New Mexico Weather: 7/14/17

Yesterday was a partly sunny day in Socorro.  We did have a few heavy showers and thunderstorms develop, including this one that formed over Socorro Peak (M-Mountain) just before I caught the bus out of town:

This morning has been warm, still and mostly sunny.  There were a few cumulus clouds developing over Rio Rancho this morning:

National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 92 F.  The winds will be from the southeast at 5-10 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 65 F. Winds will be from the southeast at 5-10 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly sunny day, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms high temperature of 85 F. The winds will be from the southeast at 10 mph. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms and a low temperature of 61 F. Winds will be from the south at 10 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) partly sunny day, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms and a high temperature of 92 F. The winds will be from the southeast at 5-10 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 67 F. Winds will be from the southeast at 5-15 mph.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has placed a Marginal Risk for severe weather over the southwestern corner of the state.

The visible satellite imagery shows some vertically-developing cumulus clouds over the mountains, and a nice cumulus field over the eastern part of the state.

The infrared satellite imagery shows some thicker clouds centered in the strongest convection.

The water vapor imagery shows a particularly deep swath of moisture running through the Rio Grande River Valley this morning.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a really humid atmosphere.    There was 1.07 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was 118 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -165 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 7.0 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 12 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 19 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to directional changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show warm temperatures and moderately-high humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are mostly clear, though a few stations are reporting cloud cover,  and the winds are light.  There are no major frontal boundaries present.

The surface pressure chart shows some high pressure over the eastern border of the state, and a slight pressure gradient through the middle.  The RAP shows that the high pressure will decrease over the next six hours, weakening the pressure gradient.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that an upper-level high pressure system has formed over the southwest.  Flow aloft is weak.

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

The 700 mb NAM chart shows several strong pockets of rapidly-rising air to the north of the Albuquerque Metro area by 18 Z.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows some weak Cold Air Advection (CAA) into the southeastern corner of the state.

The Precipitation chart shows that rain will be possible by 0 Z, particularly in the western part of the state.

Today, I think the storms will be more likely to produce heavy rains over all other threats.  Our atmosphere is soaked, with 1.07 inches of precipitable water; on the east coast, this is a normal day, but for us, this is a lot of water!  I expect with diurnal heating and tons of moisture, most areas will see at least a brief shower.

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.
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