Will Our Drought Last Another 10 Yrs?

Click On The Maps To Enlarge Them.


Nearly everyone I talk to asks me the same question...when is this drought going to end? I've been telling everyone that my fear is that it could last at least a couple more years, if not longer, maybe even 10 years before it breaks. Most of these people look at me like I have two horns growing out of the side of my head when they hear this. Its a shocking statement no doubt. But read this article below and then tell me I'm wrong. Believe me I hope I am!

(I think this apply's to New Mexico as well.)

Update- 1:20 PM MDT.

Click On This Link For More On The Story.
"Could The Texas (New Mexico) Drought Last Another 10-15 Years?

Quote- " By Dr. Jeff Masters

Published: 3:00 PM GMT on September 30, 2011
The devastating Texas drought that has already cost over $5 billion could continue for nine more years, predicted Texas State Climatologist John Nielson-Gammon in an interview with Reuters yesterday. "It is possible that we could be looking at another of these multi-year droughts like we saw in the 1950s, and like the tree rings have shown that the state has experienced over the last several centuries," Nielson-Gammon said. Drought statistics released yesterday by the U.S. Drought Monitor showed that over 96% of Texas is experiencing the two worst categories of drought, extreme and exceptional.

Other large-scale atmospheric/oceanic patterns called the Pacfic Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) have also favored dry conditions for Texas this year. When the AMO brings warm ocean temperatures to the North Atlantic, as it has since 1995, Texas is typically dry. Texas also tends to be dry when the PDO brings cool ocean temperatures to the coastal North Pacific next to North America.
The past 12 months have been the driest one-year period on record in Texas. The main blame for this year's drought can be put on La NiƱa, the cooling of equatorial Pacific waters that deflects the jet stream and takes rain-bearing low pressure system away from Texas.
This has been the case since 2007 (except for late 2009 and early 2010.) In a post earlier this month in his excellent blog, Climate Abyss, Nielson-Gammon has this to say about the influence of global warming on the 2011 drought:"


Note- I don't agree with his statements about Global Warming, but otherwise I think he is right on track.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

High Based T-Storms Produce Blowing Dust.

Click On The Photos To Enlarge Them.
Looking East From C-Hill, At A High Based Dry T-Storm
 East Of Carlsbad, NM. Dry Microburst In Progress With 
Blowing Dust  Spreading Westward Towards The City. 
Pockets Of Blowing Dust Being Driven By The Virga Bombs.
Virga is Rain That Falls From The Cloud Base, But Evaporates
Before It Reaches The Ground. 
The Dust Whirl To The Right Is Not A Tornado.
T-Storm Bases Were Around 11,000' AGL.
Blowing Dust To The Right Spreading Westward.
From The West Side Of C-Hill Looking To The Northwest.
Looking At Happy Valley From The West Side Of C-Hill.
Trails Of Virga To The West Over The Foothills

Scattered high based, dry t-storms formed ahead of, and along a cold front as it moved southward into SE NM yesterday afternoon and evening. There were several reports of tornadoes in the Roswell area yesterday afternoon from the public. To my knowledge tornadoes did not touch down. Dry microbursts were developing with most of these t-storms, and were producing pockets of blowing dust. Strong gusty northerly winds also accompanied the frontal passage around sunset.

Peak Winds Reported Yesterday Afternoon
And Overnight-

Roswell Airport ASOS 59 mph at 4:20 PM MDT
Sacramento Pk - Sunspot 50 mph

High Roll CW5738 48 mph
Guadalupe Pass 48 mph
Carlsbad Airport ASOS 44 mph
Caprock Raws 43 mph
Mescal Raws - Mescalero 42 mph

Cannon AFB Near Clovis 40 mph
NW Hobbs - KM5BS 40 mph
2 SW Tatum 39 mph
Bat Draw Raws - Carlsbad Caverns 39 mph
Artesia Airport 36 mph

Winds Speeds Are Courtesy Of-


The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

T-Storms On The Increase.


 This is the 248 NM Composite Reflectivity (CR248) Image.
Cannon AFB Doppler Radar (GRLevel3) View At 1:54 PM MDT.

Snapshot Of "My SE NM Radar" Available On  My
Web Page Of The Cannon AFB Doppler Radar At 1:55 PM. MDT.

This is the 248 NM Composite Reflectivity (CR248) Image.
Midland NWS Doppler Radar (GRLevel3) View At 1:53 PM MDT.

