A Review Of The Arctic Invasion Jan 31 - Feb 4, 2011.

Carlsbad, New Mexico 2-2-2011.

The Arrival Of One Of The Coldest Outbreaks In Decades!

NWS El Paso Summary Of The Event.

One of the strongest arctic invasions in decades arrived in the northern sections of southeastern New Mexico just before sunset on Monday, Jan 31st. The Roswell Airport recorded a high temperature of 68 Monday afternoon, the Artesia Airport reached 68, the Carlsbad Airport 70, and Hobbs made it up to 67. These high temps were some ten degrees above normal. That would be the end of the balmy temperatures as mother nature was fixing to give us a reality check. And what a shock it was, this considering that most of our winter here locally has been unusually warm and very dry.

By 9:00 PM the arctic front had moved south of a Hobbs-Carlsbad line. When the cold front arrived in Carlsbad, my thermometer dropped from 56 degrees to 43 degrees in less than five minutes. My barometer shot up like a rocket from 29.76" of mercury to 29.89". Temperatures continued to fall throughout the night, and most locations recorded their high temperature for the day on Tuesday at midnight on Monday. We stayed below freezing here in the Pecos Valley from roughly midnight Monday night until nearly noon on Friday. I don't have the data available to know if this was a new record for the number of days below freezing. Id bet though that it would make the top 10 list, maybe even the top five.

Northerly winds sustained at 20-30 mph with gusts to near 40 mph accompanied the frontal passage and continued into Tuesday. Nearly continuous Wind Chill Advisories, and Wind Chill Warnings were issued for all of the local area from Tuesday morning into Friday morning. This was something that I don't ever remember happening before.

Measured wind chill values from Tuesday into Friday mornings ranged from -5F to -20F across the lower elevations of the Pecos Valley, to -40 across the mountains. From northern Lea County northward to the Clovis area, wind chill values hovered around -25F to -30F at times. That was just insane to have these kind of wind chill values for three and one-half days in a row. Wind chill values even crated to the -25F to -40F range in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe areas.

We were very fortunate in our home in that we did not loose our power, nor did our water freeze up. I was working at the Gas Plant Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights. My wife got up every couple of hours during this time, at night, to make sure the water was dripping, and the fire in the fireplace was stoked up. Otherwise we wouldn't have suffered the same fate as many other New Mexicans did. I thank God for Diane, she is a incredible wife and I love her dearly! Many people around the local area and the state suffered from water pipes freezing up and breaking.

There was a gas shortage across parts of the state as well. Some 32,000+ people were without heat across the northern parts of the state alone. Power outages were common with rolling blackouts in some areas, especially in the El Paso and Las Cruces areas. Our highways were a mess with some road closure's. A host of other problems that were weather related have been plaguing the state as well. To read more about this please visit these web sites: KOAT & News, Eyewitness News 4 KOB, KRQE News. Check out ACCuWeather Meteorlogist Jesse Ferrell's "WeatherMatrix Blog" concerning how cold it was in New Mexico, and how far into Mexico this bitterly cold airmass penetrated. The Albuquerque Naitonal Weather Service Office produced a great summary of this event, you can read it by clicking on this link, "The Big Chill".

Much of the nation has once again, like last year, been caught in the brutal grips of a wickedly cold winter. Why? That would require a complicated answer, and I don't have room for it here.

The short and sweet answer goes something like this. The Pacific Ocean has once again entered into a cold PDO phase.This should last for roughly the next 20 - 30 years. When the Pacific Oceans cools down, so does the planet. Cold PDO's tend to produce stronger and longer lasting La Nina's, which tend to produce colder than normal winters across the country. This current La Nina that we are suffering through, is supposedly the strongest on record since 1950. AccuWeather Meteorologist Joe Bastardi has some pretty interesting thoughts and videos on this subject. You can view them by visiting this this link.

If you take a look back at our local climatological records it's pretty easy to see that a majority of our coldest winter weather outbreaks, and lowest temperature records, were established between the late 1940's and the late 1970's. Which coincides with the last cold PDO episode. So I think that we will see a return to some more of the type of winters (COLD) that my grandparents,and some of the older ranchers and farmers warned me about when I was a kid growing up in Artesia. It's just my personal opinion folks. I have been telling folks around here for years that one of these days soon we were going to see our temperatures plummet down to -10F, -20F or colder, here in the Pecos Valley of southeastern New Mexico and surrounding areas. And of course few believed me. It happened this week. This may only be the beginning folks, we may see similar or even colder outbreaks like the one we experienced this week, over the next 20 - 30 years!

