high as 35 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 50% chance of rain (less than 0.1 inches) and a low temperature of 33 F.  The winds will be from the west at 5-15 mph, becoming south after midnight.   The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning strong winds over the mountains and eastern plains, as well as accumulating snow over the west and central mountains.  They have also issued several Winter Weather products for the northern and western parts of the state today, as shown in the NWS Watches and Warnings map:

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that these clouds are not very thick, with low, warm tops.

The water vapor imagery shows ample moisture over the state this morning.  There are no major boundaries shown over the state this morning on this image.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a nearly saturated layer from 700 mb to 550 mb.   Overall, there was 0.34 inches of precipitable water present in the column.  There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was no thermal inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 7.7 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 18 kts of low-level shear (mostly speed changes) and 68 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly speed changes) this morning.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool temperatures, high humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions), light winds, and cloudy skies over most of the state this morning.  There are no major frontal boundaries over the state so far this morning.

The surface pressure chart shows a moderate pressure gradient over the state today as a lee side low churns over eastern Colorado.  Overall, our pressure is also low, however, as a 1004 mb low pressure pocket forms ahead of the trough over the western part of the state.  The RAP shows that the pressure gradient is expected to tighten over the next six hours.

The Critical Thickness chart  shows that the critical thickness contours are to our north this morning, with the exception of the 5400 m contour near the Four Corners area and the 0 C surface isotherm.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows zonal flow over the state today as the trough digs south into Mexico.

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

The 700 mb NAM chart shows no rapidly-rising air over the state today.  There is some rapidly falling air east of the central mountain chain.  This is due to the windy conditions expected this afternoon.

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

The Precipitation chart shows that there is a chance of precipitation over most of the state by 0Z.

I heard on the radio that the roads over the central mountain chain, including I-40 were becoming quite snow-covered.  I expect more snow to fall in these areas over the next several days.  I may go into the National Weather Service office this afternoon and launch the 0Z balloon, or I may just go home to avoid the snow.  Luxuries as a volunteer versus a full employee, I suppose!

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.
This entry was posted in Local WX, Photography, Practicing Concepts, Predictions, Satellite Imagery, Uncategorized, Winter Weather and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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