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Blizzard Warning - High Wind Warnings For Today!

 Last Nights 06Z/11 PM MST NCEP NAM 500 MB Forecast.
Valid At 5 PM MST This Afternoon, Friday December 14, 2012.

A potent negatively tilted upper level storm was centered over southwestern Arizona, and the northern Baja Region of Mexico early this morning. This a cold and dynamic winter storm, and it will hammer New Mexico today with a variety of winter weather activity.

Today's Outlook For The Area.

Valid At 5 PM MST Today, Friday December 14, 2012.

A wild day weather-wise is in store for us today across much of the local area. High winds are forecast to rake much of the area today along with blinding clouds of blowing dust. A Blizzard Warning continues in effect for the Cloudcroft, Sunspot, Apache Point areas, and nearby communities located above 7,500'. 

Snowfall totals across the Sacramento Mountains today are forecast to range from 1" - 4" below 7,500', and 3" - 5" above 7,500'. Some of the higher peaks may see up to 8" - 10". Dangerous travel conditions will occur across parts of the Sacramento Mountains today.

 High winds gusting between 55 - 70 mph, will combine with the heavy snow, to create near whiteout conditions across the higher elevations, along with blowing and drifting snow. Life threatening conditions may exists if you become trapped, or lost in these conditions on the local roadways today. Please remain in your vehicle if you become stuck or trapped in the heavy snowfall or snow drifts.

Snowfall totals across some of the higher peaks of the western and northern mountains of New Mexico are forecast to reach one to two feet! For additional forecasts and all of the latest on this inbound winter storm please visit the Midland, Albuquerque, and El Paso National Weather Service Web Pages.

Southwesterly-westerly winds are forecast to become sustained at around 35 - 45 mph with gusts near 65 mph across much of the southeastern plains of New Mexico. This includes Chaves, Eddy, Lea Counties in New Mexico, and Culberson County in west Texas. Damaging winds will be a possibility today, especially when the cold front enters the area this afternoon, and along with any thunderstorm that may develop. 

Power lines, telephone lines, and other lines and cables may be blown down in some locations. There may also be some roof and shingle damage. Small trees and tree branches may also be blown down. Small sheds may be blown over, as well as some barn damage may occur. West facing windows in some homes could also be blown out. 

Southwesterly-westerly winds are forecast to gust upwards of 80 mph across the Guadalupe Pass area today. Its possible that the pass could be shut down due to the high winds and blowing dust. Southern New Mexico including the El Paso, Las Crucus, Deming, and Alamogordo areas are expecting to see wind gusts of up to 70 mph.

Blinding clouds of blowing dust are forecast to develop over the area today. Dangerous driving conditions will be possible in some locations today. This will be especially true over and near our dust prone locations such as- 

Freshly plowed or exposed farmlands.
Open or exposed fields and lots.
Construction sites.

Sudden drops in the visibility down to zero in or close to these areas may occur with little to no advanced warning. Southeastern New Mexico has a history of multiple vehicle accidents with injuries on some of our local roadways during these blinding dust storms. If you must travel today please excerise extreme caution when coming up on these areas and they are shrouded in clouds of blowing dust.

A few light rain showers, or perhaps even an isolated thunderstorm or two will be possible across the area today. So don't be too surprised if we also have one of infamous mud-ball events, light rain falling in the clouds of blowing dust.

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