New Mexico Weather: 3/23/17

Yesterday was warm and breezy all day.  It was another beautiful day in New Mexico.

This morning has been cool, still and mostly clear.  The morning has started out with clear skies over Albuquerque:

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly sunny day with a 20% chance of isolated thunderstorms in the afternoon, and a high temperature of 62 F. The winds will be from the south at 10-20 mph, becoming 20-30 mph, gusting as high as 35 mph by the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 50 F.   Winds will be from the west at 20-25 mph, gusting as high as 35 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly sunny day with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 54 F. The winds will be from the south at 15-20 mph, increasing to 25-30 mph, and gusting as high as 45 mph in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 33 F.  The winds will be from the west at 30-35 mph after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a mostly cloudy day with a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 62 F. The winds will be from the south at 10-20 mph, becoming southwest at 20-30 mph, and gusting as high as 40 mph in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 35 F.  The winds will be from the west at 20-25 mph, gusting as high as 35 mph.

The NWS has issued a Wind Advisory, a Special Weather Statement and a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the high winds and low humidity this afternoon.  There is a Fire Weather Watch in place for tomorrow.  The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) also shows the Fire Weather risk.  Most of the state is under at least Elevated Risk, with a wide swath of Extreme Risk through the eastern third of the state.

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The infrared satellite imagery shows a few thicker clouds over the south central part of the state this morning.

The water vapor imagery shows that there is dry air over the state today.  This hurts us today and tomorrow, as the risk of fire will be elevated, given the low humidity and the strong winds.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a moderately dry atmosphere, with the moisture well mixed at all levels.  There was 0.25 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 moderate thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.8 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 23 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 65 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 that we are under low pressure this morning, but there are no strong pressure gradients at this time.

The RAP shows a strong mid-latitude cyclone developing to our east, creating a strong pressure gradient across the state, and boosting our wind speeds dramatically.

The Fosberg Index will climb significantly over the next six hours as the wind seeds increase.  This shows the increased fire risk.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows southwesterly flow over the state today as the trough moves through the state.  The embedded jetstreak will boost the upper level winds as well.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows a few pockets of strong Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA) associated with the approaching trough and cold front.  This will lead to rising air and perhaps showers and thunderstorms.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows several bands of rising and sinking air over the state today.  This indicates strong winds, as the winds tend to appear to rise as they cross mountain ranges, and sink on he leeward side.  Combine this with the strong PVA, and there will be packets of rapidly-rising air today.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows Cold Air Advection (CAA) throughout the state as a cold front passes through with the trough this afternoon.

The Precipitation chart shows there is a chance for rain over all of the western half of the state by 00Z, and the eastern half will have a chance through the overnight hours.

Well, I hope you guys enjoyed the good weather, as it is about over for a few days.  Today will be quite breezy, and the temperature is expected to drop tomorrow to seasonal levels.

The big rest today and tomorrow is going to be fire.

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

Advertisements

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 Fire Weather, Local WX, Photography, Practicing Concepts, Predictions, Satellite Imagery and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s