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Potential For A Major Winter Storm This Weekend.



GFS 500 MB Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Friday.

ECMWF 500 MB Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Friday.

GEM 500 MB Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Friday.

As of this mornings 12Z/5 AM MST computer forecast model runs, all three of the long-range models (the U.S. GFS, the European (ECMWF), and the Canadian (GEM) agree that a strong short wave trough of low pressure will dive southward out of the Pacific Northwest, and cut itself off near southern California by sunset Friday. Whether or not the storm is a cut off upper-level low, or a closed low at that time, is still somewhat open for debate. 

As the weekend progresses, the models very slowly drag this storm roughly on a easterly track through or near New Mexico. Just how far south it sags, and how long it takes it to move into, and then out of the state is questionable at this time. 

Historically whenever these potent closed lows, or cut off lows take the southerly route...generally south of a Tucson - El Paso - Midland line, then New Mexico, especially the southern one half of the state, can and often does encounter a serious winter storm. Heavy snows often fall over the mountains, and sometimes across the lower valley floors too.

If this storm takes a more northerly route across the Four-Corners area this weekend, then the southern part of the state would tend to miss most of the winter-like weather, at least at the lower elevations. The Guadalupe, Sacramento, and Capitan mountains could get snow, but typically not as much as the southern storms produce. 

So once again the exact track and speed of this storm will be crucial as to just who gets the most winter weather, including the heaviest snows, and possibly sleet and or freezing rain late this week into this weekend. Nothing is set in stone just yet. But there is the potential for this next storm to become a major winter storm for the state and possibly the local area.


GFS Temperature Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Friday.

GFS Temperature Anomaly Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Friday.

ECMWF Temperature Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Friday.

ECMWF Temperature Anomaly Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Friday.

A strong arctic cold front is currently forecast to arrive in southeastern New Mexico by Thursday night or Friday morning. Kiss the 70-degree readings we have been experiencing for the past several weeks goodbye once the front arrives. We may not make it to or much above freezing on Saturday if the European model is to be believed. Strong and gusty northerly to northeasterly winds will accompany the frontal passage and will persists into at least Friday. Wind chill values may fall into the 20's and then the teens by Saturday.


GFS Temperature Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Saturday.

GFS Temperature Anomaly Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Saturday.

ECMWF Temperature Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Saturday.

ECMWF Temperature Anomaly Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Saturday.

The European (ECMWF) model forecast at this time is colder than the GFS model with the associated arctic airmass that is forecast to barrel down the eastern plains by Thursday night or Friday morning. If the European model is to be believed it appears that southeastern New Mexico may struggle to reach the freezing mark by sunset on Saturday. 


GFS Snowfall Total Forecast.
Valid @ 5 AM MST Monday, Nov 25, 2013.

ECMWF Snowfall Total Forecast.
Valid @ 5 AM MST Monday, Nov 25, 2013.

GEM Snowfall Total Forecast.
Valid @ 5 AM MST Monday, Nov 25, 2013.

Both the Canadian (GEM) model, and the European (ECMWF) model, are hinting that this storm could be a big snow producer over the mountains of New Mexico this weekend. Some locations could see 12" - 24" of snow if these models are any where close to being correct. Again, there remains a great deal of uncertainty at this time, as to just how this storm is going to behave, where it will track, and who will get what over the state, and just exactly when. 

The models are also hinting that a wintry mix of rain, freezing rain, or drizzle and or freezing drizzle, sleet, and snow will be possible across the northeastern, eastern, and southeastern plains of the state Thursday night into Saturday. There is the potential for our local roadways to become a mess by late this week into this weekend so keep this in mind if you have travel plans.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction! 

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