Next Arctic Cold Front & Winter Storm Arrives Tue!
A quick hitting upper-level storm produced a mixed bag of light rain, light sleet, and light snow across southeastern New Mexico yesterday afternoon. I was visiting my brother yesterday afternoon in Atoka, just south of Artesia, around 1 PM when a burst of sleet, snow pellets, and snow occurred. The temperature in our truck dropped from 50 degrees to 37 degrees in a matter of a couple of minutes during the event. And about as quick as it came, it was all over.
Today & Tue
We will see the calm before the storm today and tomorrow. Our high temps today will be in the mid 50's, and the mid 60's are forecast for Tuesday. Sunny skies should prevail across the area.
Tuesday Night Into Wednesday
Our next bout with winter arrives tomorrow night when an arctic cold front moves into southeastern New Mexico, while another strong upper-level winter storm digs into the Four Corners. Northerly-northeasterly winds at around 10-20 mph with gusts to 30 - 40 mph will accompany the frontal passage tomorrow night into Wednesday morning.
With temperatures dropping down into the teens to near 20 Wednesday morning, wind chill values may drop down into the single digits to near zero generally south of a Ruidoso-Roswell-Tatum line. North of this line wind chill values may be in the neighborhood of 0 to -10. Wind Chill values of -10F to -20F will occur over the northeastern and eastern plains.
High temperatures on Wednesday are forecast to be near 32 across SE NM, and the 20's across the Sacramento Mtn's. We will drop down to below freezing late tomorrow night, and may stay below freezing until around noontime on Thursday. If our skies clear Wednesday night into Thursday morning, our low temperatures will dip down into the single digits and teens. If we receive more snowfall than is currently being forecast, then I think that we may see some spots drop down to around zero, or below, especially across the higher mountain valleys, and normally colder valley locations Thursday morning.
Snow will increase across southeastern New Mexico Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Current National Weather Service Forecasts have the snow ending over the area by Wednesday night. Areas of blowing and drifting snow will limit the visibility and make travel upon local roadways hazardous and dangerous. This will be especially true across the Sacramento Mountains, and from the Roswell area northward into the eastern plains.
The best chance for accumulating snow according to this mornings National Weather Service Forecasts and computer model trends will be over the Sacramento Mtn's and north of a Ruidoso-Roswell-Tatum line. I think that snow will fall in the Artesia, Carlsbad, and Hobbs areas, but at this time it appears that we will be on the tail end of the upper-level storm swinging by to our north, and this will limit the amount of snowfall that we will receive. I really hope that this is the case since a lot of people across the local area and around the state are still in recovery mode from last weeks historic storm. Albuquerque TV Station KOB News4 is reporting that there are still 21,000 people in New Mexico without gas to heat their homes this morning. Last weeks storm left 32,000+ people without heat last week.
The models seem to be backing off on the strength of the upper-level storm, and are not closing it off and stalling it over southern New Mexico like last weeks storm. They also are backing off on the strength and depth of this next blast of arctic air, and have us warming up again by Thursday.
This forecast may be subject to change of course, depending upon what the new set of model data (this mornings 12Z/5 AM MST runs) indicates for the strength, and exact track of the upper-level storm. A new and updated forecast package will be be issued by the local NWS Offices by 4 PM this afternoon. So keep checking back here today for all the latest updates on this next round of winter weather, that is due to impact the state and local area tomorrow into Wednesday night.
The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!