New Mexico Weather: 2/11/17

Yesterday was a pleasant day.  In Socorro, it was warm and mostly sunny.  It was still and precipitation-free all day.

Currently, it is mostly cloudy, breezy and mild in Rio Rancho this morning.  Here is a photo from my back door, showing the blanket of clouds:

In Rio Rancho, my backyard weather station says the temperature is 64 F, the relative humidity is 29% (dewpoint 30 F), the relative pressure is 1016.6 mb and rising, and the winds are 8 mph from the east-southeast.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a partly sunny day, with a high temperature of 70 F. The winds will be from the southwest at 10-15 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 43 F.  The winds will be from the west at 5-10 mph, becoming east after midnight.  The NWS has issued several products for our area:  a Special Weather Statement, a Hazardous Weather Outlook, and a High Wind Advisory are in place concerning the strong winds, changing temperatures and potential for snow over the next few days.  Here is the Watches and Warnings graphic:

The visible satellite imagery shows a few bands of clouds over the Albuquerque Metro area this morning. There are more clouds coming.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that the band of clouds over the center of the state is of moderate thickness, with cool, high tops.

The water vapor imagery shows dry air over most of the state this morning.  However, if you look to our west, the next trough will bring ample Pacific moisture.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows well-mixed moisture through most of the atmosphere this morning.  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 a small thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.4 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 21 kts of low-level shear (due mostly to speed changes) and 60 kts of deep-layer shear (due mostly to speed changes) this morning.

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

The surface pressure chart shows a lee-side low developing over southeastern Colorado.  That low has put a moderate pressure gradient in place for the very north central part of the state this morning.  The RAP shows the low moving out and the gradient decreasing over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows southwesterly flow as the next trough approaches the state from the west.

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 no rapidly-rising air over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

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 significant precipitation over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Today is the first day of some changing weather.  I expect a mostly cloudy day here in Rio Rancho, with no precipitation and breezy winds.  Tonight, the winds will pick up, and later this weekend, we will see some precipitation.  I will post more about that tomorrow.

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 College of DuPage – SATRAD


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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