Storm Prediction Center Update: 6/21/17

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) Outlook shows some severe threats this week, primarily associated with Tropical Storm Cindy as well as a shortwave trough in the Great Plains.

Day 1: Slight Risk

There are two Slight Risks issued today; one is over a wide swath of the center of the country, and one is associated with Tropical Storm Cindy.

The Tropical Storm Cindy Slight Risk area also has a 5% Tornado Threat Ring, while there is a 2% Tornado Threat Ring in the northern Great Plains:

Tropical Storm Cindy is expected to make landfall southwest of Lake Charles this evening, and will continue to wreak havoc on the Gulf Coast.  That is obviously the primary threat today.

However, there is still a Slight Risk for the Great Plains.  This threat is based on a shortwave trough and adequate moisture that have created a few bowing segments and embedded supercell clusters through this area.  The higher tornado threat is in the north, where a small jetstreak is ejecting and creating stronger deep-layer shear profiles.

 

Day 2: Marginal Risk

Day 2 is very similar to Day 1.

 

We still have the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy pushing north and inland.  While this system is weakening over land, it will still be a mess to deal with, and may spawn a few tornadoes across Louisiana and western Mississippi.

The Great Plains threat will be similar to Day 1, with a shortwave trough and adequate moisture (dewpoints reaching 60 F, in this case).  There will also be a cold front that will extend down from Manitoba as a closed low treks east.  This cold front may provide some additional lift, leading to squall lines and bowing segments.  There may be adequate shear to support a few supercells, however.

 

Day 3:  Slight Risk

There are two Slight Risk areas for Day 3.

The New England threat will be based on the advancing cold front from Canada ahead of the trough.  In this region, bulk shear will reach 40 kts, which could support a few rotating storms.

In the south, there will be the tail end of the cold front and its interaction with the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy.  It may be a little early to tell how this region will develop, but I will be watching this system.

 

Day 4-8:  Predictability Too Low

There is some strong to severe storms possible in Virginia on Day 4, though the models are disagreeing on the timing of the components.  Day 5-6 show a chance of severe weather in the Great Plains, though, once again, the models are in disagreement with when and where this will happen.

Thank you for reading this post.

All data and images are from the Storm Prediction Center Website.

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New Mexico Weather: 6/21/17

Yesterday was another hot day.  I commuted to Socorro and caught a few developing thunderstorms to our west, though none of them reached Socorro.

This morning has been still, sunny, hazy and hot.  Here is a view of the backyard, which I have still not tended to since my travels.  I’m not going to do so today, either, with temperatures as high as they are forecasted to be.

National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 104 F. The winds will be from the south at 5 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 71 F. Winds will be from the southwest at 5-10 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly sunny day, with isolated, dry thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 97 F. The winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph, becoming south in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 68 F. Winds will be from the south at 5-10 mph, becoming west after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 104 F. The winds will be from the southwest at 5-10 mph, becoming northwest in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 70 F. Winds will be from the north at 5-10 mph, becoming east after midnight.

The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the widespread heatwave that will occur over New Mexico over the next few days.  Today, there is a Heat Advisory in place over the western part of the state, including Albuquerque, Socorro, Magdalena and Rio Rancho.  The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Marginal Risk for severe weather over northeastern New Mexico.  The primary threats will be gusty winds and large hail, as the tornado threat is less than 2%.

The SPC also points out that isolated dry thunderstorms are possible today, especially over the western part of the state, leading to an increased fire risk.

The visible satellite imagery shows a few cumulus clouds building on the tops of the mountain ranges.

The infrared satellite imagery shows no thick clouds at this time.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor imagery shows that there is some moisture aloft, but notice the absence of disturbances in our area.  We are under only light upper-level winds.  Also notice Tropical Storm Cindy as it makes landfall in Louisiana and Texas.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows an inverted-v type sounding, meaning dry microbursts (virga bombs) are possible with any storms that form today.  There was 0.79 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was 30 J/kg Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -714 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 6.4 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 18 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 15 kts of deep-layer shear (due to a mix of speed and directional changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show hot temperatures, and moderately-low humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are clear, and the winds are still.  There are no major frontal boundaries clearly defined over the state this morning.