I think that this may be especially true since the sun has entered such a prolonged low sunspot cycle. Lets not forget that our great big yellow star in the sky has decided to take a nap...and the scary thing is, that it is looking like this may be a very long one at that. There continues to be an abnormally low amount of sunspot activity on our sun. This does not bode well for those of us who hate long cold winters. Some think that we may be on the verge of entering another Maunder or Dalton type Solar Sunspot Minimum Cycle. That's a scary thought because many believe (as do I) that this may have been what caused the Little Ice Age during the late 1700s into the mid 1800s. Please visit these web sites for more information on this controversial subject. SpaceWeather.com, Ice Age Now, Watts Up With That? And by the way, check out this composite Satellite image of the plant, a great deal of the northern hemisphere is covered with snow and ice!


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New All Time Coldest Maximum Temperatures
(Wednesday Feb 2, 2011)

Hobbs set a new all time coldest maximum temperature record on Wednesday when they only manged to reach a high of 11. The previous record was12 that was set on Jan 12, 1963. Their records go back to 1913.

Picacho, which is located near Hondo, set a new all time coldest maximum temperature record on Wednesday when they only managed a high of 13. The previous record was 15 set on Jan 13, 1997. Their records go back to 1979.

Hope set a new all time coldest maximum temperature record on Wednesday when they only managed to reach a high of 14. The previous record was 19 set on Dec 22, 1989. Their records go back to 1942.

New All Time Coldest Maximum Temperatures
(Thursday Feb 2, 2011)

Carlsbad Caverns set a new all time coldest maximum temperature record on Thursday when they only managed a high of 5. The previous record was 11 set on Jan 30, 1949. Their records start in 1934.

Hope broke their all time coldest maximum temperature record of 14 which was set on Wednesday, with a high on Thursday of only 6. Their records go back to 1942.

Picacho broke their all time coldest maximum temperature record of 14 set on Wednesday, with a high on Thursday of only 11. Their records go back to 1979.

The Carlsbad Climate Coop Station tied their all time coldest maximum temperature record of 12 set on Jan 13, 1963.Their records go back to 1900.

Jal broke set a new all time coldest maximum temperature record on Thursday when they only managed a high of 13. The previous record was 15 set on Jan 10, 1962. Their records go back to 1936.


El Paso, Texas set a new all time coldest maximum temperature record on Wednesday when they only managed a high of 15. The previous record was 17 set on Jan 10, 1962. Their records go back to 1891.

New February Coldest Maximum Temperatures
(Wednesday Feb 2, 2011)

Clovis tied their monthly coldest maximum temperature on Wednesday when they only managed to reach a high of 9. The previous record was 9 set on Feb 1, 1985. Their records go back to 1950.
The Roswell Airport set a new February coldest maximum temperature record on Wednesday when they only managed to reach a high of 10. The previous record was 16 set on Feb 6, 1989. Their records go back to 1948.

The Carlsbad Airport set a new February coldest maximum temperature record on Wednesday when they only managed to reach a high of 11. The previous record was 15 set on Feb 1, 1985. Their records go back to 1941.

Hobbs set a new February coldest maximum temperature record on Wednesday when they only managed to reach a high of 11. The previous record was 13 set on Feb 1, 1985. Their records go back to 1913.

Hope set a new February coldest maximum temperature record on Wednesday when they only managed to reach a high of 14. The previous record was 20 set on Feb 1, 1985. Their records go back to 1942.

New February Coldest Maximum Temperatures
(Thursday Feb 3, 2011)

Carlsbad Caverns set a new February coldest maximum temperature record on Thursday when they only managed to reach 5. The previous record was 12 set on Feb 1, 1985.
Hope set a new February coldest maximum temperature record on Thursday when they only managed to reach 6. The previous record was 14 set on Feb 2, 2011. Their records go back to 1942.

The Carlsbad Climate Coop Station set a new February coldest maximum temperature record on Thursday when they only managed to reach 12. The previous record was set on Feb 7, 1989. Their records go back to 1901.

Jal set a new February coldest maximum temperature record on Thursday when they only managed to reach 13. The previous record was 19 set on Feb 1, 1985. Their records go back to 1947.

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Almost A New Record

The Roswell Climate Coop Station only managed a high temperature of 9 on Wednesday. This was the second coldest maximum temperature on record for them. Their all time coldest maximum temperature is 5 set on Jan 12, 1963. Their records go back to 1893.
The Artesia Airport only managed a high temperature of 10 on Wednesday. This is the third coldest all time maximum temperature on record. The previous records are 9 set on Jan 13, 1963, and 7 set on Feb 8, 1933. Their records go back to 1905.

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New All Time Minimum Temperature
(Thursday Feb 3, 2011)

The Ruidoso Climate Coop Station recorded a new all time minimum temperature record on Thursday when the thermometer stopped it's plunge at -27. The previous records were -26 set on Feb 1, 1951, and Feb 1, 1971. Their records go back to 1941.