Snapshot Of "My SE NM Radar" Available On  My
Web PageOf The Midland NWS Doppler Radar At 1:55 PM. MDT.


The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

Cold Front Tonight - Maybe Some T-Storms.

Forecast Position Of The
Surface Cold Front At Noon Today.

Forecast Position Of The
Surface Cold Front At 6 PM Today.

Forecast Position Of The
Surface Cold Front At Midnight Tonight.

Outlook For Today & Tonight.

Another ridiculously hot day is on tap for SE NM today. High temps are forecast to be in the 92 - 97 range this afternoon ahead of a cold front approaching from the north. The front should arrive in the local area after dark, and will continue pushing southward to the state line by midnight tonight. 

Cooler air filtering into the area behind the front tonight will knock out daytime highs back down to around 80 for tomorrow. The mid 80's are forecast for Saturday and Sunday should see the upper 80's for highs.

A few scattered t-storms will develop ahead of and along the cold front this afternoon. Some of these will be capable of producing wind gusts to around 50 mph and brief heavy rainfall. Gusty northerly winds will accompany the frontal passage as well. A High Wind Watch has been issued for the Guadalupe Pass area for tonight for northeasterly winds sustained at around 35 - 45 mph with higher gusts.

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It Is Fall Right - So Cooler When?

Outlook For Today Into Tonight.

2 PM MDT Temperatures.
(Under Construction)

A Look At Radar This Afternoon.

A few widely scattered rain showers and t-storms are developing southward across eastern Chaves, and Eddy Counties this afternoon. They have generally been drifting off to the southwest at around 10 mph. Gusty winds and dry lightning strikes will accompany these storms into the early evening before they dissipate later.

A Little Cooler Friday & Saturday-

It is fall right. It is but you would not know that this afternoon given the current temp map above. Summer refuses to give up. I firmly believe in the old adage of "What Goes Up - Will In Time, Come Back Down" rule. Its just a matter of time.

Surface Cold Front At 6 PM MDT Thursday Afternoon.

A cold front (really more like a cool front) will move southward down the eastern plains of New Mexico tomorrow afternoon and evening, and into southeastern plains tomorrow night. After seeing out high temps reach up into the mid-upper 90's for the past several days, cooler air behind the front will keep these readings down into the 80's on Friday and Saturday. The high/low temperatures below are what it should feel like for the last day of September.

Friday's Outlook.

New Normal High/Low Temps-
(1981 - 2010 30-Year Averages)
(For Sept 30th)

Roswell ThreadEX Stn 81/53

Artesia Climate 82/49
Carlsbad Climate 83/54

Hobbs Climate 82/55
Tatum Climate 79/48

Captian Climate 73/42
Ruidoso Climate 71/41

Elk Climate 74/41
Cloudcroft Climate 64/37

These temperatures are courtesy of-


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Sunspot #1302 CME Sept 26, 2011.


Here's an animation of the model SWPC used to accurately forecast the Coronal Mass Ejection's (CME) arrival. The model, known as WSA-Enlil shows a view from above the north poles of the Sun and Earth, with the Sun shown as a yellow circle and the Earth as a green circle. The animation shows where density is high (as in the CME) in the colors of red, white and black, and where density is low (as in the background solar wind) in colors of blue and green. The CME is the curved, high density structure that transits from the Sun to the Earth. From the animation, it is clear we missed the center of the CME.


The fast Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) that erupted from NOAA Active Region 1302 arrived this morning at 1237Z (8:37am Eastern Time).  It has kicked off moderate (G2) geomagnetic storms for low latitudes, but high latitudes are seeing severe (G4) levels of activity.  Aurora watchers in Asia and Europe are most favorably positioned for this event, though it may persist long enough for viewers in North America.  The bulk of the CME missed the Earth, meaning the storm intensity and duration are less than what they would have been in the case of a direct hit.  We are posting frequent updates on the SWPC Facebook page, which you can follow (here).



The Geomagnetic Storm that began yesterday is quieting down, though we aren’t quite back to quiet conditions yet.  High speed solar wind is coming in behind the Coronal Mass Ejection and these winds are keeping things slightly active on the space weather front.  The region on the Sun that produced this activity is in a favorable position to cause further problems, but it is starting to weaken.  It remains a threat, though diminishing.  Yesterday, there would have been problems with high accuracy GPS and there was a noted issue with the FAA’s Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS), where the Vertical Error Limit was exceeded.  WAAS is used to provide high accuracy GPS in the areas around airports.  Much more information about this storm is available on the SWPC Facebook page.