The surface pressure chart shows that we are under slightly lower pressure, but with no strong pressure gradients present.  The RAP shows that a thermal low will develop over the state (dropping to 998 mb) over the next six hours.  No strong pressure gradients are expected to develop.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows very little flow aloft as we are centered under a large upper-level high pressure system.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows that there is no strong vorticity advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows a few pockets of rapidly-rising air by 18 Z in the northwestern corner of the state.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows really high temperatures over most of the state today.  There is some weak Cold Air Advection (CAA) moving in from the east, but it will provide no relief to the Albuquerque area.

The Precipitation chart shows that there is a few pockets of rain possible this afternoon, particularly in the southern half of the state.

Today will remain sunny, hot and clear for much of the state, clouding up in the evening.   Today’s chances of precipitation will be lower, given the lower CAPE and moisture.  However, I think the big threat may be dry lightning strikes and gusty winds.  Any storms that form will be capable of producing dry microbursts and dry lightning, both of which are bad news for dry land susceptible to fires.

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from College of DuPage – SATRAD

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Long Range Forecasting: 6/20/17-6/27/17

It is time to look ahead at the long range forecast, as told by the GFS model.

The next week will be hot, with the chance of an occasional thunderstorm.  The lack of shear will limit the severe weather potential.  We are all set for monsoon season with an upper level high and low flow aloft, hot temperatures (that will form a surface thermal low) and available moisture

The 300 mb GFS charts show weak zonal to northwesterly flow over the state for the entire tie period.  This will limit the severe weather potential and will ultimately provide little relief from the hot weather.  Here is a representative chart;  all of them from this time period are similar.

The 850 mb GFS charts show that the temperature will be really hot for the next few days.  Friday afternoon, a back door cold front is expected to push southwest from the Great Plains, and that will provide some slight and temporary relief.  It will be warm again next week, but perhaps not quite as hot as this week has been.  Here is Friday evening’s chart; notice the cooler air moving in from the northeast.

The Precipitation charts show that our best chances of rain in the Rio Grande River Valley are Friday evening and Saturday.  There will be scattered chances of rain throughout the entire state until Sunday, when the chances of rain will be concentrated in the northeastern corner of the state.  Here is the chart for Saturday evening, showing in the valley.

New Mexico will be hot, with an occasional monsoonal thunderstorm or rain shower.  The severe storm potential will be limited by the weak shear.

Thank you for reading my post.

GFS Model Data is from Unisys Weather

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New Mexico Weather: 6/20/17

Yesterday was a hot day.  We had to defrost one of our window air conditioners, so it was quite miserable in the house, reaching 92.8 F indoors while we waited.  There were a few isolated thunderstorms, though none at my house.  Here was a developing cell to my north:

Also, it was so hot, this rabbit dug a little hole under one of my cars and flattened out to try to stay cool:

This morning has been still, clear and warm.  There were some contrails over Albuquerque, indicating some moisture aloft.

National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 100 F. The winds will be from the south at 5-15 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a low temperature of 71 F. Winds will be from the south at 5-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly sunny day, with a 30% chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms, and a high temperature of 93 F. The winds will be from the south at 10 mph.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 30% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 71 F. Winds will be from the southwest at 10-15 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 102 F. The winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph, becoming southwest in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 70 F. Winds will be from the southwest at 5-10 mph, becoming southeast after midnight.

The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the widespread heatwave that will occur over New Mexico over the next few days.  Today, there is a Heat Advisory in place over the western part of the state, including Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.  The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued a Marginal Risk for severe weather over northeastern New Mexico.  The primary threats will be gusty winds and large hail, as the tornado threat is less than 2%.

The SPC also points out that isolated dry thunderstorms are possible today, especially over the western part of the state, leading to an increased fire risk.

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The infrared satellite imagery shows a few higher, cooler-topped clouds that are remnants of yesterday’s isolated storms.