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This is an incomplete list, and new records continue to trickle in. I did not cover the record low temperatures because I simply don't have the room in this post. Many of our existing daily high temperatures took a beating in the local area, and there were some new daily record lows established.

Many other daily, monthly, and all time temperature records for other locations across the state were established this week. I can't list them all because there were simply too many of them. Please visit this link to view these records.

Most of New Mexico experienced their coldest morning low temperatures on Thursday morning. This wasn't the case in the Pecos Valley of southeastern New Mexico. Our coldest readings were recorded Friday morning. The Roswell Airport bottomed out at -11, the Artesia Climate Coop Station -9, the Artesia Airport -6, the Carlsbad Airport -4, and I recorded a -1 here at my home in Carlsbad.
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NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ALBUQUERQUE NM
746 AM MST THU FEB 3 2011
...SUBZERO COLD TEMPERATURES ACROSS NEW MEXICO THIS MORNING...
TEMPERATURES PLUNGED WELL BELOW ZERO FOR MANY PLACES ACROSS NEW
MEXICO EARLY THIS MORNING.
SOME REPRESENTATIVE UNOFFICIAL READINGS SO FAR...
ANGEL FIRE 36 BELOW
MORIARTY 34 BELOW
MOUNTAINAIR 8 NW 28 BELOW
MANZANO 28 BELOW
SAN JOSE 27 BELOW
STANLEY 26 BELOW
TRUCHAS 26 BELOW
ALTO 26 BELOW
TAOS 26 BELOW
VALLES CALDERA 25 BELOW
TRES RITOS 25 BELOW
MILLS CANYON 25 BELOW
EDGEWOOD 24 BELOW
ENCINO 23 BELOW
MINERAL HILL 23 BELOW
GALLUP 23 BELOW
RAMAH 23 BELOW
LAS VEGAS 23 BELOW
DES MOINES 22 BELOW
GRANTS 22 BELOW
RED RIVER 21 BELOW
ESTANCIA 20 BELOW
BLACK LAKE 20 BELOW
CLINES CORNERS 20 BELOW
SIERRA BLANCA 19 BELOW
WHITE ROCK 19 BELOW
SEDILLO 18 BELOW
RATON 18 BELOW
SANTA FE 18 BELOW
TUCUMCARI 18 BELOW
MOUNTAINAIR 18 BELOW
NARBONA PASS 17 BELOW
CIMARRON 17 BELOW
DULCE 17 BELOW
PLACITAS 17 BELOW
AZTEC 16 BELOW
MAGDALENA 16 BELOW
CUBA 16 BELOW
CLAYTON 15 BELOW
SOCORRO 14 BELOW
VAUGHN 14 BELOW
RUIDOSO 13 BELOW
MELROSE RANGE 11 BELOW
ALBUQUERQUE DOUBLE EAGLE 11 BELOW
SANTA ROSA 10 BELOW
DUNKEN 9 BELOW
RIO RANCHO 9 BELOW
CANNON AIR FORCE BASE 8 BELOW
CLOVIS 8 BELOW
ROSWELL 8 BELOW
ALBUQUERQUE SUNPORT 7 BELOW
LOS ALAMOS 6 BELOW
FARMINGTON 2 BELOW
SHY

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE EL PASO TX/SANTA TERESA NM
800 PM MDT THU FEB 3 2011
...UPDATED THURSDAY MORNING LOW TEMPERATURE ROUNDUP...
LOW TEMPERATURES RECORDED THURSDAY MORNING AROUND THE AREA:

OTERO COUNTY...
CLOUDCROFT - ASPENDALE -24
CLOUDCROFT - DRY CANYON -27
CLOUDCROFT - WIMSATT -20
CLOUDCROFT FIRE STATION -19
CLOUDCROFT 6MI NE -22
ALAMOGORDO AIRPORT -13
ALAMOGORDO EAST -21
BOLES ACRES -12
HIGH ROLLS -6
HOLLOMAN AFB -19
LA LUZ -4
MAYHILL -20
MESCALERO -30
MOUNTAIN PARK -12
SUNSPOT -18
TIMBERON -5
TULAROSA -11
WEED -16
HIDALGO COUNTY NM...
ANTELOPE WELLS -2
LORDSBURG +1
GRANT COUNTY...
GILA CLIFF DWELLINGS -14
LAKE ROBERTS -4
MULE CREEK -13
SILVER CITY NORTH -9
SILVER CITY 12 MI SE -9
DONA ANA COUNTY NM...
BERINO -4
CHAPARRAL -4
DONA ANA -6
JORNADA RANGE -20
LA UNION +1
LAS CRUCES AIRPORT 0
LAS CRUCES CENTRAL -5
LAS CRUCES EAST -6
LAS CRUCES EAST MESA -9
LAS CRUCES NE MESA -12
LAS CRUCES NORTHEAST -8
NMSU -5
SAN AUGUSTIN PASS -5
SANTA TERESA -5
SUNLAND PARK 0
WSMR MAIN POST -9
SIERRA COUNTY NM...
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES -6
LUNA COUNTY NM...
DEMING AIRPORT 0
SUNSHINE -1
EL PASO COUNTY TX...
ANTHONY -1
CANUTILLO -2
EL PASO CENTRAL +5
EL PASO EAST +3
EL PASO FAR NORTHEAST +2
EL PASO AIRPORT +1
EL PASO NORTHEAST -1
EL PASO WEST 0
HUDSPETH AND CULBERSON COUNTIES TX...
DELL CITY +5
VAN HORN +3
TSB/JP/MH
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Additional Low Temps Thursday Morning


