Yesterday was cool, still and partly cloudy. In the evening, we had some snow flurries, but no accumulation.
Currently, it is partly cloudy, still and cold. Here is a photo of the sunrise from the train station in downtown Albuquerque.
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 57 F, with south winds at 10 mph, increasing to 20-25 mph, gusting as high as 35 mph. This evening will be partly cloudy, with a 30% chance of rain, and a low temperature of 33 F. The winds will be from the southwest at 15 mph. The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the snow that will continue to fall in the northern and western parts of the state through this evening. They have also issued several Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories for the higher elevations, 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 moisture being pulled from the southwest over New Mexico. This moisture is being pulled by a strong low pressure system just off the coast of the Pacific Northwest.
The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a relatively damp atmosphere this morning. Overall, there 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. There was no thermal inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 3.7 C/km.
The hodograph shows that there was 23 kts of low-level shear (mostly directional changes) and 111 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 clear skies over most of the state. There are a few cloudy stations in the north. The Doppler RADAR overlay shows very little falling precipitation. There are no major frontal boundaries over the state so far this morning.
The surface pressure chart shows that the pressure has dropped from yesterday, and that there are no strong pressure gradients over the state at this time. The RAP shows no strong pressure gradients developing in the next six hours, but it does show increased wind speeds.
The Critical Thickness chart shows that the critical thickness contours are to our west so far today. They are expected to drift east as a cold front approaches the area from the west.
Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows strong southwesterly flow, as a strong jetstreak moves over the northwestern part of the state today.
The 500 mb NAM chart shows some moderate Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA) as moderate vorticity moves into the northwestern corner of the state just behind the trough’s leading edge.
The 700 mb NAM chart shows no rapidly-rising air over the state today. There is strong lift over Arizona, so we may see some of this by this evening. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.
The 850 mb NAM chart shows moderate Cold Air Advection (CAA) in the form of a eastward-moving cold front. This will drop temperatures by 00Z, particularly in the western part of the state.
The Precipitation chart shows only the northwester corner of the state receiving precipitation by 00Z. Instead, I have included the 06Z chart that shows more widespread precipitation later this evening.
I do expect rainy conditions tonight at the lower elevations, and snow in the north, west, and higher elevations. Right now, it is almost clear as the train approaches Belen, but it will cloud up by the evening.
My thoughts and prayers are with the folks in the south that were affected by the tornadoes that struck yesterday.
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 College of DuPage – SATRAD