New Mexico Weather: 3/28/17

Yesterday was slightly breezy and mild.  The day remained mostly sunny, with a few cumulus clouds.

This morning has been cool, mostly sunny, and still.  There were a few low clouds in Socorro this morning, including this one hovering over M Mountain:

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly cloudy day, with a 70% chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms and a high temperature of 61 F. The winds will be from the southwest at 5-15 mph, becoming northwest in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 40% chance of scattered showers before midnight and a low temperature of 43 F.   Winds will be from the west at 10-20 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly cloudy day, with an 80% chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 51 F. The winds will be from the west at 10-15 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 50% chance of showers until midnight and a low temperature of 36 F.  Showers may switch to snow after midnight, though no accumulation is expected.  The winds will be from the northwest at 15-25 mph, gusting as high as 35 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a mostly cloudy day, with a 70% chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 69 F. The winds will be from the north at 5-15 mph, becoming west in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 60% chance of showers before midnight, decreasing to 30% after midnight, and a low temperature of 42 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 10-15 mph.

The NWS has issued quite a few products today, including Red Flag Warnings for the southeastern corner of the state, and Winter Storm Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories for the higher elevations.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) shows the Fire Weather risk.  The southern half of the state is under an Elevated Risk, and the southeastern corner is under a Critical Risk.

The visible satellite imagery shows that most of the state has some cloud cover.  Higher elevations are seeing snow from these clouds.

The infrared satellite imagery shows that most of these clouds are thick as well, with moderately high, cool tops.

The water vapor imagery shows moisture circulating around another low pressure system.  This one is embedded in the trough that is passing over the state, and the center of circulation is near Lordsburg, NM.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a relatively damp boundary layer this morning.  The air was nearly saturated below 500 mb.  There was 0.41 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was 8 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -146 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 7.4 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 3 kts of low-level shear (due mostly to directional changes) and 75 kts of deep-layer shear (due mostly to speed changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool temperatures, high humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions) and cloudy skies dominate the map this morning.  The Doppler RADAR overlay shows some lines of precipitation, particularly in the eastern part of the state.

The surface pressure chart shows that most of the state is under the influence of low pressure, as yet another mid-latitude cyclone spawns over the state today.  There are no steep pressure gradients at this time.  The RAP shows that the low pressure will remain, and that no steep pressure gradients are expected to develop over the next six hours.

The RAP is showing some CAPE development in central New Mexico, where CAPE could reach 1000 J/kg by this afternoon.

The Fosberg Index does not show a strong fire threat today, but the Mid Elevation Haines Index shows some threat in the southeastern corner of the state:

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that we are in the middle of this trough by 00 Z this evening.  The weak jetstreak that is ejecting into the southern Great Plains will amplify their severe weather threat today.  I will speak more about that in a separate post.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows strong Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA) as a large pocket of vorticity moves eastward through the state.

The 700 mb NAM chart is not functioning properly today.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows some weak Cold Air Advection (CAA) as cooler air wraps around the northern and western parts of the mid-latitude cyclone.  You can see the air moving in from the northeast and spinning through central New Mexico on this graphic.

The Precipitation chart shows that most of the state is under the threat of precipitation today.

Today will be exciting.  Perhaps we’ll see a few garden-variety thunderstorms, and will almost certainly see some rain.  The higher elevations will see snow.  The southeastern corner will be under a fire threat.  So, it’s typical New Mexico:  it’s on fire where it isn’t snowing.

I will post about the Moderate Risk in my next post, as there is a significant severe weather threat today over northern Texas.

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.
This entry was posted in Fire Weather, Local WX, Photography, Practicing Concepts, Predictions, Radar Imagery, Satellite Imagery and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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