Central New Mexico Weather: 8/8/18

Yesterday, our road trip came to an end.  We hit some severe thunderstorms along our route through CO and NM.  The first storms were just north of Colorado City, CO.

The second batch was near Raton, NM.

The third batch, which we did not go through, but rather saw the backside of, was just south of Santa Fe, NM.

This morning has been sunny, warm and still.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Rio Rancho, NM) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 96 F.  The winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph, becoming west in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 65 F.  The winds will be from the north at 10-15 mph, becoming southeast after midnight

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Socorro, NM) a mostly sunny day, with a  high temperature of 97 F.  The winds will be from the southeast at 5-10 mph.   This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms and a low temperature of 66 F.  The winds will be from the south at 5-15 mph, becoming east after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Magdalena, NM) a partly sunny day, with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 87 F.  The winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph.   This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 30% chance of showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 60 F.  The winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning thunderstorms in the eastern part of the state by this afternoon.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has placed a good chunk of New Mexico under a Marginal Risk for severe weather today.  Large hail and gusty downdraft winds are the primary threats.

The visible satellite image shows that there is some left-over anvil material floating, and a little morning convection along the western I-40 corridor.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows a nearly-saturated layer from 550 mb to 450 mb.  There was 0.84 inches of precipitable water present in the column.  There was 63 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -702 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH).  The Lifted Condensation Level (LCL) was 1539 m.  There was a moderate thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.8 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 9 kts low-level shear (due mostly to directional changes) and 17 kts deep-layer shear (due mostly to speed changes).

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

The surface pressure chart shows no strong pressure systems or gradients over the state this morning.  The RAP shows that thermal low pressure is expected to develop over the eastern half of the state within the next six hours.  No strong pressure gradients are expected with this thermal low.

The NAM 250 mb chart shows zonal to northwesterly flow over New Mexico today, with no strong jet streaks.

The HRRR simulated reflectivity shows that storms will begin to fire around 22 Z.  However, the Albuquerque Metro area will be too far north and west for these storms.

The HRRR predicts that the high temperatures for the Rio Grande River Valley will peak around 21 Z or 22 Z, reaching into the upper-90’s, nearing 100 F.

The HRRR shows that the Albuquerque Metro area will dry out in the afternoon as the dryline moves east.  This will be a limiting factor for shower and storm development in the area.

The HRRR shows that the winds will be gusty in the eastern half of the state by this afternoon.  The high wind is related to the downdraft winds from afternoon thunderstorms.

The HRRR shows that the skies will mostly clear throughout the morning, with increasing clouds in the southern half of the state.  Skies will be mostly cloudy for the southern half of the state this evening.

Today will be hot.  I’m not looking forward to that part.  Precipitation will be unlikely in the Albuquerque Metro area, but south and east of the city will likely see some showers and thunderstorms this evening.

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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