New Mexico Weather: 2/14/17

Yesterday was not nearly as snowy as I had expected.  There was almost no snow when I arrived in Socorro, and even though it snowed all day in Magdalena, very little of it was sticking to the ground.  I guess with several days of 70 F temperatures, the ground was warmer than the models predicted, and the snow never stuck.  Here are a few photos of the snow between Socorro and Magdalena, where it did manage to stick:

This morning, the weather in Socorro has been cool, still and overcast.   Here is a photo from Workman Hall on the New Mexico Tech campus in Socorro:

In Rio Rancho, my backyard weather station says the temperature is 34 F, the relative humidity is 99% (dewpoint 33 F), the relative pressure is 1021.3 mb and steady, and the winds are 62 mph from the north-northeast.  Today’s precipitation total is 0.18 inches.  I don’t believe some of this (the winds, in particular), and the reports are two hours old.  I will have to investigate; perhaps my weather station has frozen, or perhaps there is a computer problem.  I’ll find out sometime today.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly cloudy day, with a 20% chance of rain before 11 AM, with a high temperature of 47 F. The winds will be from the northeast at 5-10 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 28 F.  The winds will be from the east at 5 mph becoming west in the late evening.  The NWS did issue a Hazardous Weather Outlook, but it will expire soon as the precipitation decreases throughout the morning.

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The infrared satellite imagery shows fewer thick clouds in the northeastern corner of the state this morning.

The water vapor imagery shows that the deepest moisture has moved to our east, though the state is quite damp from this system’s precipitation.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows nearly-saturated air below 500 mb.  Overall, there was 0.41 inches of precipitable water present in the column.  There was 8 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.4 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 8 kts of low-level shear (a mix of directional and speed changes) and 26 kts of deep-layer shear (a mix of directional and speed changes) this morning.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cold temperatures, high humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions), light to moderate winds, and cloudy skies over most of the state.   The Doppler RADAR overlay shows that there is only patchy precipitation falling over the southern and eastern parts of the state this morning.

The surface pressure chart shows a weak high pressure system over the center of the state, but no strong pressure gradients this morning.  The RAP shows that no strong gradients are expected to develop, and the high pressure will strengthen slightly over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows weak, variable flow, as the jetstream snakes around the upper-level low.

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 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 that the precipitation will continue to decrease throughout the day.


The winter storm is finishing up over New Mexico, and moving east into warmer air, stirring up severe weather in Texas.  For us, we will begin a warming and drying spell over the next few days.  Today will be damp as the ground begins to dry, but little new precipitation will fall.

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, Photography, Practicing Concepts, Predictions, Radar Imagery, Satellite Imagery, Winter Weather and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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