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Weatherwise Magazine's 2nd Place Winner.

Storm Chaser Leah Robertson of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

Fall & Winter Outlooks.

Current State Of The Drought.

Drought Outlook.
(Sept 15th - Dec 31st.)

How Much Rain Would It Take To Get Us Back To "Normal"?
(SE NM 6" -  9")

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

October 2011 Outlooks-

Temperature Outlook For Oct 2011.


Precipitation Outlook For Oct 2011.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

2011 Fall Outlook-

Temperature Outlook For Oct - Dec 2011.

Precipitation Outlook For Oct - Dec 2011.
-----------------------------------------------------------------

2011 - 2012 Winter Outlook-

Temperature Outlook For Jan - Mar 2012.

Precipitation Outlook Jan - Mar 2012.

Our outlook for the fall and the winter looks very bleak as far as precipitation is concerned. The worst drought in the history of the state continues to grip New Mexico, with southeastern New Mexico being one of the hardest hit areas. 

Badly needed rains fell across the area a little over a week ago. Although moderate to heavy rainfall fell across the area (most places across E & SE NM received between 1/2 of an inch, to a little over 3 inches of rainfall), the rainfall barley put a dent in the ongoing historic drought.

For September, I have recorded 2.12" of rainfall, this brings my year to date (YTD) total to 3.51". The new 30 year climate normals for the Carlsbad Climate Coop Station, are 2.11" for September, and 10.81" for Jan - September.

 There have only been two months in the last year in the local area that have received average rainfall. This was February, and this month. It would generally take an additional 6" to 9" of rainfall just to bring our rainfall totals up to "normal".

 My rainfall totals are fairly representative for most of SE NM. A few spots have had more rainfall than I have, but not many, and quite a few places have received even less than I have. 

For additional rainfall totals please visit CoCoRaHS. Or the Midland NWS Climate Page, the Albuquerque NWS Climate Page, and the El Paso NWS Climate Page.

Overall it appears that a warmer than normal, and drier than normal fall and winter are on tap for southeastern New Mexico and nearby west Texas. La Nina conditions continue to re-develop across the equatorial Pacific, therefore the odds are that this historic drought will continue into next spring. 

For additional information concerning this historic drought and the outlooks for west Texas and southeastern New Mexico, please click on these links. Texas and New Mexico Drought Information, and  Drought Conditions Persist. 

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

Hot Weekend!

RUC 500 MB Analysis At Noon Today.

A deep upper-level low pressure trough was centered over the Great Lakes Region at noon today. Meanwhile our old summer nemesis, the sprawling Western upper-level ridge of high pressure, was centered near Reno, Nevada. The ridge will dominate our weather over the weekend.

Forecast High Temp Map Valid For Sunday.

Record High Temps For Sunday Sept 25th-

Roswell 97 in 2005+
Artesia 100 in 1953
Carlsbad Climate 100 in 1953
Carlsbad Arpt 102 in 2005
Hobbs Climate 99 in 1951
Tatum Climate 96 in 1939


After a brief cool down yesterday and today, a hot weekend is on tap for SE NM. High temps are forecast to climb up to near 95 tomorrow, and will range from 95 -100 on Sunday. A few daily record high temps may be tied or broken across the local area on Sunday.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Major Hurricane Hilary.

Visible Satellite Image Of Cat. 4 Hurricane Hilary At 2:15 PM MDT.

At 1 PM MDT today, Category 4 Hurricane Hilary was located about 130 miles SSW of Lazaro Cardenas, Mexico. Hilary is moving off to the west at 8 mph. She has sustained winds of 145 mph with gusts near 175 mph. Her central pressure was down to 942 millibars, or 27.82 inches of mercury. Hilary has a 15 nm diameter eye.

NHC Forecast Track Of Hilary.

GFDL Model Forecast Track Of Hilary.

The million dollar question for late next week is whether or not a Western US trough of low pressure, will pull the remnant moisture of Hurricane Hilary northward into the Desert Southwest. Its too early to know for sure. Stay tuned.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

Low Clouds Forming Behind The Cold Front.

Click On The Photos To See What Happens.

Cirrostratus clouds above, with Stratocumulus clouds  
forming below, west of Brantley Lake St. Park this morning. 
Looking west down St. Hwy 137 at the junction of US Hwy 285.

I think the horses are glad to see cooler weather. 
Cirrostratus clouds above, with Stratocumulus clouds  
forming below. Looking west from near the junction of St. 
 Route 524, and US Hwy 285 north of Carlsbad, NM this morning.

