New Mexico Weather: 2/23/17

Yesterday was sunny, warm and breezy.  The skies clouded up in the afternoon.  I commuted to Rio Rancho in the evening, and by bedtime, the wind was quite strong.  I am waiting until first light to see if I still have all of my antennas, trees and weather stations.

This morning has been cool, still and clear.  Here is a photo from the train station in downtown Albuquerque:

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 66 F. The winds will be from the southwest at 15-20 mph, becoming west at 25-30 mph, and gusting as high as 40 mph by the afternoon.  This evening will be clear, with a low temperature of 31 F.  The winds will be from the west at 10-15 mph, becoming north after midnight.  The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook, Wind Advisory, and Red Flag Warning, concerning gusty winds and potential fire weather.  Here is the Watches and Warnings Graphic:

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

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

The water vapor imagery shows dry air moving into the state from the west.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry atmosphere with high dewpoint depressions.   Overall, there was 0.18 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 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 45 kts of low-level shear mostly due to directional changes) and 70 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due 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 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 no strong pressure gradient this morning, but it does show a developing low pressure system over central Colorado.

The RAP shows that the pressure gradient will increase over the next six hours leading to strong winds.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows nearly-zonal flow over the state by this evening, as a broad trough passes to our north.

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 some moderate Cold Air Advection (CAA) moving in from the west.  Notice that the winds cross the thermal gradient at an angle (less than 90 degrees) , so the cold front is not as strong as would have been possible.

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

Today is going to be a breezy, dusty mess, with the potential for wildfires throughout the Rio Grande River Valley.

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

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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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