The water vapor imagery shows that there is some deep moisture over the state, particularly in the west and south.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a moderately damp, warm atmosphere.  There was 0.80 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was 950 J/kg Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -388 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was no thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 7.0 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 5 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 10 kts of deep-layer shear ( due to a mix of speed and directional changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show warm temperatures, and moderately-high humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are clear, and the winds are still.  There are no major frontal boundaries clearly defined over the state this morning.

The surface pressure chart shows that we are under slightly lower pressure, but with no strong pressure gradients present.  The RAP shows that a thermal low over Arizona will persist for at least the next six hours, but the pressure gradient will not increase significantly.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows very little flow aloft as we are centered under a large upper-level high pressure system.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows that there is no strong vorticity advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows no strong pockets of rapidly-rising air over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows really high temperatures over most of the state today.  There is some weak Cold Air Advection (CAA) moving in from the east, but it will provide no relief to the Albuquerque area.

The Precipitation chart shows that there is a few pockets of rain possible this afternoon, particularly in the southern half of the state.

Today will remain sunny, hot and clear for much of the state, clouding up in the evening.   I am not looking forward to the heat that we will experience over the next few days.  The sounding is richer than I imagined it would be earlier this morning.  I think the chances of isolate thunderstorms will be perhaps a little higher this afternoon.  We have ample moisture, some CAPE, and moderate lapse rates already this morning.  With the low shear, the severe threat over the Albuquerque area will be limited.

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from College of DuPage – SATRAD

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New Mexico Weather: 6/19/17

Yesterday was a long drive back from Van Buren, AR.  Due to a dinner stop and a slight car issue, we did not arrive in Rio Rancho until almost 5 AM this morning.

This morning has been breezy, clear and cool.  Here is a photo from my overgrown back yard:

National Weather Service (NWS) in Albuquerque forecasts (for Socorro) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 100 F. The winds will be from the east at 5 mph.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 69 F. Winds will be from the south at 5 mph.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Magdalena) a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 92 F. The winds will be from the northwest at 5-10 mph, becoming east in the afternoon.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with a 20% chance of isolated showers and thunderstorms, and a low temperature of 69 F. Winds will be from the southeast at 5-10 mph, becoming southwest after midnight.

The NWS in Albuquerque forecasts (for Rio Rancho) a sunny day, with a high temperature of 99 F. The winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph, becoming southeast in the afternoon.  This evening will be partly cloudy, with a low temperature of 67 F. Winds will be from the east at 5-10 mph.

The NWS has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook concerning the widespread heatwave that will occur over New Mexico over the next few days.  Today, there are several Excessive Heat Watches in place, including one over Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.  The NWS Watches and Warnings graphic is shown below:

The visible satellite imagery shows no clouds over the state today.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The infrared satellite imagery shows no thick clouds over the state this morning.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The water vapor imagery shows that there is mostly dry air over the state today.

The 12Z sounding from Albuquerque shows a moderately damp atmosphere below 500 mb.  There was 0.63 inches of precipitable water present in the column this morning.  There was 40 J/kg Convective Available Potential Energy (CAPE) and -720 J/kg of Convective Inhibition (CINH) present.  There was a small thermal inversion near the surface, and the 0-3 km average lapse rate was 5.9 C/km.

The hodograph shows that there was 5 kts of low-level shear (mostly due to directional changes) and 10 kts of deep-layer shear ( due to a mix of speed and directional changes).

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show warm temperatures, and high humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions), though lower than the last few days.  The skies are clear, and the still winds.  There are no major frontal boundaries clearly defined over the state this morning.

The surface pressure chart shows that we are under slightly lower pressure, but with no strong pressure gradients present.  The RAP shows that this thermal low will deepen near the Arizona border over the next six hours, but the pressure gradient will not increase significantly.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows very little flow aloft as we are centered under a large upper-level high pressure system.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows that there is no strong vorticity advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows no strong pockets of rapidly-rising air over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows really high temperatures over most of the state today.  There is some weak Cold Air Advection (CAA) moving in from the east, but it will provide no relief to the Albuquerque area.

