Central New Mexico Weather: 3/16/18

Yesterday was really windy and dusty.  That’s all I can really say about it.

This morning has been sunny, mild and still.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Rio Rancho, NM) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 60 F.  The winds will be from the west at 10-15 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 35 F.  The winds will be from the southwest at 5-10 mph, becoming east after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Socorro, NM) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 67 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 10-15 mph, becoming southeast in the afternoon.   This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 39 F.  The winds will be from the south at 10-15 mph, decreasing to 5-10 mph by midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Magdalena, NM) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 60 F.  The winds will be from the west at 10-15 mph, becoming southwest in the afternoon.   This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 37 F.  The winds will be from the southwest at 10-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque has issued Red Flag Warnings for the eastern half of the state.  The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Critical Fire Weather risk for the eastern half of the state today.

The visible satellite image shows very few clouds.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The infrared satellite image shows very few clouds as well.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The enhanced low-level water vapor satellite imagery shows dry air over the eastern half of the state, and slightly more humid air over the western half.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows moderately-humid conditions below 700 mb and dry air aloft.  There was 0.22 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 1239 m.  There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.5 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 12 kts low-level shear (due mostly to directional changes) and 67 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 clear (according to the sensors), and the winds are light in the west and a bit stronger in the eastern part of the state.

The surface pressure chart shows the strong pressure gradient over the eastern half of the state.  This is why the fire risk is high, as this gradient is generating strong winds.  The RAP shows that the gradient will weaken over the next six hours as pressure decreases everywhere with diurnal heating.

The NAM 250 mb chart shows that there is moderate zonal flow aloft today.

The HRRR simulated reflectivity shows precipitation is unlikely today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The HRRR predicts that the high temperatures for the Rio Grande River Valley will peak around 23 Z, reaching into the upper-60’s.

The HRRR shows that strong winds are likely in the northeastern plains today, and along the central mountain chain.

The HRRR shows a few clouds creeping into the state from the west by this afternoon and evening.

Today will be warm and sunny, and not as breezy as yesterday.  I think it will be a great day to be outside, though I will likely remain inside, unfortunately.

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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