Central New Mexico Weather: 3/27/18

Yesterday turned into a cloudy day.  It rained in Socorro, Belen, Albuquerque and Rio Rancho off and on.

This morning has been mostly cloudy, cool and still.  I saw my first lightning of the year west of Albuquerque.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Rio Rancho, NM) a mostly cloudy day, with a  60% chance of showers and thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 54 F.  The winds will be from the east at 10-15 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 30% chance of showers, and a low temperature of 34 F.  The winds will be from the east at 5-15 mph, becoming north after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Socorro, NM) a partly sunny day, with a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 60 F.  The winds will be from the southeast at 5-15 mph.   This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 34 F.  The winds will be from the south at 5-15 mph, becoming north by midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Magdalena, NM) a mostly cloudy day, with a 60% chance of showers and thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 61 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 5-10 mph, becoming southeast afternoon.   This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 50% chance of showers, and a low temperature of 30 F.  The winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph, becoming north by midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning several inches of snow at the higher elevations in the northern part of the state.  There will also be scattered thunderstorms today, some of which may be strong, in the eastern half of the state.  The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:

The visible satellite image is unavailable at this time.

The infrared satellite image shows two batches of clouds; one is arranged near a frontal boundary that is moving over the eastern part of the state.  In its wake, a few more clouds are forming over the northwestern corner of the state.

The enhanced low-level water vapor satellite imagery shows the moisture with these clouds.  Notice the sharp moisture boundary associated with the front.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a nearly-saturated atmosphere.  There was 0.37 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 754 m.  There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.8 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 9 kts low-level shear (due mostly to directional changes) and 54 kts deep-layer shear (due mostly to speed changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cool temperatures and moderately-high humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are cloudy (according to the sensors), and the winds are light and variable.  The Doppler RADAR shows some showers northwest of the Albuquerque Metro area.

The surface pressure chart shows no strong pressure systems or gradients over the state this morning.  There is a slight pressure gradient over the northeastern corner, and the winds are a little stronger here.  The RAP shows that no strong pressure systems or gradients are expected to develop over the next six hours.

The NAM 250 mb chart shows that a deep trough is approaching the state today.  Winds aloft will be strong and from the southwest.

The HRRR simulated reflectivity shows that precipitation will be possible over most of the state today.

The HRRR predicts that the high temperatures for the Rio Grande River Valley will peak around 22 Z, reaching into the upper-50’s.

The HRRR shows that winds will not be as strong today as they were yesterday.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The HRRR shows that the skies will be mostly cloudy over much of the state today.

I also checked the Supercell Composite image, and there was nothing of major concern over New Mexico.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

Today will mark our first thunderstorms of the year.  It is a reminder that spring has arrived!  There will be showers and thunderstorms throughout most of the region today as the trough pushes east.  Most of the thunderstorms will remain below severe limits, though heavy rainfall and gusty winds are possible.

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

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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