New Mexico Weather: 2/28/17

Yesterday was cool, partly sunny and breezy.  In the evening, the skies clouded up.

This morning has been cool, windy and mostly cloudy.  Here is a photo from along my walk through Socorro this morning:

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly cloudy and windy day, with a high temperature of 63 F. The winds will be from the southwest at 25-35 mph, with gusts as high as 50 mph.  This evening will be mostly clear, with a low temperature of 30 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 15-20 mph, gusting to 30 mph, but decreasing after midnight to 10-15 mph.  The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook and Wind Advisory for gusty winds throughout the day.  They have issued additional products for other parts of the state, as shown below in the NWS Watches and Warnings graphic:

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The infrared satellite imagery shows that most of the state has thick cloud cover this morning.

The water vapor imagery shows a deep trough pushing east.  Ahead of it, moisture has collected through New Mexico this morning, but behind it is dry air.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a humid atmosphere, with a nearly-saturated layer from 650 mb to 500 mb.  Overall, there was 0.39 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 7.7 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 33 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to speed changes) and 74 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), breezy winds, and cloud cover in the north. There are no major frontal boundaries present over the state at this time.

The surface pressure chart shows that there is a low pressure system over eastern Colorado.  Currently, there are no major pressure gradients over the state.

However, a glance at the RAP six hours out shows that the pressure gradient will increase significantly, causing gusty winds this afternoon:

The Critical Thicknesses Chart shows that the contours are far to our north and west, they dip south in the trough.  As the trough moves through the state, it is possible that the critical thickness contours will dip into the northern part of the state as well.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows northwesterly flow as the trough moves through the state this afternoon.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows only a little bit of vorticity advection- some positive in the north and some negative in the central part of the state.

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 Cold Air Advection (CAA) behind the trough, moving through the state from west to east.

The Precipitation chart shows falling precipitation over the northwestern corner of the state by 00Z.

For the Rio Grande River Valley, the story today will be wind.  It is going to be windy all day.  Venture to higher ground, and snow is a possibility, as shown by the Winter Weather Advisories.

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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