Are We Fixing To Go From Drought To Flood In SE NM?
Blog Updated At 1:45 PM MDT Saturday, May 19, 2018.
May 24, 2013.
Looking Back To The West Of Hope.
Big Changes Coming Starting Tonight.
Valid At 6 PM MDT Monday, May 21, 2018.
Valid At 6 AM MDT This Saturday Morning.
Temperatures At 1 PM MDT This Afternoon.
Now that's a stout cold front. Take a look at these temperatures as of 1 PM MDT this Saturday afternoon. As Southeastern New Mexico and West Texas climbs up into the 90's the plains of northeastern Colorado, most of Nebraska, Wyoming, and parts of Montana are in the 40's and 50's!
Strong Cold Front Arrives Late Tonight.
A strong cold front is forecast to move southward down the Eastern Plains of New Mexico late tonight into Sunday morning. Low temperatures across the plains east of the Rockies this morning have dipped down behind the cold front which was located in Southeastern Colorado at sunrise this morning. A much cooler and more moist airmass will settle in over the area beginning Sunday lasting into the middle of next week.
Low level southeasterly upslope flow from the Gulf of Mexico will develop behind the front tonight and persist into early next week. This combined with approaching short waves being ejected northeastward out of a trough of low pressure at the mid levels of the atmosphere that is forecast to drop into Southern California by Monday morning will set the stage for showers and thunderstorms.
As the atmosphere becomes a little warmer and more unstable the Storm Prediction Center has put us in a Marginal Risk Category for severe thunderstorms on Monday. Don't be too surprised if parts of the local area aren't upgraded to the Slight Risk Category as we get closer to Monday and better model data becomes available.
How Much Rain & When?
Valid Between Today & At 6 AM MDT Wednesday.
ECMWF Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid Today Through 6 AM MDT Wednesday.
This mornings run of the European model is in and it has more widespread rains but not as heavy compared to this mornings GFS run. I'm thinking the ECMWF has the right idea but I also think that we will still see pockets of heavier rainfall than what it is currently forecasting.
Valid Between Today & At 6 PM MDT Tuesday.
Weather Prediction Center (WPC) Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid Between Today & At 6 AM MDT Thursday.
Artesia, New Mexico.
HRRR Composite Reflectivity Radar Forecast.
Valid At 1 AM MDT Sunday Morning.
As the cold front pushes southward tonight a large complex of thunderstorms know as a "Mesoscale Complex System - MCS" is forecast by the short range high resolution models to form along the frontal boundary. For now the models aren't developing much activity in Southeastern New Mexico expect perhaps along or near the New Mexico/Texas State line.
If the front gets hung up to our north this afternoon and is slower in arriving than is currently forecast then there exists the possibility that this complex of thunderstorms could develop further to the west as it moves south with the front.
Our best chances for rain locally will come Sunday night through Tuesday night. As is usually the case the GFS model has been going bonkers the past couple of days with its forecast of excessive rainfall for Southeastern New Mexico. However this mornings NAM model also picks up on this possibility. It forecasts a bulls eye storm total of 6+ inches of rain west of Roswell by Tuesday night. The GFS is even crazier with 10+ inches over the Guadalupe's southwest of Carlsbad by Wednesday morning.
So don't be too surprised if some of us don't end up with some pretty hefty rainfall totals from Sunday night through Wednesday. As excessive as these model rainfall forecasts seem to be this has happened before...in May. Eddy Counties worst tornado occurred in the middle of a drought, the last day of the month. See my blog post on this...Carlsbad Tornado May 31st, 1991.
I have my doubts that we will see these kind of totals but the idea the models are throwing out there is that some locals could see some heavy rainfall and localized flash flooding between Sunday night and Wednesday morning. Keep that in mind and be prepared for this possibility.Going from a drought to flooding in a matter of a day or so is not an uncommon occurrence in the local area. May has a history of being a month of extreme weather that includes severe thunderstorms that produce very large hail, damaging thunderstorm wind gusts in excess of 60 mph, deadly cloud to ground lightning, heavy rainfall and flash flooding, and an occasional tornado.
The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!