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High Winds - Blowing Dust - Extremely Dangerous Fire Weather Conditions Tuesday! Severe Thunderstorms Thursday & Friday?


Artesia, New Mexico Wall Cloud.

Courtesy Of Doozie Saenz - Sept 17, 2016.

See my blog post "Artesia Supercell 9-17-2016" for more photos and video of this monster of a severe thunderstorm.


The photo above was taken from the parking lot of Wal Mart in Artesia looking back to the southwest. Wall Clouds are abrupt lowerings usually found on the southwestern flank of a supercell thunderstorm


3-D Radar Depiction Of A Supercell Thunderstorm.
(September 15, 2016 8:55 PM MDT).
(Using GR2Analyst Software).


This radar snapshot shows the overall structure of this right moving Severe Thunderstorm as it rolls across Lakewood and Seven Rivers at 8:55 PM MDT. This is the base reflectivity image. Radar is estimating that 3" diameter hail (slightly larger than baseballs or hockey puck size) is falling. The red box indicates the area under a Severe Thunderstorm Warning. 


I've zoomed in a little closer to show what radar is showing. Base reflectivity on the upper left hand panel, POSH or probability of severe hail in the right hand panel, MOSH or maximum size of the hailstones in the lower left hand panel, and radar estimated tops of the thunderstorm which was 52,000'. The hail core in the storm measured seven miles wide from north to south and four miles wide from west to east.


This is a cross sectional view of the storm utilizing unsmoothed data. It shows a maximum reflectivity of the hail core of 70+ desibels or dbz at 23,000'. 


This is the smoothed image showing the hail core (red and purple shades) extending down to 16,000' and up to 43,000'. 


This image is a 3-D look at inside of the storm...peeling back the layers of intensity and known as the Volume Scan.


This image is known as the Isosurface and shows the most intense part of the hail core with 70 dbz reflectivity extending from 10,000' up to 38,000'. 

Granted to most of you this must seem confusing and hard to understand. Meteorologists, Forecasters, Storm Chasers, and Skywarn Storm Spotters use this radar to help them look inside of a severe thunderstorm and determine how bad the storm is and if it may produce a tornado. Other uses include microburst and macroburst wind gusts, and rotation characteristics that may lead to the development of a tornado. 

One of the benefits of AllisonHouse Weather Data that I subscribe to monthly is the ability to pull up the National Weather Service Archived radar images of past storms such as the one above and download them into the GR2Analyst program and analyze them.

This Supercell Thunderstorm was fairly small in size but packed a punch. It produced 4" diameter hail or grapefruit sized hail that damaged a vehicle and broke its windshield that evening. Hail of this size is not commonly reported in Southeastern New Mexico. Its worth noting that this hail fell around 9 PM in the evening also which proves that Severe Thunderstorms can and do occur at any time of the day or night. 


Active Weather Week Ahead.

GFS 500 MB (18,000' MSL) Forecast.

Valid At Noon MDT Friday.

GFS Surface Cape Forecast.

Valid At Noon MDT Friday.

GFS Rainfall Forecast.

Valid At 6 PM MDT Friday.

GFS Snowfall Forecast.

Valid At 6 PM MDT Friday.

High Winds - Blowing Dust - Extreme Fire Danger Tuesday!

Before we talk about our chances for seeing rain on Thursday and Friday I'll mention another high wind and blowing dust event coming Tuesday. High Wind Warnings are out for much of New Mexico along with Red Flag Warnings for Extremely Critically Dangerous Fire Weather Conditions. Locally southwest winds are forecast to gust up to around 60 to 70 mph across the lower elevations of the Southeastern Plains and the Sacramento and Capitan Mountains. Gusts to 80 mph are anticipated for the Guadalupe Mountains. 

Blowing dust will reduce the visibility down to less than a mile and produce dangerous driving conditions on our local roadways. At times the visibility in dust prone areas will suddenly drop down to near zero with little to no advanced warning. 

The danger for wildfires, and rangeland fires, grass fires, and forest fires is and will be through the roof. Please avoid any type of outdoor activity that involves the use of sparks or flame. Any fire that develops will have the ability to rapidly spread and grow and may threaten life and property as it explodes in growth in the 60 to 80 mph wind gusts!


Severe Thunderstorms Possible Thursday & Friday.

Forecast models continue to hint at the possibility of thunderstorms developing locally Thursday into Friday ahead of the next upper level storm forecast to drop into the Four Corners Region on Friday. Some of these may become severe (Supercells) and produce large hail, damaging winds, perhaps a few isolated tornadoes, and locally heavy rain.  

Just who gets rain and or severe weather will in part be determined by the location of the dryline. It is forecast to back up against the east slopes of the Guadalupe, Sacramento, and Capitan Mountains by Thursday. Just how far east it mixes out will set the stage for who gets wet and who does not. Surface cape values are forecast to be near 1,500 j/kg Thursday and Friday...maybe a little higher. Good directional and speed shear will also be in place.

Bottom line is some of us may get wet but it may come with a price...severe weather so its time to start thinking about this and be prepared ahead of time.

Not to mention that this next incoming spring storm will be cold enough to produce snow across parts of western and northern New Mexico and Arizona.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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