The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Slight Risk today for New Mexico.
They also issued a 2% Tornado Threat Ring centered in this area as well.
Synoptically speaking, the 250 mb NAM chart shows little upper-level support. We have a strange crook in the upper air flow, resulting in a weak jetstreak, but nothing to write home about.
The 500 mb NAM chart shows quite a few pockets of strong vorticity by 21 Z across the northern half of New Mexico.
The 700 mb NAM chart shows a pocket of rapidly-rising air directly west of Albuquerque along I-40.
The 850 mb NAM chart shows no strong thermal advection in either direction. By 03 Z, a strong cold front will move through the eastern half of the state, but it is not very obvious during storm initiation time.
The surface dewpoints (NAM) show a neat topographic effect. Moisture is funneling up the Rio Grande Valley, producing a dryline on each side of the valley. The one of most interest is to the west, as it is sharper.
The RAP shows high values of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), particularly over central New Mexico over the next six hours. There is still plenty of Convective Inhibition (CINH) as well, so we will need to see where that erodes first.
The HRRR shows the Supercell Composite shows values above 4 along the I-25 corridor between Las Cruces and Albuquerque.
HRRR Simulated Reflectivity shows a cluster of storms firing west of Albuquerque along I-40.
The NAM shows more things firing at once, and perhaps a little later.
Visible satellite imagery shows storms have already fired. They were firing at 6 am this morning, actually. The real question is, “what impact will these storms have on the environment in the early afternoon?”
The surface observations show backing winds across the eastern half of the state. They also show no strong dryline, and only modest moisture. There is still some ongoing morning convection, as well.
The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque does not look like a severe weather sounding. It has meager surface moisture and only 23 J/kg of CAPE.
However, the hodograph is nice, with 26 kts of low-level shear (mostly directional) and 57 kts of deep-layer shear (mostly speed).
I am probably going chasing today, but it may be as simple as riding a few miles from home and finding open space. Storms look to form to my west in the early afternoon and then pass overhead. The trick today will be catching storms while they are still discrete. I may ride a little west of town, or maybe northwest of town, somewhere between the Rt. 66 Casino and Cuba, though no road goes between them conveniently.
Thank you for reading my forecast.
The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the
<a href=”http://www.spc.noaa.gov/” target=”_blank”>Storm Prediction Center</a> website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from <a href=”http://www.twisterdata.com” target=”_blank”>TwisterData.com</a>.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from <a href=”http://weather.unisys.com” target=”_blank”>Unisys Weather</a>.
The satellite data is from <a href=”http://weather.msfc.nasa.gov/GOES/” target=”_blank”>NASA – MSFC</a>