The Precipitation chart shows that there is a few pockets of rain possible this afternoon, particularly in the southern half of the state.

Today will remain sunny and clear for much of the state, clouding up in the evening.  The day will be hot and still.  I’m already wondering if going for a run in a few minutes is a good idea.

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from College of DuPage – SATRAD

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Satellite Image of the Week #24

This week’s satellite image shows fog in some of the valleys in West Virginia.  Many of the valleys had fog in the morning, but as the sun rose and heated the earth, the fog quickly mixed out.  It lingers in some of the deeper, shaded valleys.

Thank you for reading this post!

Source:  College of DuPage – SATRAD

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West Virginia to Missouri Weather: 6/17/17

Today will be a long travel day, as we will drive from Huntington, WV, to Joplin, MO.

This morning has been mild, still and mostly clear as the fog mixes out.  Here is the only photo I could take down our street this morning.  Notice that every building is a strip club.  I tried to take a photo without one, but it was impossible.

National Weather Service (NWS) in Charleston, WV, forecasts (for Huntington, WV) a foggy morning, followed by a mostly sunny day, with a high temperature of 89 F. The winds will be from the south at 5 mph.

The NWS in St. Louis, MO, forecasts (for St. Louis, MO) a gradual clearing becoming mostly sunny, with a high temperature of 91 F. The winds will be from the south at 7-13 mph.

The NWS in Springfield, MO, forecasts (for Joplin, MO) a mess of a day today, with severe storms possible, gusty winds, and a heat index of 109 F.  This evening will be mostly cloudy, with an 60% chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2 am, and a low temperature of 68 F. Winds will be from the south at 9-13 mph, gusting to 18 mph.

The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has issued an Enhanced Risk to the north of our travel route, and we will pass through the Slight Risk area.  However, depending on timing, we could drive through the remnants of the storms that fired in the Enhanced Risk region, so we will proceed with caution.

The visible satellite imagery is unavailable at this time.

The infrared satellite imagery shows a large cluster of thick clouds over Missouri.  This will have likely drifted east as we push west, so we will drive under cloudy, rainy skies for much of our journey today.

The water vapor imagery shows that we are currently in a small stripe of dry air, but will return to deep moisture soon after we enter Kentucky, and will remain under deep moisture for the rest of the day.

The 12Z soundings are unavailable at this time.

The surface observations (from the SPC Mesoscale Analysis Map) show mild temperatures, and high humidity (based on the surface dewpoint depressions).  The skies are mostly clear along our route, with calm winds.  The Doppler RADAR overlay shows that there is a large Mesoscale Convective System (MCS) over Missouri, and we will deal with the remnants, as well as new storms that form along its outflow boundaries, later today.

The surface pressure chart shows that we will drive towards lower pressure.  The mid-latitude cyclone is centered over Iowa.  We can expect the pressure to drop slowly, both due to its movement east and our movement west.

Synoptically speaking, the 300 mb NAM chart (from Unisys) shows that we will pass just south of a trough that has sagged through the midwest.  We will actually be under a light northwesterly flow regime.

The 500 mb NAM chart shows that there is no strong vorticity advection over the state today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 700 mb NAM chart shows no major pockets of rapidly-rising air along our route today.  This chart has been excluded from today’s post.

The 850 mb NAM chart shows no strong thermal advection over the state today.  This image has been excluded from today’s post.

The Precipitation chart shows that rain will be possible as we enter Illinois and Missouri, but that we will dodge a little south of the bulk of the precipitation.

It is going to be a mess later this evening, with storms firing to our north.  We will have to keep a close eye on the radar to make sure we are not punching into severe weather this afternoon.

Thank you for reading my forecast.

The upper air soundings and mesoscale analysis plots are from the Storm Prediction Center website.
The forecasted upper air soundings are from TwisterData.com.
The surface observation and upper level charts are from Unisys Weather.
The satellite data is from College of DuPage – SATRAD

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