New Mexico Weather: 2/12/17

Yesterday was a pleasant day.  In Rio Rancho, it was breezy, partly cloudy and warm.

Currently, it is mostly cloudy, breezy and cool in Rio Rancho this morning.  Here is a photo from the west mesa in Rio Rancho, showing clouds over the Sandia Mountains this morning:

In Rio Rancho, my backyard weather station says the temperature is 49 F, the relative humidity is 36% (dewpoint 23 F), the relative pressure is 1026.4 mb and falling, and the winds are 8 mph from the north-northeast.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a mostly cloudy day, with a high temperature of 55 F. The winds will be from the east at 20-25 mph, gusting as high as 35 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 90% change of rain and show showers, and a low temperature of 30 F.  The winds will be from the east at 10-15 mph.  Up to an inch of snow is possible tonight.  The NWS has issued several products for our area:  a Special Weather Statement, a Hazardous Weather Outlook, a Winter Weather Advisory, and a High Wind Warning.  Here is the Watches and Warnings graphic from the NWS:

The visible satellite imagery shows quite a few clouds over the western half of the state, with the clouds tapering off to the east.

The enhanced infrared satellite imagery shows that the clouds to the west are quite thick.

The water vapor imagery shows moist air over the entire state, though the deeper moisture is over the western part of the state this morning.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a nearly-saturated layer near 600 mb.  Overall, there was 0.42 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 6.7 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 21 kts of low-level shear (due mostly to directional 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), moderate winds, and cloudy skies over most of the state.   The Doppler RADAR overlay shows that there is falling precipitation over the western part of the state at this time.

The surface pressure chart shows a strong pressure gradient over the state as lower pressure in the southwest transitions to higher pressure in the northeast.  The RAP shows that this gradient will persist over at least the next six hours.

Currently, the critical thickness chart shows all of the critical thicknesses so far north that they barely show up at all on this sector.  I have excluded this chart today, though I bet I’ll need it tomorrow morning.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows southerly flow as a closed, upper-level low at the bottom of a trough moves east from very southern Arizona and northern Mexico.

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 some rapidly-rising air over the southwestern corner of the state.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows strong Cold Air Advection (CAA) moving in as a back door cold front from the northeast.  Notice the strong winds blowing across the thermal gradient.

The Precipitation chart shows that precipitation will likely fall over most of the state by this evening.  This will continue for several days.

Well, winter has returned.  Sorry plants and trees that started to bud.  I am watching this system closely, as there is a chance of 3-7 inches of snow in Magdalena tomorrow, and I will need to decide whether it is worth venturing down there 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.
This entry was posted in Local WX, Practicing Concepts, Predictions, Radar Imagery, Satellite Imagery, Winter Weather and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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