Yesterday was a bit miserable in contrast to the past few weeks. It was cool, rainy, cloudy and windy off and on all day. The cold front definitely arrived! Quemado and the VLA both has snow flurries.
This morning has been cool, windy and mostly sunny. The wind has been strong enough that I have been unable to post, due to the power outages we keep having on campus. There are only a few clouds over campus this morning:
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a sunny day with a high temperature of 68 F. The winds will be from the northwest at 25-30 mph, gusting as high as 45 mph. This evening will be clear, with a low temperature of 36 F. Winds will be from the northwest at 15-20 mph, decreasing to 5-15 mph after midnight.
The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 60 F. The winds will be from the northwest at 25-30 mph, gusting as high as 45 mph. This evening will be clear, with a low temperature of 33 F. The winds will be from the west at 20-25 mph, decreasing to 5-15 mph later in the evening.
The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 63 F. The winds will be from the northwest at 25 mph and gusting as high as 35 mph. This evening will be clear, with a low temperature of 37 F. The winds will be from the northwest at 15-25 mph, gusting as high as 35 mph, but then decreasing to 5-15 mph after midnight.
The NWS has issued a Wind Advisory, a Red Flag Warning and a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the high winds and low humidity this afternoon for the Rio Grande Valley. We are fortunate, however, as there are Winter Storm Warnings and Blizzard Warnings for higher elevations, as shown in the NWS Watches and Warnings graphic 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 Critical Risk through the eastern third of the state.
The visible satellite imagery shows clouds over the northeastern corner of the state, as well as some of the higher elevations.
The infrared satellite imagery shows that quite a few of the remaining clouds are quite thick, with mid-level, cool tops.
The water vapor imagery shows the center of circulation for the low pressure system very clearly. This system will move northeast out of the western Texas Panhandle along the Kansas and Oklahoma border by this evening.
The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a nearly saturated atmosphere between around 700 mb and 500 mb. There was 0.42 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 no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 7.2 C/km.
The hodograph is unavailable at this time.
The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool temperatures, low humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions) this morning. The winds show that there is a low pressure system in the western Texas Panhandle, with cloudy skies near this system.
The surface pressure chart shows the strong low pressure system over the western Texas Panhandle, and the strong pressure gradient across the entire state this morning. Notice the strong winds and the tight spacing of the isobars. The RAP shows that this gradient will decrease slightly over the next six hours as the pressure system moves east, but the winds will not decrease until later tonight..
The Fosberg Index is higher now than it is expected to be over the next six hours. Perhaps the fire weather risk will diminish later this evening.
Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows northwesterly flow over the state today as we enter the backside of the trough.
The 500 mb NAM chart shows some strong Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA) in several pockets across central New Mexico by 18 Z. As these pockets of vorticity move south, they will leave some Negative Vorticity Advection (NVA) in their wakes.
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 strong thermal advection over the state today. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.
The Precipitation chart shows there is little chance of rain by 00 Z this evening. This chart has been excluded from today’s post.
Unfortunately, today will remain windy and cool, though the rain and clouds will diminish. The weekend is shaping up to be much more pleasant, so I will see if my garden survived the beating of the wind and cold weather.
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