New Mexico Weather: 3/21/17

Yesterday was warm and still all day.  By mid-afternoon, the skies were partly cloudy.  In the evening, I even felt a few random drops of rain that fell- not many, but just enough to be surprising.

This morning has been cool, still and clear.  Yesterday afternoon’s clouds have mixed out for clear, cloudless skies this morning over the New Mexico Tech campus:

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 85 F. The winds will be from the west at 5-15 mph, becoming south by the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 49 F.  The winds will be from the southwest at 5-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 77 F. The winds will be from the west at 5 mph, becoming east in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 46 F.  The winds will be from the southwest at 5-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 81 F. The winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 49 F.  The winds will be from the southwest at 5-10 mph, becoming light and variable after midnight.

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

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

The water vapor imagery shows that there is dry air over the state today.  However, if you look to the west, there is an approaching cold front that extends through southern California.  This front will impact the state later this week.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a moderately damp atmosphere with a large moisture peak at 600 mb.  There was 0.39 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was no of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was a tiny thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.6 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 10 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 20 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to speed changes) this morning.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mild temperatures, low humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions), still winds, clear skies, and no major boundaries over most of the state this morning.

The surface pressure chart shows slightly higher pressure dominates today, with high pressure centered near the Four Corners area. There are no strong pressure gradients so far this morning.  The RAP shows that the pressure will decrease with diurnal heating, but no strong gradients are expected over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows light zonal flow over the state today.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows no significant thermal advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows rapidly-rising air over the northern half of the state this morning. With the limited moisture, convection will not result in precipitation, but it may cause cloudy skies this evening.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows some Cold Air Advection (CAA) in the form of a back door cold front moving through the Oklahoma Panhandle and into northeastern New Mexico by this evening.   Notice how the wind blows across the thermal gradient from cold to warm.

The Precipitation chart shows there is very little chance of precipitation over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Today is shaping up to be pleasant day.  There will be some clouds this evening, as shown by the rising air at 700 mb.  There will also be a cold front later this week, and I will say more about that as it approaches.

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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