My Current Weather

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

La Niña Continues.

Click On The Charts/Maps To Enlarge Them.

I Thought La Nina Winters Were Supposed 
To Be Warmer & Drier Than Normal In New Mexico! 

Our winter here in southeastern New Mexico will without a doubt be one than many of us will remember for a long time. This of course would be directly related to the Christmas Eve snowstorm that blanketed the area with 8"  - 14" of snow. And not to be outdone was the January 8th - 9th snowstorm that clobbered the Hobbs and Nadine areas with 11" - 14" 15" of snow

La Nina continues to hold on out over the Pacific Ocean. So, if La Nina winters are supposed to be warmer and drier than normal in New Mexico, so how come all of the snow here in southeastern New Mexico so far this season? 

The short and easy answer is because the Madden-Julian Oscillation (MJO) got involved. This phenomenon occurs roughly every 30 - 60 days out over the Pacific Ocean, and really is a shorter duration verison of El Nino. The "MJO" energized the subtropical jet stream this winter, which phased with the northern branch of the jet stream, which ended up sending six significant winter storms into New Mexico, three of which produced accumulating snowfall across SE NM.

Potent upper-level storms originating in the Gulf of Alaska, dived southeastward into the Great Basin, and eventually southward to either southern Arizona, New Mexico, or northern Mexico. They then crawled slowly eastward just to our south, energized by moist easterly upslope flow from the Gulf of Mexico, and just enough cold air to produce some hefty snowstorms across the area. It has been nearly a perfect setup for us as far as winter storms are concerned here in southeastern New Mexico. So far this season I have recorded 17.5" of snowfall here at my home in Carlsbad. Incredible for a La Nina winter!

I copied the maps and charts above from off of the Denver/Boulder, Colorado National Weather Service web page. You can find the full article here. Even though the article was geared for Colorado, the principles still apply to New Mexico for this winters behavior. 

For more information on La Nina please visit this link. For more information about the "MJO" please visit this link

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction! 

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Mid 70's On The Last Day Of Jan - Sure This Isn't March?

Click On The Maps To Enlarge Them.


Very untypical late January weather is anticipated across the area today as we close out the month. Our afternoon high temps will generally range from 70-75 across SE NM. Mostly sunny skies and light winds are expected as well. It certainly will feel more like the first of March than the end of January with these temperatures.

 30 Year Normal High-Low Temps.
For January 31st.

Roswell ThreadEx  58 28
Artesia Climate 60 24
Carlsbad Climate 60 - 29
Carlsbad Airport 60 30
Hobbs Climate 59 31
Tatum Climate 56 23

Temperature Data Is Courtesy Of-

Latest Update On Our Late Week Storm.

Valid At 5 PM MST Thu Feb 2, 2012.

Valid At 5 PM MST Thu Feb 2, 2012.

For now the models seem to be agreeing that an upper-level disturbance will dive southeastward out of the Pacific Northwest and into the Four-Corners Region by Thursday. They then forecast a closed low to form over northern New Mexico on Friday. The GFS model slowly moves the closed low northeastward into Kansas by the weekend. The Canadian model (CMC), and the European (ECMWF) model, move the closed low slowly eastward into northern Texas and southern Oklahoma into the weekend.

So there still remains a great deal of uncertainty concerning the track of this next winter storm that is forecast to affect the state late this week. If this storm does not track further to the south than is currently being forecast, then most of its weather should remain north of our area. 

A strong cold front is forecast to enter SE NM Thursday night. Colder air will overspread the area Friday and Saturday behind the front. This mornings National Weather Service forecasts call for our high temperatures to range from around 70 to 75 on Thursday ahead of the front. Our afternoon highs will then drop down into the upper 40's to the low 50's behind the front on Friday. Saturday's highs are forecast to be in the 45 - 50 degree range.

Severe Thunderstorms Over W TX Thu?