"Courtesy of The Albuquerque NWS Office."

Lincoln Co-

Roswell Port Raws #1 - Near Ft. Stanton -31
Mescalero -30F
Ruidoso Climate -27
Ruidoso - Midtown -23 
Capitan Climate -22
Ranches Of Sonterra -22
White Mtn Meadows -21
Alto -20
Corona DW4791 -19
Eagle Creek Canyon -17
Alto Hombre Gordito -16
Adams Ranch -15
Nogal -12

Otero CO-

Dry Canyon - E Cloudcroft -27
Aspendale Mtn Retreat - S Cloudcroft -24
Silver Springs - Cloudcroft -22
Mayhill Raws -21
Cloudcroft Climate -20
Wimsatt -20
Cloudcroft Fire Station Hwy (82) -19
Holloman AFB - Alamogordo -19
Cosmic Raws - Sunspot -18
Weed - DRO -16
Mescal Raws - Mescalero -15
Alamogordo White Sands Arpt -13
Haynes Canyon - High Roll -12
High Roll -7
Timberon -6

Eddy Co-

Artesia Climate -7
Hope Climate -5
Carlsbad Airport -4
Carlsbad Caverns Climate -4
Carlsbad Climate -3
South Artesia -2
Indian Basin Gas Plant - 20 WNW Carlsbad -1
2.1 NNW Downtown Carlsbad -1

Curry Co-

Clovis CW3200 -11
Cannon AFB Clovis -8 

Roosevelt Co-

Portales Climate -15

Chaves Co-

Elk Climate -24
8-Mile Draw Raws -12
Roswell Airport -11
Roswell Climate -8

Lea Co-

NW Hobbs - KM5BS 2
E Hobbs 2
Woody Farms - 11 N Hobbs 3
Knowles 5
Jal Climate 5

Culberson Co Tx-

Dell City, Tx 5

Temperature Data Courtesy Of-

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Local High/Low Temps This Week

Roswell, NM Airport
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
24
6
Wed 2-2-2011
10
2
Thu 2-3-2011
17
-8
Fri 2-4-2011
44
-11
Roswell, Climate
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
*63
12
Wed 2-2-2011
*16
1
Thu 2-3-2011
*9
-8
Fri 2-4-2011
*18
-7
Artesia, NM Airport
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
27
7
Wed 2-2-2011
10
0
Thu 2-3-2011
14
0
Fri 2-4-2011
41
-6
Artesia, NM Climate
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
*68
15
Wed 2-2-2011
*19
4
Thu 2-3-2011
*13
-7
Fri 2-4-2011
*15
-9
2.1 NNW Downtown Carlsbad
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
32
9
Wed 2-2-2011
13
6
Thu 2-3-2011
17
1
Fri 2-4-2011
44
-1
Carlsbad Airport
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
32
9
Wed 2-2-2011
11
5
Thu 2-3-2011
14
1
Fri 2-4-2011
43
-4
Carlsbad Climate
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
*70
19
Wed 2-2-2011
*20
6
Thu 2-3-2011
*12
3
Fri 2-4-2011
*16
-3
Hobbs Climate
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
*65
10
Wed 2-2-2011
*11
1
Thu 2-3-2011
*15
1
Fri 2-4-2011
*15
2
Tatum Climate
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
*64
10
Wed 2-2-2011
*13
-1
Thu 2-3-2011
*8
-4
Fri 2-4-2011
*14
-2
Capitan Climate
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
38
4
Wed 2-2-2011
4
-4
Thu 2-3-2011
13
-22
Fri 2-4-2011
32
-4
Ruidoso Climate
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
49
36
Wed 2-2-2011
M
-10
Thu 2-3-2011
17
-27
Fri 2-4-2011
4
-12
Elk Climate
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
34
4
Wed 2-2-2011
4
-8
Thu 2-3-2011
10
-24
Fri 2-4-2011
37
-17
Cloudcroft Climate
High Temp
Low Temp
Tue 2-1-2011
M
M
Wed 2-2-2011
M
M
Thu 2-3-2011
8
-20
Fri 2-4-2011
29
-3

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