Central New Mexico Weather: 2/10/18

Yesterday was sunny, still and a mild.

This morning has been mostly cloudy, cool and still.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Rio Rancho, NM) a partly sunny day, with a high temperature of 67 F.  The winds will be from the west at 5-15 mph, increasing to 20-30 mph and gusting as high as 40 mph this afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 29 F.  The winds will be from the west at 20-25 mph, gusting to 35 mph, but then decreasing to 15-20 mph after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Socorro, NM) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 72 F.  The winds will be from the southwest at 5-10 mph, increasing to 15-20 mph in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 34 F.  The winds will be from the west at 15-20 mph, becoming north after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Magdalena, NM) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 64F.  The winds will be from the southwest at 15-20 mph, increasing to 20-25 mph and gusting as high as 40 mph in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 27 F.  The winds will be from the west at 20-25 mph, gusting as high as 35 mph, becoming north at 10-15 mph after midnight.

The NWS has issued quite a few Watch and Warning products this morning, as part of the state will see snow, and another part will see fire. The part in between will blow away.  There are Red Flag Warnings, High Wind Advisories and so on in place.  The Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Critical Fire Weather risk for almost all of the southern half of the state today, due to the strong winds, dry surface layer (low humidity), and above average temperatures.

The visible satellite image shows that most of the state is under cloud cover this morning.

The infrared satellite image shows that many of these clouds are thick, with cool tops.

The enhanced low-level water vapor satellite imagery shows that there is quite a bit of moisture associated with the cloud cover.  Unfortunately, this obscures the dry layer at the surface that will boost the threat of fire today.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a dry boundary layer, but nearly saturated air above 500 mb.  There was 0.29 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 2517 m.  There was a tiny thermal inversion above the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.3 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 22 kts low-level shear (due mostly to directional changes) and 56 kts deep-layer shear (due mostly to speed changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool temperatures and low humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are clear over most stations (according to the sensors), and the winds are light and variable.

The surface pressure chart shows low pressure over Colorado and New Mexico this morning, with a steep pressure gradient over the eastern part of the state.  The RAP shows that both the low pressure system and the pressure gradient are expected to intensify over the next six hours.

The HRRR simulated reflectivity shows that precipitation is mixing out soon after it crosses into New Mexico.  Other than a blip over Albuquerque in about an hour (which may be a false signal), only the northern counties are expected to see any precipitation.

The HRRR has the high temperatures for the Rio Grande River Valley are comparable to the last few days.  They will reach into the mid-60’s for most of New Mexico by 22 Z.  However, a weak backdoor cold front will creep into the state from the northwest, dropping tonight’s temperatures to more seasonable levels.

The HRRR shows that strong winds will be likely, statewide, all day today.  Peak winds will be around 22 Z in the Rio Grande River Valley.

The HRRR shows that peak cloudiness for the Albuquerque Metro Region will occur around 2 Z tomorrow morning.  Partly cloudy skies are likely throughout the state, all day.

The HRRR shows snow is possible over the northern tier of counties by the early morning hours tomorrow.

Well, today will be unpleasantly breezy, and we will end up with colder weather tonight and tomorrow.  Cold weather, just in time for the weekend, unfortunately.  I probably won’t go running or do any gardening today or tomorrow.

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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