Visible Satellite Image Of NM At 8:45 AM MDT. 

A cold front moved into the Pecos Valley early this morning and is continuing to push south as of this writing. Stratocumulus clouds at a couple of thousand feet above the ground are forming in the low-level northeasterly upslope flow behind the front.

 I shot the two photos above this morning. If you look at the visible satellite image of the state above, you can see the stratocumuls field thickening up over the Central Mountain range, and extending northward from Ruidoso to the Clines Corners area , and then eastward to the NM/TX State line east of Tucumcari.

Should the stratocumulus field continue to thicken up this morning, overcast skies could help to hold our daytime high temperatures down into the 60's and 70's across SE NM. These clouds should clear out of the area by sunrise tomorrow morning. Calm winds, clearing skies, and good radational cooling should allow our overnight low temps to dip down into the 45-50 degree range by tomorrow morning. A few of the normally colder valley spots could even end up a couple of degrees cooler.

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A Little Cooler & A Few T-Storms.

Click On The Maps To See What Happens.



Cold Front At Noon Today.

Precipitation Forecast Wed - Sat.

According to the calendar fall will begin early Friday morning at 3:04 AM MDT. But the meteorological fall begin the first day of the month. It will certainly feel more like fall tomorrow as the cold front draped across the area this morning gets a secondary push southward tonight.

Today's high temps will be close to seasonal and will range from the low-mid 80's. Cooler air will overspread the area tonight behind the front. Therefore high temps on Thursday will range from near 75 - 80.

Our temperatures will quickly rebound on Friday with highs expected to be in the mid 80's, while Saturday will see highs near 90, and Sunday's highs will range from 90 - 95. Our overnight low temps through the weekend will be near seasonal normal's with readings in the 50's. A few of the normally cold spots will likely dip down into the upper 40's Friday morning.

A few scattered rain showers and t-storms will dot the landscape today into tomorrow. Overall our chances for seeing another widespread heavy rain event like the one we experienced last week are low with this front. A few spots could see some brief heavy rainfall, small hail, and gusty winds with any t-storms that forms. Our chances for measurable rainfall are 20% - 30%.



Intermountain West/Southwest-

"Quote- With a general trough (southward jet stream dip) position forecast in the north-central U.S. and a ridge of high pressure (northward jet stream bulge) forecast for much of the West, this region will tend to be warmer than average through much of December.
The jet stream typically separates surface warm air to the south from surface cold air to the north. It also represents the main storm track.
Early in the period, there can be a few episodes of moisture from Mexico and the Pacific, bringing spotty shower and thunderstorm activity."

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Latest Updates On The Cold Front.

Click On The Maps To See What Happens.





This Next Developing Tropical Storm Could 
Send Us Some Much Needed Rainfall Late Next Week.

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Another Cool Down.

Click On The Images To See What Happens.


T-Storm SE of Carlsbad, NM catching the days last rays.

Another Cold Front - Another Shot At Rain.

Cold Front Today.

Cold Front At 6 AM MDT Wed Sept 21, 2011.

A strong upper-level storm, sweeping eastward across the northern plains states over the next couple of days, will kick another early fall cold front south into the local area tomorrow. This cold front is not forecast to be as strong as last weeks front.

 High temps today will range from near 90 to the low 90's. Tomorrows highs will be a little cooler, with readings ranging from the low 80's to the mid 80's. Thursday will be the coolest day, with highs ranging from the upper 70's to the low 80's

A few isolated t-storms will dot the landscape this afternoon and evening. A better chance for scattered t-storms will occur tomorrow into Thursday along and behind the cold front. I don't think that we will see the widespread heavy rainfall with this front that we experienced last week. However, some of these t-storms will be capable of dumping locally heavy rainfall. 

Severe t-storms are currently not forecast to break out across SE NM today into Thursday.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

Current Temperatures

Current Wind Chill Temps

Regional Radar

NWS Forecast High Temps Today

NWS Forecast Low Temps Tonight

NWS Storm Total Precipitation Forecast

NWS Albuquerque Storm Total Snowfall Forecast

NWS Midland Storm Total Snowfall Forecast

NWS El Paso Storm Total Snowfall Forecast

NWS Albuquerque Peak Wind Gust Forecast

NWS Midland Peak Wind Gust Forecast

NWS El Paso Peak Wind Gust Forecast

Average Daily High/Low Temperatures

Average Daily High/Low Temperatures

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