As the upper-level storm approaches the area Wednesday and Thursday, the dryline is forecast to sharpen up across west Texas and perhaps eastern New Mexico. Gulf moisture is forecast to return to the area as low-level upslope flow increases ahead of this storm. Scattered thunderstorms may be possible across the area Thursday into Friday morning. Some of these could potentially become severe across parts of west Texas.

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction! 

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Monday, January 30, 2012

70-Degree Temperatures Return To End January.

Click On The Maps To Enlarge Them.

Map Is Courtesy Of The Lubbock NWS Office.

Blog updated at 1:35 PM MST today.

Sunny skies and balmy temperatures will rule our local weather today into Wednesday. Our afternoon highs will reach the 70-degree mark across most locations this afternoon, with a few spots a couple of degrees warmer. The same will be true for Tuesday's weather with highs in the low-mid 70's, perhaps a few upper 70's.

A fast moving mid-level disturbance will zip overhead Tuesday, and this will kick up the westerly winds especially over the Guadalupe Mountains. Other than this, the only other impact it will have on our local weather is too knock our afternoon high temps down a few degrees on Wednesday, with the mid-upper 60's forecast across the local area.

Storm Or No Storm?

Last nights 00Z/5 PM MST forecast run of the GFS model (depicted above), drops the next short wave trough of low pressure into northern New Mexico and southern Colorado by Thursday. It then closes the storm off (forms a closed mid-upper level low) over Colorado, and slowly wobbles it eastward into Kansas into Saturday.

Last nights 00Z/5 PM MST forecast run of the European (ECMWF) model (depicted above) follows a similar track as the GFS model, at least initially. It too drops the the short wave trough of low pressure into northwestern New Mexico on Thursday. But unlike the GFS model, it closes the storm off over northern New Mexico and southern Colorado and stalls it there through Saturday. It then forecasts a split in the storm on Sunday, with a piece of the energy heading into Kansas, and a second piece relocating over northern Arizona. It then stretches the storm out over New Mexico and northeastward into Kansas into next Monday.

Last nights 00Z/5 PM MST forecast run of the Canadian (CMC) model is similar to the ECMWF, in that it develops a strong closed low over the Four-Corners Region by Thursday. It then wobbles this storm over New Mexico into the weekend and then shears it apart as we head into next Monday.

I think that it would be fair to say that the models have been behaving badly of late concerning our next potential winter storm at the end of this week. They literally have been all over the place with their forecasts concerning this next storm over the past several days. Without a doubt they are struggling to resolve this one.

I think that the state will see a winter storm, but at this point and time that's about all I am certain about. Who gets what and when are questions that are simply not easy to answer this morning. It does appear that colder weather will be returning to SE NM by the end of the week. More on this later.

Alaska Low Temperatures This Weekend.

More info on the bitter cold gripping Alaska can be found here.

Near Record Shattering Cold In Alaska.

At 9:35 AM AST this past Saturday morning (Jan 28, 2012), the Department of Transportation's weather station located at Jim River, Alaska, which is near Prospect Creek, Alaska, recorded a temperature of -79F. Mysteriously the station quit reporting data for awhile after that.

Sources for this data is found here-

Alaska MesoWest Weather.
Jim River DOT Station.
Jim River CWOP Information.

Coldest Temperature Reported In North America.

Quote- "The coldest reported low temperature in the U.S. was -79.8°F - rounded off to -80°F - observed at Prospect Creek Camp in the Endicott Mountains of northern Alaska on Jan. 23, 1971. The Prospect Creek Camp is along the Alaska pipeline about 20 miles north of the Arctic Circle. (Related: The Arctic Circle).

The record came during an unusually cold month in Alaska, notes the Weather and Climate Extremesbooklet published by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Fairbanks, Alaska, recorded its coldest January on record with a mean temperature of -31.7°F. (The monthly mean is the average of all of the daily highs and lows for the month.)F.

This is not the North American low record. The North American low of -81.4°F. was recorded at Snag in Canada's Yukon Territory, on Feb. 3, 1947."

