New Mexico Weather: 7/19/17

Yesterday threatened showers and thunderstorms all day in Socorro, though there was only a light drizzle on the way to Albuquerque.  We did get some rain late last night in Rio Rancho, though my weather station was acting up, and I don’t know how much rain fell.  I did see this “virga bow” near Los Lunas:

This morning has been warm, still and mostly sunny.  There were only a few light clouds at sunrise this morning.

National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 93 F.  The winds will be from the southeast at 5-15 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 66 F. Winds will be from the south at 5-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly sunny day, with a 20% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms high temperature of 86 F. The winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph, becoming southeast in the afternoon. This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 60 F. Winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 94 F. The winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a  low temperature of 69 F. Winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph.

The NWS has issued a hazardous weather outlook concerning the storm coverage today.  There will be a few storms, some of them producing torrential rain (up to 2 inches), flooding, small hail and gusty winds (up to 50 mph).  However, due to drier air over most of the state, these storms will remain near the NM/AZ border.

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The infrared satellite imagery shows very few thick clouds over the state this morning.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor imagery shows a large swath of drier air aloft.  This dry air may limit the showers and storms over much of the state today.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a really humid boundary layer, but there is much drier air over 600 mb.    There was 1.01 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was 1128 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -137 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 7.5 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 12 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 10 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly due to directional changes).

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

The surface pressure chart shows weak high pressure near the Colorado border and no strong pressure gradients so far this morning.  The RAP shows the high pressure weakening and no strong gradients developing over the next six hours.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows weak flow aloft over the state 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 no large pockets of rapidly-rising air.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

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 is unlikely for most of the state today.

Today, the Rio Grande River Valley will get a chance to dry out a little bit.  Today, and the next few days, will be mostly sunny, still and dry.

However, there was moderate CAPE this morning, and there are some altocumulus castellanus clouds, indicating ample instability.  The most likely scenario is that the moisture in the low levels mixes out, and we will have a sunny day.  If we had a bit of a capping inversion or something to limit the mixing, we would have some afternoon thunderstorms.

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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