Unusually Strong Late Winter/Early Spring Storm Headed Our Way!



Many people have been asking where has El Niño gone? Actually nowhere and its still very active. Folks in California will realize this by the end of next week. Forecast models are hitting the state hard with heavy rains and heavy snowfall this weekend into next week. Some locations may see up to 15" of rain by the time its all said and done with some parts of the Sierra Nevada Mountains getting up to 6-7 feet of snow. Parts of eastern Oklahoma and Arkansas are going to get drenched also with as much as 6"-9" of rain if not more in some locations by the end of next week.


GFS 500 MB Analysis @ 11 PM MST Last Night.

GFS 500 MB Forecast.
Valid @ 5 AM MST Sunday.

GFS 500 MB Forecast.
Valid @ 5 AM MST Monday.

GFS 500 MB Forecast.
Valid @ 5 AM MST Tuesday.

GFS 500 MB Forecast.
Valid @ 5 AM MST Wednesday.


El Niño continues to influence our weather and this will be abundantly clear this upcoming week. This given that seemingly it all but died the past month. The polar jet stream has been dragged further south thanks to the latest the Madden-Julian-Oscillation (MJO). The Pineapple Express will be cranking hard over the next week delivering several potent storms that will slam into California. 

By Tuesday morning near sunrise a powerful cutoff mid-upper level low will have dug southward into the Central Baja Region. It will then begin a slow crawl to the northeast by Wednesday while located south of the Baja Peninsula. The models are not in complete agreement as to its forecast track and speed after that. But by the end of next week it should be pulling out of Texas headed northeastward. 


GFS Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Thursday.

GFS Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Thursday.

GFS Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Thursday.

GFS Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Thursday.

WPC Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Thursday.

WPC Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Thursday.


Roswell, New Mexico.

Artesia, New Mexico.

Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Hobbs, New Mexico.

Sierra Blanca Regional Airport - Ruidoso, New Mexico.

Guadalupe Pass, Texas.

El Paso, Texas.


GFS Accumulated Snowfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Thursday.

GFS Accumulated Snowfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Thursday.

GFS Accumulated Snowfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Thursday.

Snowfall forecasts with this storm over New Mexico and surrounding areas is going to be tough to say the least. Although this will be a powerful storm it won't have a lot of cold air at the surface to work with. Also its current forecast track takes it too far to the south to produce more widespread snows across the state. So with current forecasts in mind the Sacramento and Capitan Mountains stand to receive some of the heaviest snows with perhaps as much as two feet in the higher elevations such as Ski Apache. Notice too that the GFS model continues its trend of burring the higher mountains of Northern and North-Central Mexico. All of this may change depending just where this storms ends up.

Very Heavy Rains For SE NM?

For days now the U.S. GFS model has been forecasting heavy to very heavy rainfall for southeastern New Mexico. Last night's 00Z/5 PM MST run which I have posted above continues this trend. Should these forecasts pan out then we would be looking at a historical event locally. Generally the model is forecasting storm total rainfall amounts of 2"-4". That's just not something we see in March normally. With rainfall totals this high we may need to think about the potential for some localized flash flooding issues too. 


Severe thunderstorms are also a possibility Monday into Tuesday especially across West Texas.

This inbound storm will be unusually strong and dynamic...yes a product of El Niño, so I look for some surprises from it concerning rainfall and snowfall totals. The track and speed of this storm may also change. Any shift to the north or south would have major impacts on not only our local forecasts but the rest of New Mexico and nearby areas also. Keep up to date with the very latest National Weather Service Forecasts for your areas of interest via this link

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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