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cooler Today.

Click On The Maps To Enlarge Them.

Blog updated at 11:12 AM MST.

My SE NM Radar Snapshot At 8:36 AM MST.

A deck of mid-level clouds (altostratus, with bases around 10,000' - 11,000' AGL) covers SE NM this morning. Looking at the "My SE NM Radar Snapshot" posted above, I would say that a few very light rain showers (more like sprinkles) or perhaps a few light snow flurries may be falling across parts of Eddy and Lea Counties. Although a quick peek out of my window reveals a lot of virga (rain or snow falling from the clouds but not reaching the ground) overhead in Carlsbad at 8:40 AM. This will dissipate later this morning.

Cloudy to partly cloudy skies will dominate today and it will be cool with our afternoon highs mostly in the 50's. A few places may only see the mid-upper 40's. Clearing skies along with a colder and drier airmass in place tonight, will allow for excellent radiational cooling to take place across SE NM. Most locations will see the teens to around 20 for low temperatures tomorrow morning.

Sunday will start the temperature climb back up into the upper 50's to the low 60's, and by Monday most of us will see highs from near 70 to the mid 70's. The same will hold true for Tuesday with perhaps a few spots getting up into the upper 70's.

Next Weeks Storm.

GFS 500 MB Forecast.
Valid At 5 AM MST Fri Feb 3, 2012.

Our next potential weather maker dives into the Four-Corners Region by the end of next week according to the GFS model forecasts. This mornings run is showing a stronger and colder storm that its previous runs over the past couple of days.

This Mornings 12Z/5 AM MST ECMWF 500 MB Forecast.
Valid At 5 AM MST Friday Feb 3, 2012.

This mornings run of the European model (ECMWF) drops a strong disturbance into southwestern New Mexico by around next Friday, and then forecasts it to become "cutoff" from the main jet stream flow to its north by next weekend. Sound familiar? It should, this has been the prevailing pattern for our storms since December here in SE NM.

Brutal Cold Continues To Grip Alaska.

While most of the US has experienced one of its mildest and uneventful (winter weather-wise) January's on record, a brutally cold polar airmass continues its grip on Alaska. Much of Alaska has experienced one its coldest and snowiest winters in years. Fairbanks is experiencing their coldest January in 40 years. Tanana is down to -60F this morning. Huslia was down to -60F yesterday morning, Bettles -55F, Galena -55F, and Tanana was -51F.

"U.S. seems to have largely escaped winter."

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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Friday, January 27, 2012

Warm Breezy Ahead Of The Cold Front - Cooler Saturday.

Click On The Maps To Enlarge Them.

Sunny skies and balmy afternoon temperatures will rule today's weather across SE NM. Our afternoon highs will be in the upper 60's to the low 70's.

 Late this afternoon, a fast moving cold front will race southward through the area. Cooler air will overspread the region tonight into Saturday behind the front. Our high temperatures on Saturday will range from near 50 to the mid 50's. 

A High Wind Watch has been issued for the Guadalupe Pass area for late tonight into tomorrow morning for northeasterly winds at around 35-45 mph. Otherwise our winds here in the southeastern plains will shift around to the north and northeast with the frontal passage, at around 15-25 mph with a few stronger gusts.

Sunday will be a little warmer with our afternoon highs in the low 60's for the most part. Monday will see the warming trend continue with highs in the low-mid 70's. Mostly sunny skies will dominate our local weather into the weekend. 

Next Week.

Valid At 11 AM MST Wed Feb 1, 2012.

Next weeks weather will continue to be warm and tranquil into at least the middle of the week. An upper-level storm is depicted by the models to swing across southern New Mexico by around next Wednesday. But at this time it does not appear that this system will be a very cold or strong storm.  

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thermometer Takes A Roller Coaster Ride.

Click On The Photo/Maps To Enlarge Them.

