New Mexico Weather: 4/12/17

Yesterday was a beautiful day, with light winds, sunny skies and warm temperatures.  In the evening, there were a few more clouds, but no precipitation fell in Rio Rancho.  There were also no severe weather reports in the state yesterday.

It has been mostly clear, cool and still this morning.  There is a mix of cumulus and altocumulus clouds in the middle Rio Grande River Valley, as shown by the photo below (from Belen):

The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a partly sunny day, with a 20% chance of isolated thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 78 F. The winds will be from the south at 10-15 mph.  This evening will be mostly clear, with a low temperature of 47 F.   Winds will be from the southeast at 5-10 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a partly sunny day, with a 20% chance of isolated thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 71 F. The winds will be southeast at 10 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with isolated dry thunderstorms and a low temperature of 46 F.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 44 F.   Winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph, becoming northwest at 5-10 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a partly sunny day, with a 30% chance of isolated thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 74 F. The winds will be south at 5-10 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a  low temperature of 49 F.  The winds will be from the south at 5-15 mph, becoming northeast after midnight.

The NWS has issued two Severe Thunderstorm Warnings (one of which was issued just after this screenshot).

Here is a Doppler RADAR image of these storms.  No strong rotation has been detected at this time.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Slight Risk for severe weather in the southeastern corner of the state today.  The primary threats will be large hail and damaging winds, but tornadoes are also possible.

Associated with the Slight Risk is a 5% Tornado Threat Ring:

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The infrared satellite imagery shows thick clouds over the eastern part of the state this morning.  A few of these clouds are quite thick as they are left over from yesterday’s convection.

The water vapor imagery shows damp conditions, particularly near the storms that persist in the southeastern corner of the state.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a relatively damp atmosphere this morning.   There was 0.39 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 small thermal inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.3 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 18 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 46 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to speed changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mild temperatures, moderate humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions) and sunny skies to the west and central parts of the state this morning.  The southeastern part of the state has some ongoing thunderstorms, as shown by the cloud cover and the Doppler RADAR overlay.

The surface pressure chart shows that there are no strong pressure systems or gradients over the state today.  The RAP shows that none are expected to develop over at least the next six hours.

The SPC Mesoscale Analysis chart shows that there is a Supercell Parameter of 8 in south central New Mexico this morning.  The RAP shows that it is expected to decrease over the next six hours.

The charts also show that there is over 2000 J/kg of CAPE and no CINH in this area as well.

There is also adequate bulk shear to support rotating storms.  This area is worth watching fro an early morning severe storm.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows light zonal flow over the state this morning.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows several pockets of Positive Vorticity Advection (PVA) this afternoon, particularly to the northwest of the Albuquerque Metro area.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows a few pockets of rapidly-rising air over most 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 precipitation is likely through the afternoon, at least for the eastern half of the state.  The Rio Grande Valley is likely to remain dry today.

There are already storms firing in the southeaster part of the state, and elevated instability all over the place.  I am expecting storms, though, based on the instability and lack of CINH already, I do not expect discrete supercells.  I do expect multicellular clusters, which are difficult to chase.  I will watch these storms from my office and my computer.

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

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