New Mexico Weather: 4/11/17

Yesterday was a beautiful day, with light winds, sunny skies and warm temperatures.

It has been mostly clear, cool and still this morning.  Here is a photo of the mostly clear skies, and the moon setting over M-Mountain in Socorro:

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 78 F. The winds will be from the north at 5-10 mph, becoming south at 15-20 mph in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 50 F.   Winds will be from the south at 10-20 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 71 F. The winds will be west at 10-15 mph, becoming south at 15-20 mph by the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with isolated dry thunderstorms and a low temperature of 46 F.  The winds will be from the south at 15-20 mph, decreasing to 10-15 mph after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 76 F. The winds will be northeast at 5-15 mph, becoming south in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 40% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms and a low temperature of 51 F.  The winds will be from the southeast at 5-15 mph.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued an Elevated Fire Risk for the western and central part of the state this afternoon.  The fire threat is due to the increased wind speeds, and dry air over the state today.

To make matters worse, they’ve also issued a Marginal Risk for severe weather.  The threat is due to moisture moving in from the southeast behind a cold front.  The real threat with this will be the increased chances of lightning, and, given the dry and windy conditions, the increased chance of fire.

The visible satellite imagery shows virtually no clouds over the state today.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

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

The water vapor imagery shows dry air over the state this morning.  There is a moisture plume to our west that may begin to push into the state this afternoon.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry boundary layer, but a nearly saturated layer at 550 mb.   There was 0.17 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, but deep thermal inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.0 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 17 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 50 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to 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.  There are a few clouds in the southeastern corner, and perhaps a weak dryline running north to south through the eastern third of the state.  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 high pressure over the Four Corners area, but no strong pressure gradients over the state this morning.  The RAP shows that the high pressure system will weaken, and that no strong pressure gradients are expected to develop over the next six hours.

The Fosberg Index does not show the fire threat, but the Mid-Elevation Haines Index does:

The SPC charts show weak shear, limited moisture and weak CAPE developing in the southeastern corner of the state over the next six hours.  Even so, I did not include these charts today.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows zonal flow as we enter a slight ridge today.

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 few pockets of rapidly-rising air over the western part of the state by 00 Z.

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

There may be some storms today, but they will be the worst kind- garden variety, dry thunderstorms with lightning and little precipitation.  The 850 mb chart is not showing a cold front, through there is a weak back door cold front moving in from the northeast.  Many of the storms will form along this weak boundary, as it drags the dryline west a little as well.

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
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from College of DuPage – SATRAD


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, Severe Weather and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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