Looking south at altocumulus standing lenticular clouds, or
mountain wave clouds, from the parking lot at WalMart in
Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Cold Front Arrives Late Friday Afternoon-
Or Early Friday Evening.

Today will be a little warmer than yesterday across SE NM with our afternoon high temps expected to be in the low-mid 60's. Mostly sunny skies, and dry downslopping westerly winds will kick up tomorrow afternoon ahead of an approaching cold front, at around 15-20 mph with gusts near 30 mph. Our afternoon highs should climb up into the upper 60's to low 70's with a few spots seeing the mid 70's. 

Gusty northerly winds will accompany the frontal passage late tomorrow afternoon and early evening. No significant weather is anticipated with this next cold frontal passage.

Saturday will be a cooler behind the front with highs mostly in the 50's. Sunday's temps will rebound right back up to around the low 60's, and by next Monday we should see the low 70's again. So for the next several days our temperatures will take a roller coaster ride, but nothing too dramatic is forecast into the first of next week. 

1981-2010 Normal High/Low Temps.
(January 26th.)

Roswell ThreadEx  57-27
Artesia Climate 59-23
Carlsbad Climate 59-28
Carlsbad Airport 59-30
Hobbs Climate 58-31
Tatum Climate 55-23

Capitan Climate 50-24
Ruidoso Climate 49-23

Elk Climate 54-20
Cloudcroft Climate 43-19

Temperate Data Is Courtesy Of-

Another Storm In About A Week?

Valid At 5 PM MST Thu Feb 2, 2012.

Next week looks to be fairly tranquil and uneventful weather-wise across SE NM. Our high temperatures are forecast to be above normal from Monday into Wednesday with readings in the 70's. 

Last nights 00Z/5 PM MST run of the European (ECMWF) computer forecast model indicates that yet another closed mid-upper level low will drop southward into the area late in the week. The GFS model did not depict this, but keeps the pattern rather progressive with a northwesterly flow aloft pattern over the area. 

Bitterly Cold Across Northern Alaska.

A bitterly cold polar airmass covers the North Slope area of northern Alaska early this morning. Temperatures in this region are as low as -64F with wind chill values down to -80F to -85F

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Rain & Snow Showers Will End Today.

Winter Weather Advisory!
Guadalupe Mtn's - Valid Until 2 PM MST
Another 1' - 3" Of Snow Is Possible.

A closed mid-upper level low was located south of Carlsbad New Mexico this morning, near the Texas Big Bend. It is forecast to slowly wobble eastward today into tonight. Light rain and snow showers developed across parts of the area overnight, with a few reports of sleet mixed in with the rain and snow.

As this upper level storm sags to the east today our skies will clear across southeastern New Mexico, as the rain and snow showers gradually come to an end. Our afternoon highs are forecast to be mostly in the upper 40's to the low 50's.

Thursday will be a little warmer with highs in the low 60's. Friday will be even warmer ahead of an approaching cold front with afternoon highs in the low-mid 70's.

Cold Front Arrives Friday Night.

Our next weather maker will arrive Friday night in the form of a cold front. Cooler air will overspread the area on Saturday with highs in the 50's. Sunday's temperatures will rebound right back up to near 60 or the low 60's.

Snowfall Totals As Of 8 AM MST-

Ski Apache 4.0"
0.07 N Sunspot 3.5"
Queen 3.2"
1.8 SW Cloudcroft 2.2"
High Rolls 0.7"
4.9 NE of Cloudcroft 0.6"
Cloudcroft Climate 0.5"

Rainfall Totals As Of 8 AM MST-

10 ESE Hagerman .14"
Cosmic Raws - Apache Point .13"
2.1 NNW Downtown Carlsbad .12"
Alamogordo DW8375 .12"
Bat Draw Raws - Carlsbad Caverns .11"
High Roll .10"
Sierra Blanca Regional Airport .05"
Paduca Raws.04"
Holloman AFB .03"
Carrizozo Airport .03"
Artesia Airport .01"

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