Spring Gets Chased Away By Winter Next Week.

 Forecasts Next Week.

For the past month or so winter has for the most past taken a vacation locally. A massive ridge of high pressure (much like is depicted in the graphic above) has dominated our Southwestern weather. February ended up being a little warmer and drier than normal in southeastern New Mexico. In fact Roswell topped out with a high temp of 91°F on the 18th and I managed a high of 90°F here at our home in Carlsbad. Seven days in February saw a high temp of at least 80°F or higher here at our home and on fifteen days my thermometer recorded a high of at least 70°F. 

This trend of temperatures running some 10 to 20 degrees above normal will continue for the rest of this week into Monday...then Mother Nature throws us a spring curve ball. 

GFS 500 MB Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Tuesday, March 8, 2016.

GFS Storm Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 AM MST Thursday, March 10, 2016.

GFS Storm Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 AM MST Thursday, March 10, 2016.

GFS Accumulated Snowfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 AM MST Thursday, March 10, 2016.

Roswell, New Mexico.

Sierra Blanca Regional Airport. Ruidoso, New Mexico.

Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Hobbs, New Mexico.

Guadalupe Pass, Texas.

Both the European (ECMWF) and the Canadian (GEM) models are basically forecasting a similar track with next week's storm comparable with the U.S. GFS model. There are differences with the track, location, and speed of the storm which is to be expected. Since this storm is 4-5 days away from impacting the state there will (as always) will be changes in the models forecasts. 

GFS Accumulated Snowfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Monday, March 7, 2016.

GFS Storm Total Rainfall Forecast.
Valid @ 5 PM MST Monday, March 7, 2016.

Everything From Heavy Snow & Rain To Severe Thunderstorms.

For now this storm looks to be a major player concerning not only our local weather but also nearby areas as well. Total snowfall forecasts in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California may be in the 4' to 6' (that's feet not inches) range by Monday night. By Saturday afternoon wind gusts over the Sierra Nevada Mountains may exceed 100 mph. Storm total rainfall amounts across parts of northern California and the Sierra Nevada Mountains may be in the 6" to 10" range if the GFS is to be believed. 

Notice too how far south into the Mountains of Central Mexico the GFS (the ECMWF and GEM are picking up on this also) is forecasting snowfall...some of which may be very heavy. 

 Parts of Arkansas could see 10" or more of rain by the end of next week as this potent storm stalls somewhere near eastern Texas by next weekend. 

Severe weather along with heavy rains and flash flooding will also be in the cards next week in Texas and slowly spreading eastward with time. 

A strong cold front will sweep across the state Monday and Tuesday and we may be looking at high temperatures Wednesday and Thursday only in the 40's in southeastern New Mexico. 

There is the potential for thunderstorms across parts of the local area along with the possibility with some much needed moderate to perhaps locally heavy rainfall. Notice that the GFS (and others) currently forecasting some rather heavy snowfall amounts for the Sacramento Mountains of southcentral New Mexico. Up to a foot in the Ruidoso area and maybe up to two feet at Ski Apache. I'm not one hundred percent sure that this will verify yet but its happened before at this time of the year. El Niño storms (and even in non El Niño years) produce some wild and varied weather this time of the year. 

Some examples are listed below. 
(March Is Not Always Dry).

Greatest 24-Hour Snowfall In March.

March 17, 1941 Artesia recorded 9.0" of snow and 8.0" on March 12, 1932.
March 17, 1941 Carlsbad measured 5.0" of snow and 6.0" on March 14, 1969.
 March 17, 1941 Roswell measured 6.6" of snow. 
March 15, 2005 Roswell measured 6.8" of snow.
 March 18, 1941 Hobbs measured 6.6" of snow and 10.0" on March 15, 1969. 
March 15, 1969 Tatum measured 12.0" of snow.

March 29, 1975 Ruidoso measured 18.0" of snow.
March 11, 1970 Ruidoso measured 10.0" of snow.
March 6, 1958 Cloudcroft measured 24.0" of snow.
March 4, 1937 Cloudcroft measured 22.0" of snow.
March 30, 1926 Cloudcroft measured 20.0" of snow.
March 8, 2008 Elk measured 7.0" of snow.
March 14, 1962 Elk measured 7.0" of snow.

Greatest 24-Hour Rainfall In March.

March 21, 1919 Roswell recorded 2.97" of rainfall. 
March 22, 1919 Artesia recorded 2.90" of rainfall. 
March 21, 1919 Carlsbad recorded 2.41" of rainfall. 
March 20, 2002 Hobbs recorded 2.00" of rainfall. 
March 27, 1929 Tatum recorded 2.25" of rainfall. 
March 17, 1955 Ruidoso recorded 1.49" of rainfall.
March 30, 1927 Cloudcroft recorded 2.30" of rainfall.
March 5, 1937 Elk recorded 1.12" of rainfall.

As always just exactly what happens when and where is subject to the storm's strength, track, and speed. This one looks like it will be a classic El Niño late winter early spring storm that digs into northern Mexico, and then takes its time slowly crawling northeastward into east Texas by the end of next week...maybe. Lots of uncertainties yet so expect changes in the forecasts. 

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction!


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