Lets Try & Blow Away Everyones Christmas Decorations Wednesday.
Valid At 18Z/11 AM MST Wednesday December 19, 2012.
Valid At 15Z/8 AM MST Wednesday December 19, 2012.
If you were disappointed in last Friday's wind and dust storm then take heart, Wednesday's dust storm just may live up to your expectations. Current model runs and forecasts have all the makings of a widespread high wind and blowing dust event slated for the area tomorrow. So you might want to consider trying to anchor your Christmas decorations down just a little more today.
A strong mid-level trough of low pressure is forecast to swing across southern Colorado and northern New Mexico tomorrow. We will once again be on the southern flank of this passing storm, therefore we are going to get another dust storm. Current model forecasts indicate that the mountain top winds speeds (700 millibars or 10, 000' MSL) are going to be in the neighborhood of 65-75 knots/75-86 mph tomorrow.
As the surface pressure gradient falls like a rock tomorrow (the NAM is forecasting a pressure drop of 8 millibars over northwest NM by 11 AM MST tomorrow, and a whopping 17 millibars drop over the Texas Panhandle by 5 PM MST), and these stronger winds aloft mix down to the surface....we will have a very windy and dusty day!
Red Flag Warnings are in effect for today, and a Fire Weather Watch is in effect for the area on Wednesday. Southwesterly-westerly winds are forecast to increase area wide tomorrow morning. By around mid-morning into tomorrow afternoon they should be sustained at around 30 - 40 mph with gusts of 45 - 65 mph across the southeastern plains and nearby areas. In the Guadalupe Mountains westerly winds are forecast to howl at 50 - 70 mph with gusts near 85 mph tomorrow!
Should these winds become as strong, if not stronger in a few places, than forecast then we may see some wind damage in the area. This could possibly include the following-
Damage to roadway signs.
Damage to roofs and shingles.
Sheds and small barn blown down.
Damage to farm irrigation sprinkler systems.
Power lines, telephone lines, poles blown down.
Small trees blown down, larger branches blown down.
Some west facing windows could possibly be blown out.
A wide spread dust storm looks like a real possibility tomorrow from southern New Mexico northeastward into west Texas. Blowing Dust Advisories may be issued for parts of the area tomorrow. Please visit the following local National Weather Service Offices (Midland, Lubbock, Albuquerque, and El Paso) for additional and updated information on this sitituation.
Blinding clouds of blowing dust will once again plaque the local area tomorrow. Sudden drops in the visibility down to zero with little to no advanced warning will likely occur in some of our more dust prone locations such as-
Lots and construction sites along or near local roadways.
Open and exposed or freshly plowed farmlands and fields.
As a reminder southeastern New Mexico has a history of multiple vehicle accidents with injuries during these blinding dust storms. Please be very cautious and drive with extreme care if you must be out traveling our local roadways tomorrow.
My confidence in the forecast models outlooks of the possibility of another White Christmas here in southeastern New Mexico went up a notch overnight. But I am not ready to call this as a sure bet just yet. Remember we a very likely to see additional model flip flops with their forecast solutions between now and the weekend.
Last nights 00Z/5 PM MST run of the European (ECMWF) model jumped the center of the potential storm way eastward to over southeastern Oklahoma, and northeastern Texas by sundown Christmas Day. This is a far cry from having the center of the upper level low near Clovis just 24-hours earlier.
Last nights 00Z/5 PM MST run of the U.S. GFS forecast model has the center of the closed upper-level low stretched out of eastern and southeastern New Mexico Christmas afternoon.
Regardless of the potential of a White Christmas in southeastern New Mexico this year it does appear that we are headed for much colder temps in the area by around Christmas. More later.
The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!
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