Central New Mexico Weather: 3/19/18

Yesterday was about as unpleasant as spring gets.  The day started out fine- I did some yard work in a short-sleeved shirt.  However, the winds kicked up and the dust started blowing.  There was even snow flurries by the afternoon, though nothing stuck.

This morning has been clear, cool and breezy.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Rio Rancho, NM) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 55 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 15-20 mph.  This evening will be mostly clear, with a low temperature of 27 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 15-20 mph, decreasing to 5-10 mph after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Socorro, NM) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 61 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 15-20 mph.   This evening will be mostly clear, with a low temperature of 30 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 5-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Magdalena, NM) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 54 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 15-20 mph.   This evening will be mostly clear, with a low temperature of 26 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 10-15 mph.

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

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued an Critical Fire Risk for the southeastern corner of the state today.

The visible satellite image is unavailable at this time.

The infrared satellite image shows that there are a few light clouds over the northern half of the state this morning.

The enhanced low-level water vapor satellite imagery shows dry air over the southern half of the state.  Moisture has advected into the northern half.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a layer of extremely dry air around 650 mb.   There was 0.15 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 991 m.  There was a moderate thermal inversion aloft, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 3.8 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 26 kts low-level shear (due mostly to directional changes) and 71 kts deep-layer shear (due mostly to speed changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mild temperatures and low humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are clear (according to the sensors), and the winds are moderate- stronger in the east.

The surface pressure chart shows that the state is under no strong pressure system, but there is still a moderate pressure gradient in place.  The RAP shows that this gradient is expected to weaken over the next six hours.

The NAM 250 mb chart shows that the trough has passed through the state, and moderate zonal flow has taken over.

The HRRR simulated reflectivity shows that 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 mid-50’s.

The HRRR shows that winds will continue be a little gusty in the afternoon, but will decrease by the evening.  Compared to yesterday, these winds will seem calm.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The HRRR shows very few clouds today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Today will be mild and sunny with extremely strong winds.  Today will be windier than it has been all year thus far.  Blowing dust and wildfires are possible today.

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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