Yesterday was mostly sunny and mild. It was not as breezy as I thought it would be in Socorro or Magdalena, but it was windy in Rio Rancho yesterday evening.
There was a little drizzle this morning and cloudy skies over Rio Rancho and along my commute to Socorro this morning. Here is a photo from downtown Albuquerque:
The National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a partly sunny day, with a 30% chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 73 F. The winds will be from the west at 15-20 mph, increasing to 20-25 mph and gusting to 35 mph. This evening will partly cloudy, with a 20% chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 45 F. Winds will be from the west at 25-30 mph, gusting to 40 mph, but decreasing to 15-20 mph after midnight.
The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly cloudy day, with a 40% chance of showers and isolated thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 64 F. The winds will be from the west at 15-20 mph, increasing to 25 to 30 mph in the afternoon, gusting as high as 40 mph. This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 37 F. Winds will be from the northwest at 25-30 mph, gusting to 45 mph, but then decreasing to 15-20 mph after midnight.
The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a mostly cloudy day, with 70% chance of showers and scattered thunderstorms and a high temperature of 63 F. The winds will be from the west at 15-20 mph, increasing to 20-25 mph in the afternoon, gusting to 35 mph. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 20% chance of showers, and a low temperature of 40 F. The winds will be from the northwest at 20-30 mph, gusting to 45 mph, but then decreasing to 10-20 mph after midnight.
The NWS has issued quite a few products this morning, including Red Flag Warnings, Wind Advisories, and even a few Winter Weather Advisories for the higher elevations near Raton. The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued an Elevated Fire Risk and a Critical Fire Risk for the southern part of the state today.
The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.
The infrared satellite imagery shows bands of thicker clouds moving throughout the entire state this morning.
The water vapor imagery shows moisture advecting into the state ahead of the trough.
The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows an inverted-v type sounding, with saturated air above 600 mb, even though the boundary layer was dry. There was 0.45 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 no thermal inversion, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 8.6 C/km.
The hodograph shows that there was 26 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to speed changes) and 67 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to speed changes).
The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mild temperatures, low humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions) this morning. The northwestern quarter of the state is under cloudy skies and the Doppler RADAR shows some showers.
The surface pressure shows a surface low pressure system ahead of the trough, and a moderate pressure gradient expanding through the northern part of the state. The RAP shows that the low pressure system and pressure gradient will persist for at least the next six hours.
The Fosberg Index is expected to increase significantly over the next six hours, highlighting the fire threat today. The threat has dissipated in the Four Corners area, but has expanded in the south, where precipitation today will be less likely.
The Mid-Altitude Haines Index also shows the significant fire threat.
Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows moderate zonal flow over the state today. New Mexico is at the bottom of a shortwave trough that is moving east through the country.
The 500 mb NAM chart shows a few pockets of vorticity moving through the state, associated with the trough. Most notably, there is a pocket of Positive Vorticity Advection moving through the north central part of the state by this afternoon.
The 700 mb NAM chart shows a pattern of rising and falling air near the mountains. Today, that will mean some steady winds, as well as some convection.
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 rain is likely today, particularly in the northwestern part of the state.
I hope you enjoyed the good weather, because today will be windy and rainy. There will be some rain, but not enough to completely eliminate the fire threat in this state. There may be enough instability to cause a few lightning strikes, and enough breeze to cause a fire to spread.
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