Central New Mexico Weather: 1/23/23

Yesterday, it was sunny, cold in Rio Rancho, becoming cloudy in the evening.

Today, it is mostly clear and cold in Rio Rancho. My weather station in Rio Rancho says:

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Rio Rancho, NM) a cloudy day, with a high temperature of 41 F. The winds will be from the east at 25-30 mph, gusting to 45 mph. This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 30% chance of snow showers (< 0.5″) and a low temperature of 24 F. The winds will be from the northeast at 15-25 mph. A High Wind Warning is in effect until midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Socorro, NM) a cloudy day, with a 30% chance of showers and a high temperature of 47 F. The winds will be from the southeast at 10-15 mph, increasing to 20-25 mph this afternoon. This evening will be cloudy, with a 50% chance of showers becoming a 60% chance of snow showers (1-2″) and a low temperature of 24 F. The winds will be from the east at 15 mph, becoming northerly after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Magdalena, NM) a mostly cloudy day, with a 30% chance of snow showers (< 1″) and a high temperature of 39 F. The winds will be from the southeast at 10-15 mph, increasing to 20-25 mph and gusting to 35 mph this afternoon. This evening will be cloudy, with an 80% chance of snow showers (6-10″) and a low temperature of 19 F. The winds will be from the east at 10-20 mph, becoming northerly after midnight. A Winter Weather advisory is in place from 12 PM until 8 AM tomorrow.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecasts (for Mountainair, NM) a cloudy day, with a 30% chance of snow showers (< 0.5″) and a high temperature of 35 F. The winds will be from the east at 15-25 mph, gusting to 35 mph. This evening will be cloudy, with an 80% chance of snow (3-7″) and a low temperature of 20 F. The winds will be from the northeast at 15-20 mph, gusting to 30 mph. Mountainair is under a Winter Storm Warning from 6 PM until 12 PM tomorrow.

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, has issued several Winter Weather products ahead of this system. The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:

The NWS in Albuquerque, NM, forecaster’s discussion says an upper-level low pressure system will enter the state and trigger snowfall for much of the state, beginning this afternoon. Snowfall amounts will be heavy in some locations and travel will be impacted.

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time. The enhanced infrared imagery shows cloudy skies, statewide.

The upper-level water vapor imagery shows the low over western Arizona and plenty of moisture aloft ahead of the storm system.

The 12Z upper air sounding from Albuquerque, NM, is unavailable at this time.

The SPC Mesoscale Analysis Surface Map shows cold, dry weather. The skies are cloudy in most locations (according to the sensors). The winds are light and variable.

The SPC Mesoscale Analysis Pressure Map shows a surface low over the boot heel of New Mexico, with a tight gradient radiating outward from it. The RAP shows this trend will continue for at least the next six hours.

The NAM 250 mb chart shows variable flow, as we sit on the east side of a trough that deforms and tilts all day.

The NAM 700 mb and 850 mb charts show Cold Air Advection (CAA) pushing east into the state. While the winds are not directly moving across the thermal gradient, the upper-level winds are moving the system east. The bulb of cold air is more apparent on the 700 mb chart.

The Nested NAM simulated reflectivity chart shows precipitation is likely, statewide. Some will drift in with the low, but more will develop over the state this afternoon and evening as the low moves east.

The Nested NAM snow charts are in agreement with coverage and intensity of the snowfall, with the deepest snow in a few patches over the mountains, as well as just east of the mountains. However, lots of places will see some snowfall this evening.

The Nested NAM temperature chart predicts that the high temperatures for the middle Rio Grande River Valley will reach the upper 30s F.

The Nested NAM also predicts shows the low temperatures are expected to drop into the upper 20s F.

The Nested NAM dewpoint chart shows that the dewpoints will remain in the upper 10s F and lower 20s F.

The Nested NAM wind prediction chart shows strong winds are possible, particularly over the southern half of the state.

The Nested NAM simulated infrared chart shows mostly cloudy skies all day and all night, statewide.

Today will be the beginning of a winter storm that will impact a large swath of New Mexico. Unlike the last few storms which have been quite dry, this one will have the moisture required to produce winter weather. I am fully expecting some travel delays and school closures tomorrow (including Magdalena). Otherwise, today will be breezy, cloudy and cold ahead of this system. The cloud cover will keep temperatures from rising very far during the day or dropping much at night.

I decided to take the busses and trains today down to Socorro and back. Otherwise, I will stay inside out of the wind and the cold.

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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