Central New Mexico Weather: 1/10/18

Yesterday was mostly cloudy, mild and still.  I did a little bit of walking around campus, and a flannel shirt was almost too warm.

This morning has been mostly cloudy, cool and still.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Rio Rancho, NM) a mostly cloudy day, with a 50% chance of showers (0.1 to 0.25 inches of rain possible), and a high temperature of 48 F.  The winds will from the south at 10-15 mph, becoming west at 20-25 mph, gusting to 35 mph in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 20% chance of showers, and a low temperature of 29 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 20-25 mph, gusting to 35 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Socorro, NM) a partly sunny day, with a 40% chance of showers, and a high temperature of 54 F.  The winds will be from the south at 15-20 mph, becoming west at 25-30 mph and gusting to 40 mph. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 39 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 20-25 mph, gusting to 35 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Magdalena, NM) a mostly cloudy sunny day, with a 40% chance of snow showers (< 0.5 in) in the morning, and showers after 11 am, and a high temperature of 40 F.  The winds will be from the southwest at 20 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 29 F.  The winds will be from the west 25 to 30 mph, with gusts as high as 45 mph.

The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the Pacific front that is passing through the state.  Accumulating snow is possible above 7000 ft, and strong, gusty winds are likely with this system.  There are a number of High Wind Warnings and Winter Weather Advisories in place.  See the Watches and Warnings graphic below:

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has also issued a Critical Fire Weather risk area that just barely touches the very southeastern corner of the state.  A good chunk of the southeastern corner is under an Elevated Fire Weather risk.

The visible satellite image is unavailable at this time.

The infrared satellite image shows that most of the state is under some cloud cover, and that most of these bands of clouds have moderately cool tops.

The enhanced low-level water vapor satellite imagery shows moist air moving into the state from the west.  One band of moisture has already passed through most of the state, and another larger band follows behind.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows and a damp atmosphere this morning, with a nearly-saturated layer between 650 mb and 500 mb.  There was 0.46 inches of precipitable water present in the column.  There was no Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and no Convective Inhibition (CINH).  The Lifted Condensation Level (LCL) was 887 m.  There was a large, but shallow thermal inversion just above the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.8 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 32 kts low-level shear (due mostly to directional changes) and 74 kts deep-layer shear (due mostly to speed changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool temperatures and moderate humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are cloudy over the western half of the state, but clear in the east (according to the sensors) and the winds are light and variable.

The surface pressure chart shows that there is low pressure over the state this morning, with a slight pressure gradient over most of the state.   The RAP shows that a low pressure system over Kansas will deepen to 998 mb over the next six hours.  As it does, the pressure gradient over New Mexico will become much steeper, causing the wind speeds to increase.

The HRRR simulated reflectivity shows that precipitation is likely throughout the state off and on all day.  This frame shows the highest chances of precipitation for the Rio Grande River Valley.

The HRRR has the high temperatures somewhere around 22 Z, when we will reach the upper 40’s and low 50’s here in Rio Rancho.  Any snow that did fall in the Rio Grande River Valley will not last long at these temperatures.

The snow forecast shows that most of Central New Mexico along the Rio Grande River Valley will avoid the snow this time.  Both calculation techniques for the HRRR are in agreement.

The other hazard today will be the gusty winds.  While the Rio Grande River Valley is spared the most severe gusts, there will be strong winds into this evening.

So there you have it.  We will have virtually all types of weather today in the state, from snow to fire.  Welcome to the “Land of Enchantment”!

Here in the Rio Grande River Valley, we will be spared most of the extremes today.  The weather will be cooler than yesterday, and much more breezy.  We will likely get some rain, and the snow will remain in the mountains, where it belongs.

Thank you for reading my post.

Sources:
The forecasts from the National Weather Service are from The NWS Homepage
The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The satellite data, model data, and forecasted soundings are 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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