New Mexico Weather: 2/27/17

Yesterday was partly cloudy, cool and had a slight breeze.

This morning has been cool, still and mostly sunny.  Here is a photo from the North Valley, along my commute to Socorro:

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a partly sunny day, with a high temperature of 62 F. The winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph, increasing to 15-20 mph in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 44 F.  The winds will be from the south at 10-20 mph.  The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook for gusty winds throughout the day and snow over 6500 feet.  A strong upper-level trough will move through the area in the next 24-36 hours, bringing rain, snow, and strong winds.  Here is the NWS Watches and Warnings graphic:

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

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

The water vapor imagery shows deeper moisture in the northeastern corner of the state, ahead of the trough, while dry air lingers over the rest of the state.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a thin, nearly-saturated layer near 650 mb.  Overall, there was 0.22 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 3.9 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 17 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 7 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to speed changes) this morning.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool temperatures, moderate humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions), still 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 that we are under slightly lower pressure, but that there are no strong pressure gradients over the state this morning.  The RAP shows that none are expected to develop over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows flow from the southwest, as a new trough approaches 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 that no significant preipitation is expected through 00Z, but after that, things get dicey.  Even so, I have excluded this image from today’s post.

Today is a day of transition ahead of this approaching trough.  I think that the models are having a hard time processing this trough, and the forecast keeps changing based on the moisture and temperature changes as this trough approaches.  Today, I expect sunny, windy, relatively mild weather, but I expect by this time tomorrow, most locations will have some precipitation.  As to what kind, altitude will probably be the biggest factor.

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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