Potential For An Ice Storm Tomorrow
Night Into Friday Morning.
What a mess this storm is going to be. To start out with a High Wind Watch has been issued for the Guadalupe Pass area for tomorrow into tomorrow night. Northeasterly winds at around 30-50 mph with gust up to near 60 mph are expected . A High Wind Watch is also in effect for the Central Mountain Chain, and the Rio Grande Valley for tomorrow morning into late tomorrow night. Easterly canyon (gap winds) at around 35-45 mph will gust up to near 65 mph. There is the potential for damage from the strong gap winds.
A cold modified arctic airmass is forecast to arrive in SE NM tomorrow. Current forecasts have the front arriving in the Roswell area by around noontime, and into the rest of SE NM by dark. Strong northerly to northeasterly winds will accompany the front passage at around 25-35 mph with higher gusts. Temperatures will fall rapidly behind the front, with wind chill values falling down to the single digits and teens late tomorrow night into Friday morning. Our high temperatures are only forecast to be in the 30's Friday and Saturday.
A light ice storm looks possibly across SE NM tomorrow night into Friday morning. A mix of light freezing drizzle, and light freezing rain along with areas of ice fog is expected across most of SE NM into parts of West Texas to our east. A wintry mix of rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow is forecast for the area Friday into Saturday. Area roadways could become a slippery mess late tomorrow night into Saturday. Please visit this site for the latest road conditions across the state.
Heavy snow is forecast to fall over the Sacramento and Capitan mountains above 7,000' Friday and Saturday. Snowfall totals in these areas are expected to be around 6" - 10". I expect to see the higher elevations to potentially pick up much more...especially Ski Apache.
Just how much snow accumulates on the ground across the lower elevations of SE NM is still difficult to figure out. I think we may see anywhere from a dusting up to a couple of inches in places by Saturday. This could very well change depending upon the track and speed of the upper-level storm to our west.
The models continue to struggle with the details of this storm. The NAM/WRF forecasts are the fastest, and the furthest to the north with the upper-level low, the GFS forecasts are in the middle of the road so to speak, and the ECMWF closes the upper-level low off, and hangs it back over the Baja Region through next Monday or Tuesday.
A Special Weather Statement has been issued by the Midland NWS Office concerning this storm. The Lubbock NWS Office has also issued a Special Weather Statement, and a Special Web Briefing detailing their concerns with this storm. A Special Weather Statement has also been issued by the Albuquerque NWS Office, and the El Paso NWS Office..."Special Weather Statement." A Special Weather Video Briefing has also been issued by the Albuquerque NWS Office.
At this time there still remains some uncertainty concerning the exact details of this impending potentially Major Winter Storm. I will have the latest details posted on my blog as they become available.
The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!