My Current Weather

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Old Man Winter Sending NM Another Strong Winter Storm!

Eddy Co-Northern Lea Co-Guadalupe Mtn's
Valid Thursday Afternoon - Friday Afternoon.
Difficult & Dangerous Driving Conditions.
Single Digit Wind Chill Values.
4" - 6" New Snowfall.
Low Visibilities.

Chaves & Lincoln Co's.
Valid Late Wednesday Night - Friday Afternoon.
Difficult & Dangerous Driving Conditions.
Blowing Snow Adding To Travel Problems.
8"+ New Snowfall Above 7,500'.
Several Inches Up to 4" Valleys.
N-NE Winds 15-25G35 mph.
Single Digit Wind Chill Values.
Low Visibilities.

All Of Otero County.
Thursday Afternoon - Friday Afternoon.
4" - 8" New Snow Above 7,000'.
Lesser Amounts Below 7,000'.
Difficult & Dangerous Driving Conditions.
NE Winds 10-20 mph.
Low Visibilities.

Its Time To Get Ready For Another Major Winter Storm.

Today is going to be a beautiful day here in southeastern New Mexico considering the weather that we have been experiencing of late. Sunny skies today will help our afternoon high temperatures climb up to around 50 in Roswell, the mid 50's in the Hobbs area, to the upper 50's to near 60 in Artesia and Carlsbad. Enjoy it, because it will not last.

Take a look at the "RUC (Rapid Update Cycle) 500 Millibar Analysis Map" above. I have circled three upper-level storms in black. Our last winter storm to hammer the state was located over northern Missouri at 2 AM this morning, the second upper-level storm was located over northern Mexico, and the third was centered over northern Idaho. The storm over northern Mexico will scoot off to our south tonight, it is relatively weak, and is not forecast to have much if any impact on our local weather here in SE NM.

Our attention now turns towards the next Major Winter Storm that is getting ready to pound New Mexico with more winter woes. The Canadian (CMC), and the European (ECMWF) models are the favored models at this time, for this next storms evolution and track across the state. Last nights 06Z/11 PM MST run of the US GFS model was showing signs of coming more in line with the CMC and ECMWF models.

This next inbound upper-level low is forecast to dive southward and into the Four-Corners Region by late tomorrow afternoon. The models then close this upper-low off, deepen it, and drop it slowly southward to about Show Low, Arizona by late tomorrow night.

Meanwhile, a strong cold front is forecast to dive southward down the eastern plains of the state this evening. This next slug of cold air should arrive in SE NM by early tomorrow morning. Much colder temperatures are going to overspread the entire area behind this front. Strong north to northeasterly winds at around 15-25G35 mph will accompany the frontal passage and will prevail through the day Thursday. Our high temperatures on Thursday may occur before noontime. 

With the colder airmass settling in over the area tomorrow, along with increasing low-level northeasterly upslope flow behind the frontal boundary, and the upper-level closed low located off to our west, southeastern New Mexico looks to be in a prime setup for heavy snowfall.

Current thinking from the Midland National Weather Service forecasters this morning is that northern Lea County, Eddy County, and the Guadalupe Mountains all stand to get 4" - 6" of new snow by Friday afternoon. The Albuquerque National Weather Service forecasters are thinking that the Roswell area could see anywhere from a couple inches to up to 4" of snow from the storm. It is looking like at this time that the Sacramento Mountains will pick up 4" - 8" of new snow above 7,000', with some areas getting up to around 8" above 7,500'.

Temperatures will fall down into mid 20's Thursday night. Wind chill values across the area Thursday night into Friday will likely be in the single digits and teens, if not colder in a few places. Our high temperatures on Friday will struggle to get above freezing, and this will be especially true if heavy snow falls over the area. Cold temperatures will prevail into Saturday, especially if we get a deep snow cover. Our lows could be very cold Saturday morning, with the single digits and teens not out of the question. It potentially could be even colder in a few spots if skies clear soon enough with some subzero readings across the area.

Local roadways are going to get nasty, if not downright dangerous and impossible to drive upon in some areas, not just in southeastern New Mexico, but across much of the state, and across parts of West Texas as well. There very well may be some significant travel problems locally, with some roads possibly being closed due to the anticipated heavy snowfall, blowing snow, slick and icy conditions, and poor visibilities. Very dangerous travel conditions are forecast to develop Thursday night into Friday, maybe even longer depending on the track and speed of the storm. For the very latest road conditions across the state please visit this link.

I realize that this is going to be a blessing as well as a cursing for the area. A blessing because we still desperately need all of the moisture we can get to loosen the grip of the devastating drought that has plagued the area this year. A cursing because a lot of people are going to be traveling on the highways both locally and across the state. 

 I will update my web page this evening, with all of the latest details concerning this next Major Winter Storm poised to impact the state and local area. There very well may be some adjustments made by our local National Weather Service Offices, to our local forecasts, and the current Watches, and Warnings, that out for this next Winter Storm.

Please keep in mind that this Major Winter Storm that is going to impact most of New Mexico and surrounding areas of West Texas. There is the real potential for road closures across the area Thursday into Friday. Its possible that some of you will not be able to get to where you want to travel because of the possibility of these road closures. So please plan accordingly and be safe everyone. Please visit this link for Winter Safety Tips. 

Additional information may be found at the following National Weather Service Web Pages-

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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