New Mexico Weather: 2/20/17

Yesterday was mostly cloudy, with light rain off and on all day.  At one point, there was some falling snow, but it quickly melted on contact with the ground (or the windshield, in my case).  Some of the clouds were vertically developing cumulus clouds.  Here is a photo of a line of showers moving across Albuquerque:

This morning has been cool, breezy and sunny.  Here is the scene from Workman Hall on the New Mexico Tech campus in Socorro:

In Rio Rancho, my backyard weather station says the temperature is 47 F, the relative humidity is 60% (dewpoint 33 F), the relative pressure is 1023.0 mb and steady, and the winds are 11 mph, gusting to 20 mph, from the south-southwest.

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 62 F. The winds will be from the north at 15 mph.  This evening will be clear, with a low temperature of 36 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 5-10 mph.  The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning gusty winds and potential fire weather later this week.

The visible satellite imagery shows mostly snow reflections instead of clouds.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The infrared satellite imagery shows no thick clouds over the state this morning.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor imagery shows that drier air is moving in behind the trough, eating away the few clouds that linger from yesterday.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows extremely dry air above 500 mb; dewpoints of -60 F or lower.  There is a nearly-saturated layer at 700 mb.   Overall, there was 0.29 inches of precipitable water present in the column.  There was no 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 6.0 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 17 kts of low-level shear mostly due to directional changes) and 71 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to speed changes) this morning.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mild temperatures, moderate humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions), light winds, and clear skies over most of the state. There are no major frontal boundaries present over the state at this time.

The surface pressure chart shows a moderate pressure gradient over the state so far this morning.  The RAP shows that a lee-side low pressure system will develop in northeastern Colorado, and that will generate a moderate pressure gradient over the northeastern part of New Mexico over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that the perfectly straight, narrow trough has moved east.  We will have moderate northerly flow today.

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 strong thermal advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The Precipitation chart shows that little to no precipitation is expected today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The weather has cleared up, and it looks more like spring again.  It’s still chilly this morning, but with no clouds, we will benefit from a full day of sunshine.  There will be a breeze, however, as there will be a moderate pressure gradient through most of New Mexico today.

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, Satellite Imagery and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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