Central New Mexico Weather: 6/23/20

I’m way behind posting this morning, but I’m trying to catch up.

This morning, the weather has been hazy, warm and humid.

From the NWS in Albuquerque, NM:  Another round of storms is possible today, with large hail and damaging winds as the primary threats.  Hot and dry conditions are expected west of the Continental Divide, but upslope flow of moist air will lead to showers and thunderstorms for a large part of the state today.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Rio Rancho, NM) a mostly sunny day, with a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms and a high temperature of 91 F. The winds will be from the southeast at 5-10 mph, becoming southwesterly this afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 61 F.  The winds will be from the southwest at 5-15 mph, becoming northeasterly after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Socorro, NM) a mostly sunny day, with a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms and a high temperature of 95 F. The winds will be from the northeast at 5-15 mph, becoming southeasterly in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms and a low temperature of 62 F.  The winds will be from the south at 5-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Magdalena, NM) a mostly sunny day, with a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms and a high temperature of 88 F. The winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph, becoming southerly in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a 20% chance of isolated 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, forecasts (for Mountainair, NM) a mostly sunny day, with a 20% chance of isolated severe storms, and a high temperature of 86 F. The winds will be from the east at 10 mph, becoming southerly in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a 40% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 56 F.  The winds will be from the south at 5-15 mph, becoming easterly after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning severe storms this afternoon.  The primary threats will be large hail and damaging winds.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Slight Risk for severe weather over the eastern half of New Mexico today.  Easterlies from this morning’s Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) have led to upslope flow in eastern New Mexico.  This, combined with dewpoints above 50 F will lead to afternoon thunderstorm development.  Given the shear profiles, a few storms will start out supercellular, with large hail as the primary threat.  They will evolve into a line, where damaging winds are possible as the storms move southeast.

The visible satellite imagery shows developing cumulus clouds in the western half of the state, as well as along the central mountain range.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque, NM, shows a humid atmosphere this morning.  There was 0.79 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was 272 J/kg of Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE), -409 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CIN), and the Lifted Condensation Level (LCL) was 1144 m.  There was a tiny thermal inversion near the surface and the 0-3 km lapse rate was 5.8 C/km.  The hodograph shows that the low-level shear was 9 kts (due mostly to directional changes) and the deep-layer shear was 43 kts (due to a mix of speed and direction changes).  This led to a Supercell Parameter (SCP) of 0.5.

The surface observations chart (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) shows warm temperatures with high humidity.  The skies are sunny (according to the sensors) and winds are light and variable.

The surface pressure chart (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) shows that we are under no strong pressure systems and gradients this morning, though a thermal low is building over southwestern NM.  The RAP shows that the pressure will drop with diurnal heating, but no strong pressure gradients are expected over the next six hours.

There is a little, local maximum of normalized CAPE, just over my house in Rio Rancho.

There is also adequate deep-layer shear to the northeast.

However, the limiting factor today is going to be the high bases, shown by the high Lifted Condensation Level (LCL).  The LCLs drop into the 1750 m range, but that’s a bit high for tornadoes.

The NAM 250 mb chart shows very light, northwesterly flow over the state.

The NAM 850 mb and 700 mb charts show no strong thermal advection over the state today.  These charts have been excluded from today’s post.

The Nested NAM simulated reflectivity chart shows showers and thunderstorms are possible, and will form a line from southwest to northeast, moving to the southeast.

The simulated precipitation chart shows the tracks of the heaviest rain.

The Nested NAM predicts that the high temperatures for the middle Rio Grande River Valley will peak in the mid 90s F.

The low temperatures are expected to drop into the lower 60s F right around sunrise tomorrow morning.

The Nested NAM shows that the dewpoints will remain in the mid 50s F for most of the day.

The Nested NAM shows strong winds are possible ahead of today’s thunderstorms.

The Nested NAM simulated infrared chart shows clouds associated with the afternoon thunderstorms.  Once the system becomes a Mesoscale Convective System (MCS), most of the eastern half of the state will be under cloud cover.

The CAPE is expected to rise into the low 2000 J/kg range in central New Mexico, just before storm initiation.

Associated with the high CAPE, the Supercell Parameter (SCP) rises above 0, but is not tremendously high.  The Significant Tornado (SIGTOR) remains nearly 0, with a brief, non-zero blip to the north.  Only the SCP chart is shown below.

Today will be warm, humid and sunny.

In the time it has taken me to write this post, the first severe storms have fired in the north central part of the state.  I will be watching closely.

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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