Central New Mexico Weather: 11/11/18

Yesterday was mostly sunny, mild and still.  It was a cold evening.

This morning has been mostly sunny, cold, and still.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Rio Rancho, NM) a mostly sunny day, with a 20% chance of rain, and a high temperature of 53 F.  The winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph.  Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with 30% chance of snow (< 0.5″), and a low temperature of 28 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 5-15 mph, becoming east after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Socorro, NM) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 62 F.  The winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph, becoming west in the afternoon.  Tonight will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 28 F.  The winds will be from the north at 10-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Magdalena, NM) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 54 F.  The winds will be from the southwest at 10-15 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 19 F.  The winds will be from the northwest at 10-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque has issued a several Winter Storm Watches and Winter Storm Warnings east of the central mountain chain.  The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:

The visible satellite imagery shows fog over the southern part of the state, and a few thin clouds over the Albuquerque Metro area this morning.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque shows that the boundary layer was moderately humid humid, but the air was much drier above 700 mb.  There was 0.26 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 550 m.  There was a moderate thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.0 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 26 kts low-level shear (due mostly to directional changes) and 62 kts deep-layer shear (due mostly to speed changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show cold temperatures and moderate 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, but a slight pressure gradient to the northeast. The RAP shows that low pressure will develop over the state in the next six hours, tightening the pressure gradient and increasing the wind speeds.

The NAM 250 mb chart shows moderate zonal flow over the state.

The NAM 850 mb chart shows strong Cold Air Advection (CAA) over the state this afternoon and evening, as a back door cold front approaches from the northeast.

The HRRR simulated reflectivity shows that snow showers will develop this afternoon, east of the central mountain chain.

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

HRRR shows that the the dewpoints will rise throughout the day, reaching into the mid 20s F by the early afternoon.  They will drop off in the evening with the dropping temperature.

The HRRR shows strong wind gusts are possible through the middle of the day, particularly west of the Rio Grande River Valley.

The HRRR shows that the skies will cloud up by this afternoon ahead of the cold front.

The HRRR shows that the 10:1 Ratio Method forecasts snow accumulation is likely east of the mountains:

The HRRR shows the Kuchera Method predicts accumulation in greater amounts.

The NAM critical thicknesses will almost all be far enough south for snow.  The limitation will be the moisture west of the central mountain chain.

Today will be a day of transition, as this back door cold front will remind us that winter is coming.  It will be a significant travel hazard in the northeastern part of the state.

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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