Warm-Windy-Dusty Today...Turning Colder Thursday.
Blog updated at 5:05 PM MST.
Yesterday afternoon's high temperatures were once again well above normal across the southeastern plains. Highs ranged from 86 here at my home in Carlsbad, and at the Carlsbad Airport, to 85 at the Roswell Airport, 84 at the 8-Mile Draw Raws, 83 at the Paduca Raws, 81 At the Artesia Airport, 80 at the Bat Draw Raws located at the Carlsbad Caverns Visitor Center, 78 w Miles SW of Tatum, and 77 at the Hobbs Airport.
We can expect to see similar readings once again today under mostly sunny skies, with most of us seeing our afternoon highs today in the low-mid 80's.
However, strong southwesterly winds are forecast to kick up across the area today, so areas of blowing dust will aggravate some of us this afternoon and evening. With southwesterly gusts of around 35-50 mph across the southeastern plains expected, the normally dust prone areas near freshly plowed farmlands, open fields, lots, and construction sites, may see sudden drops in the visibility down to zero with little to no advanced warning. Blinding clouds of dust may suddenly develop over and near these these areas. If you plan on traveling through of near these areas today please use extra caution.
A High Wind Warning is in effect for the Guadalupe Mountains from 8 AM MST this morning through 7 PM MST this evening. Southwesterly winds are forecast to increase to 35-45G60 mph. A High Wind Watch is in effect for Thursday. Southwesterly winds are forecast to shift around to the northeast at 35-45G60 mph.
A High Wind Warning is in effect for the southern Sacramento Mountains (Otero County) from 11 AM MST this morning through 9 PM MST this evening. Southwesterly winds are forecast to increase to 40-50G65 mph, some eastern slopes and mountain passes may experience gusts over 70 mph.
A Wind Advisory is in effect for Lincoln and Chaves Counties from 9 AM MST this morning through 7 PM MST this evening. Southwesterly winds are forecast to increase to 25-35G50 mph.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect for southeastern New Mexico and parts of west Texas from 8 AM MST this morning through 8 PM MST this evening. Critically Dangerous Fire Weather Conditions are forecast to prevail across the area today so please, no outside burning.
Turning Colder Thursday - Friday.
A potent, and cold mid-upper level winter storm was located near Las Vegas, Nevada early this morning. As the cold front associated with this winter storm moved through the Pahrump, Nevada area yesterday evening, they clocked a wind gust to 85 mph. A gust to 72 mph was clocked at Bullhead City, Arizona with the frontal passage as well.
The models continue to struggle with the eventual track and speed of this next inbound winter storm to impact the state. It should continue to sag slowly southeastward towards the state today into tomorrow night. Last nights 06Z/11 PM MST run of the WRF-NMM model forecasts the the storm to be centered near Deming, NM by around noontime tomorrow. The GFS and ECMWF models want to split the upper-level low into two pieces Friday night, leaving a second closed upper-level low south of New Mexico late into the weekend. I'm not sure I buy this.
Anyway, a strong cold front will move into southeastern New Mexico later tonight. Strong gusty northerly winds (50 mph gusts, maybe higher in a few places) will accompany the frontal passage, along with the possibility of areas of blowing dust.
Much colder air is forecast to overspread the area tomorrow into Friday behind the front. Clovis is looking at a high temperature today of 75, 40 for tomorrow, and 42 for Friday. So, I still think that our temperatures here in the southeastern plains may end up struggling to get out of the 40's tomorrow and Friday, especially across the northern areas.
We still have a 10%-20% chance of seeing a few light rain and snow showers across the area Thursday into Friday evening. This storm is starved for moisture so at this time it does not appear that we will see significant precipitation totals from it. The Guadalupe, Sacramento, and Capitan Mountains could see some light snowfall accumulations form the storm.
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