My Current Weather

Monday, January 7, 2013

Another Powerful Winter Storm Headed Our Way With Lots Of Rain & Snow.

Strong Mid-Upper Level Storm Digging South.

Last Nights 06Z/11 PM MST NAM 500 MB Analysis.

 This Mornings Water Vapor Satellite Image At 5 AM MST.

As the sun rises this Monday morning yet another strong mid-upper level storm was located over southern California. This next winter storm for our area will continue digging south into northern Mexico today into tomorrow, before eventually making a turn towards the northeast by around Wednesday night into Thursday.

5 PM MST Today. 

5 AM MST Tuesday.

5 PM Tuesday.

5 AM Wednesday.

5 PM Wednesday.

5 AM MST Thursday.

We need to be a little cautious here when considering this forecast from the NAM model. I think the model has a good handle on this storm but notice that we are going to be dealing with a cutoff mid-upper level low. These types of winter storms are very difficult to forecast at times. We are looking at the 500 millibar level of the atmosphere on this maps, or at about 18,000' Mean Sea Level. Simply this is a forecast of a storm located in the mid-level of the atmosphere. 

Notice how the storm cuts its self off from the jet stream flow by 5 PM MST Tuesday. It then continues to sink southward across northern Mexico until late Wednesday afternoon (according to this one model forecast anyway) where it then gets "picked up" by the jet stream and pulled northeast out of the area on Thursday.

By 5 PM MST Wednesday.

By 5 PM MST Wednesday.

06Z NAM Forecast Using The El Paso NWS Radar.

06Z NAM Forecast Using The Holloman AFB Radar.

06Z NAM Forecast Using The Cannon AFB Radar.

06Z NAM Forecast Using The Midland NWS Radar.

06Z NAM Forecasting Using The Lubbock NWS Radar.

Much like our last storm that dropped anywhere from 2" to 10" of snow across southern, and southeastern New Mexico, as well as across parts of west Texas, this storm is increasingly showing signs of being capable of doing the same thing. Once again get out your giant salt shaker and use the above model forecasts with caution...they are subject to change and likely will. As I have mentioned before, this is going to be a difficult storm to forecast.

For now current National Weather Service Forecasts for Roswell, Artesia, Hobbs, and Carlsbad are calling for a rain and snow mix between Tuesday and Thursday. I would expect to see more changes to these forecasts as additional model data becomes available. Don't be surprised to see Winter Storm Watches, Warnings, and Advisories come out for parts of the area either.

Beware that if the atmosphere cools a little more and the storm deepens there will be the potential for a heavy wet snow event across parts of the local area. Snowfall totals of 6" - 12" are not out of the question in some areas...especially over and near the mountains. Heavy rain along with a few thunderstorms will also be possible, especially across parts of west Texas. Rainfall totals could range from .50" to 2.50" or more in some spots with this storm.

"This evening's model runs still inconsistent but some members are beginning to show some potential for heavy snow Wednesday for areas east of El Paso. One model (NAM) is showing 2-4" for eastern El Paso County and the Sacramento mountains, while showing 4-8" in Hudspeth County. Again, this is not in our official forecast package as of yet, but we are closely watching this event as it develops. With some better model agreement and hence more confidence, we may soon upgrade our forecasts to reflect this. Stay tuned!"

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction! 

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