New Mexico Weather: 4/8/17

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny, warm day with calm winds.  In the afternoon, the skies filled with high clouds.

It has been mostly clear, cool and still this morning.  There are only a few high clouds in the sky here in Rio Rancho:

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 83 F. The winds will be from the northwest at 5-10 mph, becoming southwest at 15-20 mph in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 46 F.   Winds will be from the west at 15-20 mph, gusting to 30 mph, but then decreasing to 10-15 mph after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 75 F. The winds will be southwest at 10-15 mph, increasing to 20-25 by the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 43 F.  The winds will be from the west at 15-25 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 79 F. The winds will be southwest at 5-15 mph, increasing to 15-25 by the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 47 F.  The winds will be from the west at 20-25 mph, gusting as high as 35 mph, but then decreasing to 10-15 mph after midnight.

The NWS has issued a number of Red Flag Warnings for the state this afternoon.  The Watches and Warnings Graphic is shown below:

The Storm Prediction Center shows that almost the entire state is under an Elevated Fire Risk today, and a large part of the state is under a Critical Fire Risk.

The visible satellite imagery shows clouds over the northern third of the state, as well as over the higher elevations.

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

The water vapor imagery shows moisture over the state, ahead of another approaching trough.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows that there was comparable moisture today as yesterday, though there is more of a moisture peak between 650 mb and 550 mb.   There was 0.27 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was a tiny thermal inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.3 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 9 kts of low-level shear (due to a mix of speed and directional changes) and 40 kts of deep-layer shear (due to a mix of speed and directional changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool temperatures, low humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions) and sunny skies dominate the map this morning.  The winds are light and variable, and no major frontal boundaries are present over the state this morning.

The surface pressure chart shows that there is slightly higher pressure (relative to the surroundings) over the Four Corners area.  There is a steep pressure gradient extending from this area through the rest of the state.  The RAP shows that diurnal heating will decrease this pressure and pressure gradient over the next six hours, though the winds will increase anyway.

The Fosberg Index six hours out shows the fire threat over the state today:

The Mid-Elevation Haines Index also shows the threat; currently, it is stronger over Arizona and the western part of the state, but it will expand east in the afternoon, according to the SPC.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows southwesterly flow as another trough approaches from the west.

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

The 700 mb NAM chart shows a strip of rapidly-sinking air over the center of the state today.  This is partially due to strong winds, and partially due to synopic scale sinking.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows no strong thermal advection over the state today.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The Precipitation chart shows that there is virtually no chance of rain across the state today.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The wind will return this afternoon.  Blowing dust and fire weather will be possible all afternoon and into tomorrow.

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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